Collectors of cadenzas needn’t hesitate; collectors of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, each to their own. This is Veronika Eberle’s “debut solo recording” (captured during March last year at Jerwood Hall, LSO St Luke’s, in clear and well-balanced sound), a likeable-enough rendition of Beethoven in D, occasionally lacking poise, and with a Simon Rattle-conducted accompaniment that can be a little too manicured, but there is more to be positive about than not, and there is no doubting the rapport between the protagonists in a spacious reading that reminds of yesteryear traversals, not least DG’s celebrated version with Schneiderhan and Jochum, and this LSO taping does become more involving as it progresses, especially during the eloquently expressive slow movement.
However, a little over fifty-two minutes for the whole is on the excessive side … one moment, those cadenzas, three of them, by Jörg Widmann add up to thirteen of those minutes. They are quite clever, maybe too clever, wacky, each certainly too long (the biggest problem) and form more of a distraction, a cabaret act, than anything complementary to the Concerto itself and involve timpani (Beethoven had already set a precedent in their use, in the cadenza for his piano transcription of this work) and a double bass in the first movement and Finale, the latter on the nippy side, feisty. The Larghetto’s solo sideshow has a couple of edits just before the eleven-minute mark.
There’s also Beethoven in C, an eight-minute fragment from a Violin Concerto in that key catalogued as WoO5, very attractive, Schubertian, given a lively and shapely outing, which simply stops … poignant. LSO5094 [SACD].