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Violin Concertos - Released September 13, 2019 | Ondine

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It takes a good deal of confidence to record these two most familiar of all the Romantic violin concertos, especially if you have recorded them both before, as violinist Christian Tetzlaff has. Confidence is what Tetzlaff is all about here, and it gives him the wherewithal to create a genuinely original reading of the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61. His tempos are fast, but others have taken the concerto fast. He de-romanticizes Beethoven's big melodies: although there's no hint of historical performance here, the sparing use of vibrato is common enough these days, partly as a result of that influence. If you imagine a 20th century Beethoven violin concerto performance from the Eastern European-Israeli sphere, say that of Itzhak Perlman, you will find Tetzlaff at the opposite extreme. So far, so good, and you can take your pick among recordings according to whether you favor these tendencies. Where Tetzlaff demands attention is in his overall structuring of the concerto, which seems to unfold as a single set of grand gestures. At least, that is, up to the cadenzas, which are adapted from the ones Beethoven wrote for the alternative piano version of the concerto. This may seem a stretch, but tune in to Tetzlaff's mood, and you'll find that the music has built up enough momentum to support these unusual, irregular cadenzas. The Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Robin Ticciati keeps up well with Tetzlaff's interpretation and never drags, which in this case is a bit of a tall order. The Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47, is a bit closer to the mainstream, although even here, Tetzlaff is taking pains to dissociate himself from the big Romantic tradition: sample the finale, where you may wish for something a bit more rousing in the main theme. Impressively bold, and well worth your time. © TiVo
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Violin Concertos - Released September 13, 2019 | Channel Classics Records

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Ning Feng, 1st Prize Winner of the Paganini Competition 2006, brings you Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto No. 4 on his Stradivari ‘MacMillan’, 1721. ‘Virtuosismo’ is his second recording with OSPA – Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias under the baton of conductor Rossen Milanov. The previous album ‘Apasionado‘ received excellent reviews. Paganini, Violin Concerto No. 1 Paganini composed all his pieces for violin and orchestra for his own use, keeping them secretly stowed away. Consequently, most were published only after his death, and some not until recent decades. The first of his six violin concertos is a virtuosic tour de force, demonstrating not only his incredible technical command but also his great talent for melody and drama. It breathes the spirit of Rossini, whose operas were enormously popular at the time. Originally composed in the key of E flat major, Paganini tuned his violin a semitone up so that he could play in D major, as it were, and thus execute complicated double stops that are impossible in E flat while producing a brighter sound from his instrument. It was partly for this reason that contemporaries said the concerto was ‘unplayable’. Today the work is always performed in D major. Vieuxtemps, Violin Concerto No. 4 The next piece was written by the son of a weaver, amateur violinist and violin maker from Belgian Verviers named Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-1882). A child prodigy, he enjoyed an outstanding career as a violinist from the age of six, studying in Vienna and Paris (with Charles de Bériot) and touring Europe, Russia and the USA. From 1871 he was an influential teacher at the Brussels conservatory, where his pupils included Eugène Ysaÿe. But within two years, in 1873, a stroke caused lameness in his right arm, and Vieuxtemps was forced to withdraw from teaching. He spent his final years composing in a sanatorium in Algeria, where his daughter had settled with her husband. Vieuxtemps was greatly admired by contempories such as Berlioz and Paganini, whom he met in London. When Robert Schumann heard him in Leipzig in 1834, he described the fourteen-year-old’s playing as magical and compared him with Paganini. That was during a tour of Germany and Austria, when Vieuxtemps was accompanied by his father. After playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in Vienna, he decided to stay there for some time to study composition with Simon Sechter, under whom Anton Bruckner was later to study counterpoint. After his London debut in 1834, Vieuxtemps pursued his composition studies with Anton Reicha in Paris, the fruits of which are particularly evident in his First Violin Concerto, dating from 1836 (and later published as no. 2). The Fourth Violin Concerto in D minor opus 31, on this recording, was Vieuxtemps’ own favourite concerto. He composed it when employed as a court violinist in Saint Petersburg (1846-1851). © Channel Classics
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Violin Concertos - Released April 5, 2019 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
