Magazine article Gramophone

Shostakovich: Violin Concertos-No 1, Op 77; No 2, Op 129

Magazine article Gramophone

Shostakovich: Violin Concertos-No 1, Op 77; No 2, Op 129

Article excerpt

Shostakovich Violin Concertos--No 1, Op 77; No 2, Op 129 Christian Tetzlaff vn Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra / John Storgards Ondine [F] ODE1239-2 (68' * DDD)

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Christian Tetzlaff may be the only frontranking soloist to have recorded all Sibelius's output for violin and orchestra but then he has also set down the Voces intimae string quartet with his own eponymous quartet. No surprise then to discover him playing Shostakovich's chamber works in concert and on disc, and electing now to record both Shostakovich concertos where many latter-day rivals look no further than the First. In scores written expressly for the great David Oistrakh, it is perhaps inevitable that older hands tend to seek out performances embracing comparable emotional authenticity and a big tone. That said, the best post-Soviet champions are already taking this music in new directions.

Tetzlaff provides a different kind of experience from that of Russian-trained practitioners like Maxim Vengerov. Using a modern instrument by Stefan-Peter Greiner, plus a brace of bows, the German virtuoso makes the piece his own in leaner, anti-rhetorical fashion. While the opening 'Nocturne' of the First Concerto moves a tad more swiftly than some will like, his less insistent vibrato inhabits a dreamy moonlit landscape, rather than one freighted with personal memories of life behind the Iron Curtain. …

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