Brahms (1833-97) devoted much of the 1880s to his three Piano Trios, having decided, as he told a friend, that there was “no further point in attempting an opera or a marriage”. They are among his less familiar chamber works. He originally wrote No 1 as a young man, overhauling it more than three decades later in 1889. All three works – the B major Op 8, C major Op 87 and C minor Op 101 – have a tender, shadowy intensity, without quite the same heart-on-sleeve fervour of the bigger chamber works. The string players here – brother and sister Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff – are regular quartet partners. Together with sensitive pianism from Lars Vogt, ensemble is alert, accurate, never forced: already a favourite CD.
The Violin Concerto is the reason you want to buy this album, but the "filler" is quite intriguing. Christian Tetzlaff plays the Concerto (Opus 47) with great intensity. If Thomas Dausgard with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra doesnt' quite match him, they don't pull him down either. The recording is wide ranging and well detailed.
This performance of the fiery Fantasy in G minor for violin and orchestra, Op. 24, of Josef Suk, with violinist Christan Tetzlaff catching the full impact of the irregular form with its dramatic opening giving out into a set of variations, is impressive. And Tetzlaff delivers pure warm melody in the popular Romance in F minor, Op. 11, of Dvorák. But the real reason to acquire this beautifully recorded Ondine release is the performance of the Dvorák Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53, a work of which there are plenty of recordings, but that has always played second fiddle (if you will) to the Brahms concerto. Tetzlaff and the Helsinki Philharmonic under John Storgårds create a distinctive and absorbing version that can stand with the great Czech recordings of the work. Sample anywhere, but especially the slow movement, where Tetzlaff's precise yet rich sound, reminiscent for those of a certain age of Henryk Szeryng, forms a striking contrast with Storgårds' glassy Nordic strings. In both outer movements as well, Tetzlaff delivers a warm yet controlled performance that is made to stand out sharply.
Ondine's successful partnership with violinist Christian Tetzlaff continues with a new release. The new recording contains the two Violin Concertos by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975), two powerful works by the composer originally written for David Oistrakh. Christian Tetzlaff has been considered as one of the world's leading international violinists for many years, and still maintains a most extensive performing schedule. Musical America named him "Instrumentalist of the Year" in 2005 and his recording of the violin concertos by Mendelssohn and Schumann, released on Ondine in 2011 (ODE 1195-2), received the "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik". Tetzlaff's recording of the Mozart Violin Sonatas (ODE 1204-2) was chosen Gramophone Magazine's Editor's Choice and Recording of the Month by the BBC Music Magazine. Tetzlaff's previous release on Ondine featuring the Schumann Violin Sonatas (ODE 1205-2) was also chosen Disc of the Month by the Gramophone Magazine.
Ondine proudly presents a disc of works by German composer Jörg Widmann. This release features his Violin Concerto (2007), Insel der Sirenen for Violin and 19 Strings (1997) and Antiphon for Orchestral Groups (2007-08). The acclaimed violinist Christian Tetzlaff, for whom the Violin Concerto was written, plays the solo part in these works and handles their challenges with incredible precision. He considers this Violin Concerto to be one of the greatest contemporary concertos.
In this selection of Sonatas the artists reveal Schumann’s development as a composer; this recording includes the third Sonata which was neglected for a century after Schumann’s death, only premiering in 1956. Named Instrumentalist of the Year in 2005 by Musical America, Christian Telzlaff has long been considered a top international violinist. His recording of the Mendelssohn and Schumann violin concertos released with Ondine in 2011 (ODE11952) received the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Records Critics Association).
Joseph Suk's Ripening is one of the most amazing of all post-Romantic orchestral works. It is immensely complex in its structure: a celestial introduction is followed by a cogent progress of scherzos and slow movements, of funeral marches and fugues, all concluded by a serene coda. Yet the work is immediately comprehensible as a musical drama, made clear through the coherence of the thematic and harmonic material. Pesek and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic perform like modern-day deities. They fall short of the heights of Talich and the Czech Philharmonic, but Talich gave the work its premiere. Nonetheless, Pesek gives Ripening his very considerable all: his concentration holds the gigantic structure together as a single arch. Plus, his players articulate every instrumental detail, right down to the beatific wordless women's choir at the work's close. Highly recommended.