With a quartet of violin concertos by Jean-Marie Leclair, Leila Schayegh continues her exploration of the instrument’s repertory, combining musical insight, virtuosic brilliance and historical understanding. Leclair, who grew up in Lyon and studied in Turin before moving to Paris (he held a short-lived official post at Louis XV’s court in the 1730s) produced solo sonatas (and duos) as well as his acclaimed concertos. In her booklet notes, Leila Schayegh, who currently teaches Baroque violin at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, comments on how Leclair – an outstanding violinist himself – was in thrall to the Italian instrumental style but was concerned that his music should not be played too fast; he was praised for his “netteté”, a combination of impeccable technique and musical perfection. This first volume in Schayegh’s projected series of recordings of the Leclair violin concertos embraces the Nos. 2 and 6 works from the two six-concerto series of Opp 7 and 10. The G minor concerto, Op. 10 No. 6, is frequently cited as being the highpoint of Leclair’s output. For this dazzling new exhibition of the Swiss violinist’s art, Schayegh – who plays a late-seventeenth-century Andrea Guarneri instrument – directs Basel’s La Cetra Barockorchester, which features Eva Saladin as its “konzertmeisterin” and Sonoko Asabuki as a further principal violinist (Leclair’s concertos often called for up to three soloists). © Glossa
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Violin Concertos - Released March 15, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
After the double album of the Violin and Harpsichord Sonatas with Kristian Bezuidenhout, here is the next instalment in a Bach recording adventure that began nine years ago with a set of the Sonatas and Partitas. Isabelle Faust, Bernhard Forck and his partners at the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin have explored a multitude of other works by Bach: harpsichord concertos, trio sonatas for organ, instrumental movements from sacred cantatas etc. All are revealed here as direct or indirect relatives of the three monumental Concertos BWV 1041-43. This fascinating achievement is a timely reminder that the master of The Well-Tempered Clavier was also a virtuoso violinist! © harmonia mundi
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Violin Concertos - Released March 15, 2019 | Gramola Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Violin Concertos - Released November 16, 2018 | LSO Live

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Violin Concertos - Released October 26, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
To say that the concerto was one of Haydn's favourite forms would be a bit much, daft even. The man wrote a good hundred symphonies, dozens of quartets, trios, piano sonatas, fifteen or so masses and as many operas, and oratorios... Currently we know of three violin concertos (others being lost or apocryphal), two cello concertos (others... see above), one horn concerto, one for trumpet (there are no others) and at most about ten concertos for piano. Musically, they are fascinating works, but the level of technical skill they demand runs from moderate to a bit tricky. But the First Cello Concerto is not without its moments of difficulty, such as the rapid high notes in the final movement, and it offers some real fireworks. It should also be noted that most of the concertos were written for Esterházy, specifically for the first soloists in the house orchestra of Konzertmeister Luigi Tomasini and first cellist Joseph Weigl. The orchestral accompaniments offered the soloists some fine backdrops: in particular in the second movement of the Concerto for violin in C Major , with the orchestra's string section accompanying the solo violin with a sort of lute-playing that becomes a kind of serenade à la Don Giovanni. Amandine Beyer takes up the violin for this recording, while Marco Ceccato deals with the cello solo – both members of the Gli Incogniti ensemble ("The Unknowns"), a fluid grouping that plays without a conductor. Their leaderless style means that the musicians all listen to one another: it's a lovely way of making music (and sadly rare in the world of orchestras). © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released September 28, 2018 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Fabio Biondi had his work cut out for him with the complete recordings of Vivaldi's violin concertos, as the Venetian left behind more than 250 works for one, two, three or four violins. Volume VI here offers a group of six concertos written in Prague and Bohemia in the course of his stay there between 1730 and 1731.Today, musicology has become much more of a science, and it is possible to put a date on these manuscripts by means of a precise analysis of the paper used by the composer if the music doesn't speak for itself. The Antonio Vivaldi of these pieces retains the style for which he is known and loved across Europe. Fabio Biondi notes that as there are only a few hints of Bohemian music in these concertos, which are more resemblant of Vivaldi's younger work. We might conclude that while abroad, the composer was writing pieces which, while new, were destined for use by his beloved students in the Pietà.Venetian chroniclers from the time often wrote of Vivaldi's virtuoso violin playing, admiring the inventiveness that he brought to the cadenzas of his concertos (the section at the end of a movement which is left open for creative improvisation) and the fantasy that he worked into his improvisations. While we have no proof that Vivaldi was the soloist for his own works during his Bohemian trip, Fabio Biondi, a true connoisseur of Vivaldi's style, clearly aims to apply this spirit to his recordings, and nowhere more so than here. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released September 21, 2018 | Onyx Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional Sound Recording
