HAYDN: Violin Concerto No. 1 in C. Sinfonia Concertante in B flat
Pinchas Zukerman, violin-conductor. Ronald Leonhardt, cello. Barbara Winters, oboe. David Breidenthal, bassoon. Los Angeles Philharmonic Orch.
PENTATONE SACD 5186 224 TT: 43:24

BIBER: The Rosary Sonatas for violin and basso continuo. . MUFFAT: Spmata om D fopr violin and basso continuo.
Ariadne Daskalakis, violin. Ensemble Vintage Köln
BIS SACD 2096 (2 disks) TT: 132:30vbr

MENDELSSOHN: Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13. Quartet No. 3 in D minor, Op. 44 No. 1. Andante and Scherzo from Four Pieces for String Quartet, Op. 81.
Escher String Quartet
BIS SACD 1990 TT: 71:41

Here is yet another treasure in the Pentatone ser ties of reissues of original four-track recordings made by DGG in the '70s. Pinchas Zukerman was featured in a previous release of the Bach Brandenburg Concertos made with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (REVIEW). Now we have these Haydn recordings made in Hollywood's American Legion Hall in March 1977, and again the engineers have achieved a warm, realistic surround sound effect. Of course the performances are superb. The only debit here is that there isn't more music: total playing time is only 43:24.

Biber surely is having his day. His Rosary Sonatas for violin and basso continuo has two new recordings, both on SACD. The other featured Rachael Podger (REVIEW). This one features Ariadne Daskalalkis with Ensemble Vintage Köln. I will leave it to specialists to determine which artist is more "authentic." The BIS 2=disk set also includes a a brief (7:41) sonata for violin and basso continuo by a contemporary of Biber, Georg Muffat. Audio in both sets is of highest quality, but the Podger version is two disks for the price of one.

The Escher String Quartet continues their cycle of Mendelssohn quartets with this disk of Quartets 2 and 3 along with one of the Op. 81 pieces for string quartet. They have now passed the half-way mark; previously issued was a disk of Quartets 2 and 3 (REVIEW).Excellent performances throughout, and the BIS engineers have produced a very natural sound picture with performers in front.

R.E.B. (October 2015)