This coupling is certainly not unique. Rachel Barton conjoined
them in her Cedille disc (CDR90000068). Of other performances
we can – regrettably – overlook the Vox recording made by Aaron
Rosand, fine though it is on its own terms, because some snipping
has been done, as was sometimes the case with Rosand’s ventures
into then unchartered concerto waters.
performances are very different from Pine’s though he shares
something of her aversion to grandiloquence in the Brahms.
Rather like the recent Capuçon brothers recording of the Double
Concerto Tetzlaff’s Brahms is mellifluous, warmly moulded
and essentially conciliatory in tone. Solo and orchestral
passages taper rather than seek aggressive space. This is,
then, a broadly integrationist approach, essentially lyric.
It values fining down of tone, meticulous weighting of the
solo line with the orchestral fabric (some outstanding work
on that score) and a rather chamber sized sense of projection.
Tetzlaff certainly rouses himself in his approach to the first
movement cadenza, dispatched finely. The central movement
is similarly selfless and promotes articulate wind lines that
curl and coil with great finesse. The giocoso is stressed
in the finale, which goes pretty well, the aural balances
once more strongly attended to and the Hungarian melos suitably
brought to the fore.
I much prefer
the tempo decisions Tetzlaff and Dausgaard make to those of
Pine and Kalmar on Cedille – the latter very slow – but I
still feel that, as with the Capuçon brothers and the Double,
this Tetzlaff is too partial a view of the work, a little
too reined in.
Tetzlaff is considerably
faster than Pine in the Joachim Concerto as well, to its advantage
I think. This is a work that long fell into oblivion after
initial promise. Composed between 1857 and 1860 it reflects
to some extent the influence of Mendelssohn though its strongly
rhapsodic profile is intriguing and successful. The extensive
orchestral introduction has rather a formidable cut to it,
though Joachim spices his score with vigorous hunting horn
motifs and a fair amount of paprika – all very well integrated
into the writing without become a fetish in themselves. Joachim’s
view of the gypsy lassu is perhaps a little cosmopolitan
here but the slow movement has a reflective intimacy that
is genuinely attractive. The finale is exciting, based on
the Verbunkos dance and played with considerable dash
by Tetzlaff and the Danish forces.
of a luxury to have this programme available in two such different
a set of performances. My choice goes to Tetzlaff despite
some reservations concerning the tenor of his Brahms.