Nearly all the pieces on this album were first performed and widely promoted by the Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer, one of them — Tabula rasa (1977) — being specifically written with his artistry in mind. They are also all products of what Arvo Pärt himself describes as a ‘tintinnabuli’ style, developed by the composer in the 1970s through studying medieval church music. As Pärt has explained: “I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me. I work with very few elements – with one voice, two voices. I build with primitive materials – with the triad, with one specific tonality. The three notes of a triad are like bells and that is why I call it tintinnabulation.” Tabula rasa and Fratres, both composed in 1977, effectively established Pärt’s international reputation. Tabula rasa is effectively a concerto for two violins with string orchestra and a prepared piano, the latter instrument creating explicitly bell-like sonorities in the work’s slow second movement. Fratres, since its first performance by the Estonian ensemble of early music, Hortus Musicus, has been arranged for various instrumental combinations. The version heard here is the composer’s own, written in 1991 for solo violin, strings and percussion (involving claves and bass drum or tom-tom). Bach has long been an important influence in Pärt’s music, as is evident in his Passacaglia, composed in 2003, and in Darf ich... (May I…) originally composed in 1995 and dedicated to Yehudi Menuhin; Pärt subsequently revised the work in 1999, Kremer giving the premiere of this revised version with his ensemble, Kremerata Baltica. Spiegel im Spiegel, composed in 1978, is one of Pärt’s simplest compositions, a violin unhurriedly playing a mostly stepwise melody over a steadily arpeggiating piano part. © Onyx Classics
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Violin Concertos - Released September 7, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
As a concerto soloist and chamber musician, Vilde Frang explores what might be considered public and private aspects of her art, though in both pursuits, her expressive and deeply internalized playing belies any simplistic division between the two. In this 2018 Warner Classics release of Béla Bartók's Violin Concerto No. 1 and George Enescu's Octet for strings in C major, Op. 7, Frang meets all expectations of a virtuoso soloist in the former work and takes a more collaborative approach in the latter, yet between them there is an overlapping of musical aims. Introspection is the dominant mood in the first movement of Bartók's youthful concerto, and Frang maintains a controlled lyricism that is both melancholy and ardent, only to be dispelled by the brusque second movement, which calls for flashiness and extroversion. However, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France is held in check by conductor Mikko Franck, so Frang's moody solos are never overwhelmed by the accompaniment, which sometimes is quite loud. The string octet in Enescu's work is surprisingly full-sounding and resembles a string orchestra in its volume and richness, though Frang's distinctive sound is never lost in the mix. Yet for all the rustic hubbub of this energetic music, Frang conveys a pensiveness in the intimate third movement that reminds the listener that this is still chamber music, not a concerto. Warner's recorded sound seems a bit manipulated to even out the wide dynamics in the Bartók and the booming acoustics in the Enescu, which contribute to the octet's unnaturally big sound. © TiVo
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Violin Concertos - Released August 24, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Chouchane Siranossian is a rising star of the baroque and classical violin, Jakob Lehmann a virtuoso violinist and orchestral director who frequently conducts Anima Eterna. Together, they embody what the Bruges orchestra and its founder, Jos van Immerseel, have decided to call the ‘Next Generation Anima Eterna’... Today they are presenting Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in its original version. “We wanted to take a look into Mendelssohn’s workshop. He struggled with his self-diagnosed ‘revision disease’ and always strove to work hard on himself and his creations” says Jakob Lehmann. Chouchane Siranossian keeps on : “It was a fascinating experience for me to discover historical research and its implementation on period instruments in collaboration with Anima Eterna Brugge. In my interpretation, I used exclusively the fingerings, bowings and other performance markings of Ferdinand David and Joseph Joachim, both of whom rehearsed the work with the composer.” This recording is rounded off with the Octet, also in its original version, which is longer and has many alterations in instrumentation, harmony and articulation... © Alpha Classics
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Violin Concertos - Released June 22, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
While Max Bruch's First Concerto was recorded, re-recorded and over-recorded to the nth degree, we can't say the same of Bruch's very elegant Scottish Fantasy Enter Joshua Bell, the new artistic director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, both playing the violin and heading up an ensemble to offer us both the Concerto – which he had recorded about thirty years ago with Marriner – and the Fantasy, a discographic first for him. This Fantasy, written in 1880 after the Second Concerto, was Sarasate but first performed by Joachim. The composer weaves it together from an infinitely elegant tissue of themes, and melodic impressions of Scotland, real or imagined. Joshua Bell, of Scottish descent himself, swims like a wild salmon through the clear waters of lochs and highland torrents, while the orchestra, clearly rapt, offers him a beautiful foil. