For most of her performing career which began in the 1920’s and ended in the early 1970’s, legendary violinist Erica Morini was billed as “The World’s Greatest Woman Violinist” a title she naturally despised. “I am either good or I am not” she responded when asked about it, “Being a woman has nothing to do with it!”. Today she is largely forgotten while several great women violinists have emerged in the last 30 years. Most of this neglect is due to the fact that almost all of her recordings have been unavailable for many years.
Composer: Johannes Brahms
Performer: Erica Morini
Orchestra: Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra Of London
Conductor: Artur Rodzinski
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Westminster/Speakers Corner
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 829 MB
Despite the gender discrimination, she held her own with the likes of Heifitz, Kreisler, Elman, and the other greats of her day. In fact she is often described as having the technique of Heifitz with the tone of Kreisler. Nowhere is that description more evident than in this recording of two of the most popular violin concertos which she made in 1956.
Morini was born and raised in Vienna and adds a Viennese lilt to the performance which gives it just a touch of sweetness without being saccharine, a touch of sadness without being too melancholy. The orchestral accompaniment of the Royal Philharmonic under Artur Rodzinski is full of revelations of detail (a Rodzinski specialty, check out his DVORAK: SLAVONIC DANCES also on Westminster) which adds another dimension to these recordings. The sound is circa 1956 and therefore not state of the art but is nevertheless very good. The performances remain in a class by themselves. I only hope that more of Morini’s recordings will be made available so that this time she can take her place as simply one of the world’s great violinists.
This recording will challenge any previous favorite recordings you may have of the Brahms’s Concerto. Morini combined the balanced technique with expression; temperament with lyricism and tune with majesty; an authentic artist, by definition creates atmospheres; no matter what plays, is the absolute domain of the score conceived as mean and not a goal by itself. Her vibrant performances are the final result of the always desired link between soul, mind, heart and fingering.
From the first bars, you realize about her grandness; eloquent sound and perceptive handle of the thematic material. Her Brahms is superbly articulated, warmth and fierce. To get such tonal balance is nothing easy because the temptation to play Brahms just only under a romantic approach is enormous by the most of soloists.
Artur Rodzinski is another important variable in this superb achievement. His gifts as conductor are extraordinary. He knows his role as accompanier, rather than soloist; a virtue by itself that many conductors tend to neglect or minimize.
A fundamental and quite relevant musical treasure.
Analyzed folder: /96k Brahms – Violin Concerto – Morini, Rodzinski
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR13 -1.04 dB -20.79 dB A Concerto For Violin And Orchestra D-Major Op.77 – I. Allegro Non Troppo.aif
DR14 -5.04 dB -27.43 dB B1 Concerto For Violin And Orchestra D-Major Op.77 – II. Adagio.aif
DR12 -0.25 dB -16.86 dB B2 Concerto For Violin And Orchestra D-Major Op.77 – III. Allegro Giocoso, Ma Non Troppo Vivace.aif
Number of files: 3
Official DR value: DR13
- Art Direction – Tim Ritchie
- Composed By – Johannes Brahms
- Conductor – Artur Rodzinski
- Illustration – Mark E. Van Epps
- Mastered By – Phil Cross
- Orchestra – Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra Of London
- Producer – John Sievers
- Violin – Erica Morini
Recorded in London in 1956
High quality pressing on 180 gram virgin vinyl.
Pure analogue audiophile mastering.
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
Cartridge: ZYX 50R Bloom
- Phono amp: Audio Research SP15 own tube phono section.
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Audio Research SP15
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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