Columbia records

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These electrical Columbia recordings were made in England between 1929 and 1935.

Some people think that Huberman was in better technical shape in the 1920s, and that his Brunswick records capture him in better form; I don't agree with this ... I think that Huberman was just an erratic artist.

 

Air on the G string by Bach [rec. 1929 640k]

Scaled on epic proportions..

Sarabande and Double from Partita No. 1 by Bach [rec. 1934 612k]

I find this interpretation far more profound than any “authentic” performance I have come across.

Ave Maria by Schubert (arr. Wilhelmj) [rec. 1931 663k]

A huge dynamic (and emotional) range.

Nocturne in E flat by Chopin [rec. 1935 724k]

Huberman must have liked this piece as he recorded it three times; once for Berliner in 1900, again as his first Brunswick recording in 1921, and finally for Columbia in 1935.

The interpretation is very vocal in character, and a good demonstration of the influence of Caruso. Huberman admired Caruso's “natural reservoir of power and expression” which he used to build “up an aria to its natural climax.”

Mazurka in G by Zarzycki [rec. 1929 658k]

The earlier Brunswick recording of this piece is possibly a little more light hearted.

Romanza Andaluza by Sarasate [rec. 1929 701k]

As Robert Cowan said, this performance rises to levels of intensity that even a Spanish Gypsy would have found alarming. There are a huge variety of sound effects (listen out for the section in thirds).

Although there is an absence of “Latin charm”, remember that the modern ideal of beauty of sound would undermine the depth of interpretation.

Hungarian Dance no. 1 in G minor by Brahms [rec. 1932 447k]

My least favourite of the short pieces here, I'm afraid. I much prefer Joachim's recording (or even young Menuhin).

Kol Nidrei by Bruch [rec. 1931 755k]

Story telling in the grand fashion. Listen out for the many slashing attacks, the forced tone at 3:14, and the sobbing character at 4:08.

Andante by Bach [rec. 1934 569k]

My favourite Bach performance of all time.

Nun Komm'der Heiden Heiland by Bach [rec. 1935 742k]

I find it hard to enjoy any modern Bach interpretation after hearing playing like this.

Melody by Tchaikovsky [rec. 1928 509k]

The pitch instability is a fault in the original recording.

Waltz in C sharp minor by Chopin [rec. 1928 485k]

I think these Chopin arrangements by Huberman are very successful - I'm surprised they are not still in the repertoire these days.

Waltz in C sharp minor by Chopin [rec. 1932 468k]

The piece was recorded again three years later.

La Capricieuse by Elgar [rec. 1931 652k]

When I first heard this recording I thought it quite strange. A very thoughtful (as opposed to purely technical) interpretation, with some violent mood swings.

Waltz in A major by Brahms [rec. 1930 444k]

Contemplative.

Top photo: An Australian laminated Columbia label.