180-gram 45 RPM double LP
Remastered from the original analog tapes
First pressing, limited to 1,000 numbered copies
Lacquer cuts by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
Masters and mothers plated at Quality Record Pressings
Pressed in Germany
Limited time album download included
Gatefold softtouch jacket with gold foil and debossing w/ printed inner sleeve
This production is exceptional in more ways than one. It is the first time that recordings not of a concert, but made in a studio, have been found. And it is more than likely that the studios intended to release them. The RBB (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg) engineers have achieved a true miracle in terms of acoustics: never before, at any time, has the sound of a violin been restored to us with so much detail and authenticity.
To bring you the artistic and technological prowess of the engineers, we were determined to render all the dynamics and details of this landmark interpretation of Bach's Partita No. 2 and Franck's Sonata. A challenge indeed, because the tracks of the movements were divided over the four sides of a double album in 45 RPM format! This exploit marks another first in the history of The Lost Recordings label.
April 1962 and April 1963, a year apart, Berlin acousticians, among the most experienced in the world, adjusted the removable panels of the walls of studio No. 3 of the Berlin Radio House. A technical marvel based on revolutionary, though totally traditional, methods, this hall was designed in 1929 by the architect Hans Poelzig with a unique and rarely equalled concern: to allow for high fidelity acoustics whatever the frequencies emitted, with a reverberation that can be modulated at will. Henryk Szeryng has the reputation of a scrupulous, uncompromising and authentic master who ranks alongside a Milstein or a Grumiaux. In April 1963, he was 44 years old. At the peak of his art, he meticulously took out of his box his Guarnerius del Gesu, known as "the Duke", with which he would make violin history that day.
"The work of Johann Sebastian Bach is a Bible. Bach is the ultimate goal, where everything begins and everything ends. His music brings you closer to your soul." — Henryk Szeryng.
The Partita No. 2 is a monumental work in terms of the richness and variety of its writing, employing an unusual polyphony for solo violin. Bach seems to want a single theme that 'haunts' the first four movements, culminating in the majestic chaconne, which is constructed as a work in itself. At 15 minutes long, it presents a theme that will be varied sixty-three times in order to evoke, within a highly constructed whole, a universe of infinitely rich emotions, from anguish and sorrow to joy and hope. To capture the growing strength of this progression, Henryk Szeryng wanted to perform the entire partita in one go. Only two takes are needed to produce a performance of unique density, emotion and purity, the subtlety of which we were lucky enough to be able to capture.
Just a year earlier, Szeryng was in the same Studio 3 recording the Franck sonata. There is an obvious relationship between Bach and César Franck: the sense of construction, the desire for unity, the control of time. The violin sonata, composed in 1886, is based on the same intense writing as Bach's Partita. After the triumph of its first performance, its aura quickly extended beyond the musical realm. It is said to have inspired Marcel Proust to write the love story of Charles Swann and Odette de Crécy in 'Du côté de chez Swann'. As with the Partita No. 2, Henryk Szeryng and the pianist Günther Ludwig have achieved a real alchemy here and have delivered one of the most unforgettable interpretations of this work.