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released June 8, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The press is already in a spin about it: "The new Menuhin"; "a star is born"; "the enchanted bow"... Daniel Lozakovich, 17 years old, might have his head in the stars, but he has his feet firmling on the ground. He is shaping a dazzling career with stunning maturity. Born in Sweden to a family from the former USSR, he learned violin in 2007, at the age of 6. Two years later, he would play his first concerto, conducted by Vladimir Spivakov. There then followed the difficult quest to find a teacher who would "not change my musicality, but make me stronger." Daniel Lozakovich currently lives in Geneva, where he works with Eduard Wulfson, a private tutor that he met at the Verbier Festival. It was also at this festival, which showcases young talents, that the teenager met Valery Gergiev, who immediately took him under his protective and liberating wing. Signed to Deutsche Grammophon (DG), Daniel Lozakovich would soon record Beethoven's Concerto in D Major with his mentor, "a work whose structure is so clear", he said, "but whose music is so difficult". Daniel Lozakovich listened to a lot of records to perfect his playing and his musical knowledge. He learned a lot from listening to the great masters of the past, in particular Bruno Walter, who charmed him with his sense of detail, and the sound he gets from his orchestra, as well as his poetic phrasing. This preference says a lot about this very young musician, who we discover here on his first record, dedicated to Bach. Listening to the Second Partita (with its brilliantly-structured Chaconne) and the Concertos in E Major and A Minor, we are won over straight away by the solidity of his concept, the great beauty of the sonority with its long phrases and a discourse which is constantly expressive. His parents, who are not remotely musicians, would have preferred for him to be a great tennis player, but fate had other plans for this strong-willed teenager with a dazzling smile. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released June 8, 2018 | Claves Records

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Swiss violinist Caroline Goulding offers us a singular pairing here: the brilliant, lyrical and very fin-de-siècle-Vienna Concerto by Korngold, written in 1945 and based on themes borrowed from some pieces of film music, followed by an ever-so-delicate Fifth Concerto by Mozart, one of those miracles of the composer's youth, from when he was just 19, but already in full command of staggering powers. Consider that the whole orchestral introduction, which could easily serve as a rich opening theme, is in fact merely the accompaniment to the real theme, which is richer still, and played by the solo violin. Caroline Goulding has been building an international career since she started with the Cleveland Orchestra in 2006. Sometimes she will sit out for a few weeks of contemplative silence, and it is just one such period of silence which produced this album. Since her début, she has performed as a soloist with the orchestras of Toronto, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Milwaukee and Washington in North America, as well as with numerous European orchestras, in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Berlin, and Berne. Her style owes much to her teacher, Christian Tetzlaff. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released June 1, 2018 | DOREMI

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Violin Concertos - Released May 4, 2018 | Accent

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Josef Mysliveček (1737-1781) also known as "Il Divino Boemo" (The Divine Bohemian) was one of the most celebrated opera composers in Italy in the 1770s. His instrumental works - symphonies, concertos, octets, quartets, and trios - were as popular as his vocal music. Certain features of his melodic style reflect his Bohemian origins, and Mysliveček's influence on contemporaries was significant. A close friend of the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a musical influence on him, Mozart described his character as "full of fire, spirit and life". All nine of the Mysliveček violin concertos that survive in complete form were probably written in a short period during the late 1760s and early 1770s when the composer maintained close contacts with the city of Padua and the composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini. As a representative of Italian traditions that extended back to the early eighteenth century, Mysliveček’s violin concertos are all cast in three movements of the pattern ‘fast-slow-fast’. “From this music one can hear that the author was also a superb opera composer: the quickly alternating themes are well defined in character, whether sounding serious or boisterous, pleading or alluring, questioning or majestic, friendly or imperious. Figuratively, we find ourselves on the opera stage.” (Leila Schayegh) © Accent/Note-1
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Violin Concertos - Released April 27, 2018 | Berlin Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Undesired babies, in this case little girls, were dropped off in the famous convent, conservatory and orphanage of the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, where Vivaldi was a violin teacher and main composer for a long time. Many of these girls, once adults, became musicians and quite a few of them reached the highest level of recognition. For one of these pupils, by the name of Anna-Maria dal Violin (the “dal Violin” wasn’t her last name, but rather a nickname highlighting her ability as a musician), Vivaldi wrote twenty-five concertos, a shining proof of her tremendous mastery; to the extent that, it seems, people came from afar to listen to her perform. Listen only in fact, not see her, as young ladies had to play behind a screen so that it was impossible to have the slightest