Pristine Classical

Back to Top

Pristine Classical:  the finest historic recorded music, remastered to award-winning acclaim

Keep up to date with Pristine news and reviews at our Facebook page here



Huberman's brilliant Kreuzter Sonata - and much more

"When I heard this new Kreutzer Sonata I took out every Kreutzer Sonata I had and played them all through twice over, reaching at the end a definite conclusion that this latest Kreutzer Sonata is by far the best we have, and incidentally that the second best is the performance of Cortot and Thibaud in an H.M.V. album of red discs. Yet, suave and delightful as the Cortot and Thibaud version is, it is not what Beethoven meant. 

The Kreutzer Sonata has come perilously near to declining into a drawing-room piece, and it is a relief to find a couple of artists like Huberman and Friedman who are not afraid to let themselves go. At the same time, there is never a moment when we suspect that either of them is trying to make us think how difficult it all is. Their fire and their fervour convey a sense of ease, and I for one do not mind in the least when some of Huberman’s top notes scrape. I feel that he had been sufficiently carried away by what he is playing to sacrifice his tone for a moment, and it is difficult to persuade a great violinist to sacrifice his tone.
-The Gramophone, 1931 

The major work here is Huberman’s classic account of the Beethoven “Kreutzer” Sonata with Ignaz Friedman. This “Kreutzer” is truly a meeting of two like minds, as unforgettable a performance as the later one by two Hungarians, Szigeti and Bartók (PACM 084).

The release also includes two solo outings for violin by Bach, and a number of shorter works recorded over a six year period with Schulze for Columbia in London. The release thus completes the reissue of Huberman’s electrical recordings on Pristine, following prior releases devoted to the Beethoven Concerto (PASC 421), Bach and Mozart Concertos (PASC 397) and the Tchaikovsky Concerto, along with Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole and several encores (PASC 439).

BEETHOVEN  Violin Sonata No. 9 'Kreutzer'
Encores by BACH,  BRAHMS,  BRUCH,

Bronislaw Huberman, violin
Ignaz Friedman,
Siegfried Schultze, piano 

Studio recordings, 1929-1935
PACM102 (78:06 - 1CD)


WALTER conducts Brahms Vol 1

"These concerts apparently find Mr. Walter at the very zenith of his powers, absorbed in a task which is especially dear to him"
- NY Times, 1951

In early 1951 Bruno Walter conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in a series of concerts at Carnegie Hall consisting solely of the music of Johannes Brahms. Across four weeks there were four programmes, each performed four times, the final performance being broadcast live.

Each of the concerts featured a symphony coupled with other works - the two piano concertos, the violin and double concertos, plus various shorter works. It is around the surviving recordings of this classic series that Pristine has built this three-volume, 6-CD set, which begins here with Volume One.

The highlights of this first volume include a magnificent, previously unissued Symphony No. 1, and a massively improved Double Concerto, formerly only available in poor sound quality on Italian "pirate" releases. The third concert - featuring the Hungarian Dance, Double Concerto and Symphony No. 2 - is offered in full, whilst the first CD includes a wonderful Hollywood Bowl recording of the Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), complete with a nighttime audience of quietly chirupping crickets, and a 1954 New York performance of the Tragic Overture.

"Bruno Walter began his Brahms cycle with the Philharmonic-Symphony last night in Carnegie Hall, and gave us a wonderful concert. He played Brahms without the slightest affectation or mannerism, with all his heart, and a simplicity and nobility of spirit which matched the music.  The transcending value of this concert was the conviction, the rugged strength and unfeverish, unmodern, absolutely real faith and emotion which vibrated in every measure."
- NY Times, 1951

BRAHMS Symphony No. 1
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2
BRAHMS Double Concerto
BRAHMS Song of Destiny
BRAHMS Tragic Overture
BRAHMS Hungarian Dance No. 17

Bruno Walter, conductor
John Corigliano, violin
Leonard Rose, cello
Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York
Hugo Strelitzer Choir
Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra

Live recordings, 1947-54
PASC485 (2hr 25:42 - 2CD)


Sir John Barbirolli's conducts Bruckner's 9th for the first time in a brilliant 1961 concert performance

"Sir John Barbirolli treated Bruckner with distinguished consideration. The performance was eloquent and revealing."
- The Guardian, 1961

This remarkable 1961 concert, recorded in fine sound quality at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, was not only the first time Sir John Barbirolli had conducted Bruckner's 9th Symphony, it was also the first recording ever made of him conducting any work by the composer - and one of the few times in his career that he conducted two full orchestras, in this instance the Hallé and the BBC Northern Symphony, at the same time. It must have been some occasion!

Never before issued, we're delighted that extensive restoration work has rendered it in excellent condition for this first release.

Sir John Barbirolli came to Bruckner somewhat late in his long and distinguished career as a conductor. A single concert in 1940 is the first recorded outing, followed by a handful of symphonic concerts in the late 1950s. All of these covered just the fourth and seventh symphonies.

The Ninth was to feature several times before his death in 1970, and two recordings exist of concerts given in 1966. But never before have we been able to hear his first thoughts on this monumental, tragically incomplete work.

Here Barbirolli plays the original version of the symphony in a superb live performance recorded and broadcast by BBC radio. An unmissable treat for all Brucknerians!

"The performance had generosity and opulence, for the Hallé and BBC Northern orchestras were in combination, but it was specially notable for its authenticity."
- The Guardian, 1961

John Barbirolli, conductor
Hallé Orchestra
BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra 

Live recording, 1961
PASC486 (57:43 - 1 CD)

Pristine Classical - what the reviewers say:

These transfers represent such clean, careful, and intelligent work that they still demand to be heard" - Fanfare
"Pristine Audio is to be commended for their stunning remastering" - Classical CD Review
"Recording quality such as could only be dreamed of back then..." - MusicWeb International
"The Pristine sound has a clarity, body, presence and focus..." - International Record Review
"Quite a revelation - they've done an amazing job!" - CD Review, BBC Radio Three
"Studio 8-H is transformed into a free, open space, as beautifully atmospheric as the originals were dead" - Classical Recordings Quarterly
"The SACD was nice, but next to the Pristine remasterings, the piano was rather wooden-sounding and somewhat opaque..." - Audiophile Audition

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here.