The present release brings together three concerto recordings by Isaac Stern, all taken from live performances early in his career, and accompanied by three legendary conductors, none of whom made commercial recordings of these works. While the Haydn concerto has seen limited LP release, the remaining broadcasts are believed to be published here for the first time.
Pierre Monteux features on the earliest performance presented here, the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. This was part of a series of hour-long CBS broadcasts of the Philadelphia Orchestra given on Saturday evenings in an empty Academy of Music two hours before the regular concerts were to begin.
Early in his career, Stern was a particular champion of the lesser-known Haydn Violin Concerto, recording it for American Columbia in 1947 with himself conducting. For the New York Philharmonic broadcast two years later, he had no less than Leopold Stokowski at the podium. The final broadcast features Serge Koussevitkzy at the podium of the Hollywood Bowl, a year after he had ceded the Boston Symphony to Charles Munch, conducting the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.