“Both of these in-concert readings–the Mozart from 1945, the Tchaikovsky from a year later–took place after a plane crash that severely damaged Bronislaw Huberman’s left hand and forced him to relearn his instrument. (That he did so was miraculous.) Neither of these performances is in any way orthodox. The acerbic tone and occasionally eccentric phrasing in the Mozart will surely disturb purists…Still, one always senses a committed musician with a strong personality. Note, for example, the clipped ending of the finale’s rondo theme, which suggests humor rarely conveyed by other fiddlers. Bruno Walter proved an ideal accompanist, aptly echoing Huberman’s notions.
Huberman’s way with the Tchaikovsky should have greater appeal. For one thing, its virtuosic flamboyance is better suited to the violinist’s style, and his occasional roughness complements the folksy idiom of the work better than it does Mozart’s elegance…One listens in amazement to the abandon with which he digs into the music, his spiccato, in particular, being especially impressive….”
–Mortimer H. Frank in Fanfare
BRONISLAW HUBERMAN IN PERFORMANCE. MOZART: Violin Concerto in D, K218; conducted by Bruno Walter, 1945. TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto conducted by Eugene Ormandy, 1946.
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