Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (Nathan Milstein album)

The recording of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto by Nathan Milstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bruno Walter was the first classical long-playing record, and the first 12" LP of any kind, in 1948.

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
Mendelssohn Nathan Milstein LP 1947.jpg
Studio album by
Released1948 (1948)

The issue marked Columbia Records' move away from the 78 rpm format for classical, and the success of Columbia's format soon forced RCA to follow suit.[1][2] The recording had already been released as Columbia Masterworks Set M-MM-577 in 1945.[3][4] The first LP sleeve, a flimsy kraft paper top open envelope, carried the Steinweiss artwork from the earlier 78 rpm album MM-577.

Milstein's playing in the concerto, which was already familiar in the concert hall, received wide critical acclaim.[5][6]

There are a number of other recordings of Milstein playing the concerto. In addition to the 1945 recording with Walter, he was recorded in a 1946 Library of Congress performance with piano accompaniment by Joseph Blatt,[7] in an April 1962 telecast with Walter Hendl and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra,[8] with the London Philharmonia Orchestra under Léon Barzin,[9] with the Pittsburgh Symphony under William Steinberg for Capitol,[10] and in 1973 for Deutsche Grammophon with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Claudio Abbado.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ D. Kern Holoman The Orchestra: A Very Short Introduction 2012 Page 107 "The first classical LP was the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with Nathan Milstein, Bruno Walter, and the New York Philharmonic-Symphony, Columbia ML-4001. RCA capitulated in 1950, leaving 45s as the medium of choice for pop singles."
  2. ^ John F. Morton Backstory in Blue: Ellington at Newport '56 2008 Page 49 "1947.. The following year Columbia made what it regarded as record history, introducing the first twelve-inch LP, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, with violinist Nathan Milstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Bruno Walter ... Within a year and a half of the introduction of the LP, Columbia had sold twice as many Masterworks as RCA was selling of Red Seal. RCA had begun to lose its artists. Some, like opera tenor Ezio Pinza, would go to Columbia..."
  3. ^ LIFE - 4 November 1946 - Page 71 Vol. 21, n° 19 "NATHAN MILSTEIN with the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York, conducted by Bruno Walter. Mendelssohn: Concerto in E Minor for Violin and Orchestra. Columbia Masterworks Set M-MM-577 $4.85"
  4. ^ LIFE - 22 April 1946 - Page 49 Vol. 20, n° 16 "Nathan Milstein (Violin): Mendelssohn's Concerto in E Minor (with Philharmonic-Symph. Orch. of N. Y., cond. by Walter).
  5. ^ Billboard - 16 April 1955 - Page 22 Vol. 68, n° 16 "Another big one from Milstein who has developed into one of the two top selling violinists since his ..."
  6. ^ Paul Bowles on Music: Includes the Last Interview With Paul Bowles Page 190 Paul Bowles, ed. Timothy Mangan, Irene Hermann - 2003 "Mr. Milstein, as soloist in the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, was perfection itself. There is probably no other violinist who can reach and sustain his degree of technical perfection and emotional convincingness. His faultless tone production and ..."
  7. ^ BRIDGE 9064 (CD)
  8. ^ VAI DVD4279 (DVD)
  9. ^ Billboard - 14 Jul 1962 Vol. 74, No. 28 MENDELSSOHN: VIOLIN CONCERTO; BRUCH: VIOLIN CONCERTO Nathan Milstein. Philharmonia Orchestra (Barzin). Angel S 25730
  10. ^ Henry Roth Violin virtuosos: from Paganini to the 21st century 1997 Page 135 - "Milstein's Mendelssohn concerto with Steinberg and the Pittsburgh Orchestra is the best engineered of his three recordings, but the old mono version (Bruno Walter, New York Philharmonic) is perhaps a bit superior in terms of spontaneity."
  11. ^ Anthony Paterson The World of Compact Discs - Contemporary Review - 1 September 1999 - "Here we have a recording of two of the greatest Romantic concertos, those of Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky with the Vienna Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado. This disc is an additional highlight of the Penguin releases. The VPO's famed strings harmonise perfectly with the sensitive performance of the soloist, Nathan Milstein. His skill is especially evident in the andante of the Mendelssohn concerto. "