Saturday, February 4, 2017

Bruch, Max. Complete Works for Violin and Orchestra, Volume 2.

From my collection.
Bought in January 2017.
First listen: 3-2-2017.
Second listen: 23-2-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: March/April 2014.
Recording venue: Großer Sendesaal NDR Hannover, Germany.
Recording engineer: Daniel Kemper.
Running time: 77:40.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:

Violin concerto No. 1 opus 26.
Serenade opus 75.
In Memoriam, Adagio opus 65.

Performed by:
Antje Weithaas, Violin.
NDR radiophilharmonie, Hermann Bäumer.

I waited with anticipation on the second instalment in this series after being totally blown away by the first. Antje Weithaas belongs to the top of the best violinists born in Germany. Her reputation is well known in Germany and around the world, and as such she is recognized as belonging to the top. After listening to just the introductory notes of the first violin concerto you know! It does not get any better, at least not in my book. There are of course many good interpretations on the market, but this recording is one without all the romantic rubble put on it by other violinists. You get pure Bruch, the notes and only the notes, with a fine layer of interpretative details that are not obtrusive but add to the intent of the concerto. I have listened breathlessly to this work, as if it was a new discovery. Weithaas makes all the details shine, and the orchestra fills in discreetly, so as never to overpower the soloist but rather play in unison. The serenade I did not know. It has many fine moments, but has a slower pace if it comes to ideas, so not all is as effective as in the violin concerto, but it is nevertheless a beautiful work in its own right. In Memoriam has a gorgeous introduction, but quickly gets out of breath. One of his works that miss the impetus to convince entirely. But it is well worth to take this composition into account for it contains many germs of the best Bruch could offer. I will put the third volume that is already on the market into my ordering list. Not to be missed.
The recording is very good, even the softest detail you may hear, and you can walk through the desks, hear all the instrumentalist on a first row seat. Front to back stage is amazing.
Recommended.






Baroque Bass Cantatas from the Mügeln Archive.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: September 2017. First listen: 25-9-2017. Label: CPO. Recording dates: December 2010. Venue: Gemeinde...