Steve Schwartz rightly marvels at Bloch's Violin Concerto and wonders:
>I can't understand why violinists aren't elbowing each other out of the
>way to perform it, but as far as I know, only two star performers have
>recorded it: Szigeti, who premiered it and to whom it is dedicated, and
Why other violinists are not, I could not say but my own experience is
amusing in retrospect. I discovered this concerto 25 years ago through
Hyman Bress's LP recording. The piece positively won me over, even more
so than his much better-known Schelomo, and I decided to buy the violin
and piano reduction which is mentioned on the back of any Boosey&Hawkes
violin score. This was the start of an unending quest. Every week, I
entered the Max Eschig publisher house next to the old Paris Conservatory
and asked the man in charge with special orders whether he had found the
concerto. Every week, he would answer negatively. He called Boosey&Hawkes
every time and several more times in between. I believe that he had
become even more obsessed with finding it than I was!
Did I finally buy the score? Yes, finally - a couple of years ago.
It took me that long, despite having visited the USA and England quite
a few times in between. So it is little wonder that Bloch's masterpiece
is so blatantly underperformed.
In a completely different style, the recording of Martucci's Piano
Quintet by Mario Borciani and the Giovane Quartetto Italiano makes the
strongest case for one of the most touching chamber music pieces I know.
Why isn't it performed more often? To this day, I still have not found
where it was ever published. And I am not supposed to be the least
persistent of all musicians when it comes to rare repertoire...
Medtner's 3rd violin sonata would have been another case in point but
it is now possible to buy a decent copy of the score online.
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