Magazine article Gramophone

Gernsheim: Violin Concertos-No 1, Op 42

Magazine article Gramophone

Gernsheim: Violin Concertos-No 1, Op 42

Article excerpt


Violin Concertos--No 1, Op 42; No 2, Op 86.

Fantasiestiick, Op 33

Linus Roth vn

Hamburg Symphony Orchestra / Johannes Zurl

CPO (F) CP0777 861-2 (6V * DDD)

Friedrich Gernsheim (1839-1916) clings to the footnotes of musical history. A child prodigy (at his Frankfurt debut he was the soloist in Hummel's A minor Concerto, played a set of variations on the violin and heard the orchestra play his new overture, all at the age of 11), he prospered as a composer and conductor, becoming known as 'the Dutch Brahms'--optimistically, but you can see why. His First Violin Concerto, in the same key as the older composer's, boasts a last-movement subject that is too close for comfort to the finale of Brahms's, as close as the 'Ode to Joy' is to the fourth movement of Brahms's First Symphony.

Listening blind to the first movement of Gernsheim's Op 42 (composed in 1880), your reaction might well be the same as mine--how pleasant, how very like Mendelssohn at times and Bruch at others, and what a shame it does not quite have their melodic genius. …

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