on 11 August 2012
When the performance of the Schumann first came out in 1965. the Gramophone critic Trevor Harvey commented on how the performance was 'full of poetry' - 'The sheer variety of tone and treatment of every phrase is a wonder' - and felt it gave an added stature to the work. Personally I enjoy the work in most performances, but this particular one is about as good as it gets. While Starker's measured style doesn't seem quite to fit the Dvorak concerto, here - as in his solo Bach performances - it works magnificently, and the conductor and orchestra maintain his honest approach. Among other recorded performances I've come across, those by Maurice Gendron with Ernest Ansermet and Christoph Dohnanyi, and Andre Navarra with Andre Cluytens, and indeed Janos Starker himself in another performance with Carlo Maria Giulini, express the concerto well where other oellists including some of the most famous sink it by over-expression, but I've not come across one quite as effective as this in bringing out the strength of the work.