glimpse at their appearance. But Rousseau did manage to catch one in 1743: "If you are so desirous," said an ambassador to him, "to see those little girls, it will be an easy matter to satisfy your wishes. I entering the saloon, which contained these beauties I so much sighed to see, I felt a trembling of love, which I had never before experienced. Mr le Blond presented to me, one after the other, these celebrated female singers, of whom the names and voices were all with which I was acquainted. Come, Sophia − she was horrid. Come, Cattina − she had but one eye. Come, Bettina − the smallpox had entirely disfigured her. Violinist Midori Seiler, accompanied by the Concerto Köln, selected a nice handful of concertos written for the aforementioned Anna-Maria. Granted we’ll never know how she played, but one can get an idea of a few of her tendencies, as the young lady kept a musical journal in which she wrote a few variants for the second movement of the Concerto RV270a that can be heard here. In parallel, this selection also features a concerto by Galuppi and another by Albinoni, that are both in a similar vein, although they weren’t written for Anna-Maria. In tune with the custom/etiquette of the Ospedale, the Concerto Köln didn’t hesitate to add in the partition a few moments of woodwinds doubling on the chords: flutes, oboes and even chalumeau, the ancestor of the clarinet that Vivaldi himself used a few times in his concertos. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released April 27, 2018 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
In 1994 John Adams composed his Violin Concerto, a work of breath-taking virtuosity written in an exhilarating and strongly rhythmic tone, sign that it was partly conceived for the New York City Ballet; even if the first movement is somewhat reminiscent − with its dreamlike atmosphere as well as fluid and elusive harmonies – of Berg’s Violin Concerto. It’s worth noting that the orchestra, in addition to its traditional elements, features a strong percussion section as well as two synthesisers that further add to the piece’s dreamlike and uncharted hue. That same year, violinist Leila Josefowicz (born in 1977) made her debut at Carnegie Hall in a concerto by Tchaikovsky conducted by Marriner: a big leap into what was to become an established international career. And it’s precisely for Josefowicz, small world indeed, that Adams wrote his dramatic symphony Scheherazade.2 for violin and orchestra: the bond between the soloist and the master is undeniably strong, and her interpretation couldn’t be more faithful to Adam’s original idea. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released April 20, 2018 | Onyx Classics

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Recorded live in Vienna’s Musikverein, this album captures a special evening which saw the new Concerto for 2 violins & orchestra ‘Shadow Walker’ by Mark Anthony Turnage performed by Vadim Repin and Daniel Hope with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic under Sascha Goetzel. The second half of the concert was an electrifying Symphony fantastique. « I've been drawn to compose double concertos before, such as Dispelling the Fears for two trumpets, and in Shadow Walker I've again been intrigued by the possibilities of interplay between the two soloists. The idea of shadowing can take many musical forms, such as through canonic writing and the imitation of intervals, though I haven't gone as far as composing a fugue. The string sound of Vadim Repin and Daniel Hope should blend particularly well, almost like two aspects of the same identity. There isn't a strict hierarchical relationship with one violin the shadow of the other — it is much more equal and fluid » Mark Anthony Turnage. (Onyx)
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Violin Concertos - Released April 13, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Record of the Month - Exceptional Sound Recording - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
Today, Finland is one of the richest musical countries on Earth. Thanks to the exceptional quality of its musical teaching it produces numerous composers, conductors and artists who perform all over the world. The very rich catalogue of the dynamic Finnish publisher Ondine contains several recordings of the German violinist Christian Tetzlaff (Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin) by Bach, Mozart's sonatas, Trios by Brahms, concertos by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Shostakovich); and the Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu (Sibelius, Mahler, Enescu, Berio, Messiaen, Lindberg, Melartin), but it is their first record together. Bartók's two Violin Concertos were written thirty years apart, for two virtuosos. While the Second Concerto in the form of variations on a theme that develop ingeniously across three movements, has been well-known for a long time, the first remained unheard for years. Written as a declaration of love for the Hungarian-Swiss violinist Stefi Geyer, for whom Bartók had fallen, it was a secret kept by the dedicatee: it was only long after the composer's death that the violinist let Bartók's patron and close friend, the conductor Paul Sacher, know about the work. He would see that it was performed, with Hansheinz Schneeberger, but only in 1958. Bartók's two concertos, essential parts of the repertoire for violin and orchestra would enjoy a well-deserved resurgence in interest among a younger generation of violinists – the recording of the same works by Renaud Capuçon for Warner came out a few weeks ago. This new version, magnificently recorded, carefully explores all the orchestral richness, in perfect dialogue with Christian Tetzlaff's outstanding violin. © François Hudry/Qobuz