Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Ernst, Heinrich Wilhelm. (1814-1865. Chamber music. The Virtuoso Violin.

New acquisition.
Bought in 2017.
First listen: 2-5-2017.
Label: CPO. (2 cd's)
Recording dates: February 2014.
Recording venue: Hans Rosbaud Studio Baden-Baden, SWR, Germany.
Recording engineer: Norbert Vossen.
Running time: 78:18 &78:58.
Relevance to me: Mildly interesting.

Works recorded.:
Fantaisie Brillante sur la Marche et la Romance de l'Opera Otello de Rossini, opus 11.
Rondino grazioso, opus 13, No. 2.
Morceaux de Salon, opus 13, No. 1.
La Romanesca.
Elegie, opus 10.
String Quartet in B major.
Nocturne opus 8 for Violin and Piano, No. 1&2.
Feuillet D'Album for Violin and Piano.
Pansée Fugitives.
Six Morceaux de Salon, opus 25.
Deux Romances, opus 15.
Pré aux Clercs Grand Duo pour Piano et Violin par Ernst et Schunke.

Henri Wieniawski.
Rêverie for Viola and Piano.

Works performed by:
Thomas Christian, Violin.
Thomas Christian Ensemble.

He was fondly termed as the Viennese Paganini, and well might he have the technical skills, his chamber works however do not have the same brilliance as Paganini's compositions. This said, both CD's hold memorable music, maybe not flashy and full of fireworks and explosions, but often introverted and melancholy, his Elegie being amongst the best and dramatic compositions on this double CD. The music is not really of any consequence, it's simply pleasant music, and after a while all of it sounds as one melody. It could well be that the performers follow a mellow trail of sentimental expression, and maybe a bit too much of the good thing. There is little bravura, or brilliant Violin playing, or virtuosic expression, on the contrary this interpretation is soft grained and on the whole very sweet. There is no radiance at all, no display of Ernst's creativity.  But there is some sort of a conversational transparency, but devoid of liveliness and dare I say it, refinement.
No vivid contrast, but a constant singing legato in all quarters. The strings perform well in that sense. So do not expect lean or energetic/expressive performances, and all will be well. The recordings are very good, but without sparkle.



Graupner, Christoph. (1683-1760) Partitas for Harpsichord. Volume I.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: July 2017. First listen: 26-7-2017. Label: Analekta. Recording dates: September 2001. Recording v...