Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Crotchet  AmazonUK  AmazonUS


AntonŪn DVOŘŃK (1841-1904)
Violin Concerto Op.53 (1879) [30:53]
Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978)
Violin Concerto (1940) [33:42]
Gerhard Taschner (violin)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Lovro von Matacic (Dvorak)
NWDR Symphony Orchestra/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt (Khachaturian)
rec. live 26 November 1942 (Dvorak), 8 & 9 May 1955 (Khachaturian)
TAHRA TAH641 [65:05]
Experience Classicsonline

Is it or isnít it? Thatís the question posed by Tahra of this live performance of the DvořŠk Violin Concerto. It was part of the huge batch of tapes returned to Germany during Gorbachevís Perestroika; itís elsewhere listed with unknown soloist, orchestra, conductor and date in a compilation of performances of the RRG Ė the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft. So the question is, obviously, who are they?
I wonít spoil your pleasure by summarising the reasons by which Taschner, the Berlin Philharmonic and Lovro von Matacic were selected Ė you can read it in the booklet and prima facie the reasoning is suggestive. Itís certainly known that Taschner loved the work Ė in fact the opening bars of the slow movement were carved on his tombstone. He was also strongly associated with the work, because despite the name and the later course of his career, Taschner was born in what was then Czechoslovakia, studied in Prague and then led the State Theatre orchestra in Brno. According to the writer Norbert Hornig in The Strad several recordings of his performances of the work were erased. Perhaps this is one of them Ė returning unerased, to add to the store of RRG performances now restored to us.† Independently Iíve not had to look too hard to find details of several prestigious performances he gave of it over the years Ėwith Bernstein and the Vienna Symphony in 1948 for instance. The story of Taschnerís row with von Karajan over rehearsing the work may or may not be apocryphal Ė Taschner, Furtwšnglerís leader, was the subject of a poaching attempt on behalf on von Karajan at the State Opera so there may be an element of conflation.
Iím not actually a huge admirer of Taschner, usually finding that his performances are good but not elite, a sort of super-concertmaster class. But it canít be denied that he kept the best of musical company Ė with Gieseking one of his colleagues. So he was clearly amongst the most prominent violinists in Germany by the end of the war in the absence of the departed Busch and Kulenkampff. Again, though - is its Taschner? For what itís worth it doesnít sound like rivals. Kulenkampff was then, in 1942, the ranking German violinist in the country; heíd recorded the concerto in 1937 and was associated with Bohemian and Slavic works but itís certainly not him. It doesnít sound like Erich RŲhn, who was more of a classicist and had a smaller, sweeter tone. Itís unlikely to have been a Berlin concertmaster predecessor such as Borries. It certainly sounds to be a player with Taschnerís rather fast vibrato and propensity Ė unusual amongst that generation of younger German violinists Ė for sometimes quite excessive portamenti (see his Bruch G minor performance).
The orchestral winds are distinctive as well Ė the principal fluteís second movement counter themes sometimes cover the soloist Ė so doubtless an expert could make an educated guess as to the players involved and also the hall acoustic. But itís certainly a good performance, expressive in the second movement Ė much more so than Kulenkampff - and skilfully dextrous and exciting in the finale.†
Tahra has already released one Taschner performance of the Khachaturian concerto with the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin under Rother from September 1947 [Tahra 350/51]; hereís another. This time itís with the NWDR Symphony Orchestra and Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt in 1955. Once more it shows Taschnerís affinities with music somewhat to the east of the Austro-German hegemony, a trait - as one has already noted - that he shared with Kulenkampff, who was Hanseatic, and inclined to be broad minded. Taschnerís way with the work is tensile and enjoyable though itís certainly not the last word in tonal variety. Heís certainly not nearly as tonally arresting or rhythmically incisive as the two leading Russian exponents of the work, Oistrakh and Kogan. He finds poetic warmth in the second movement within certain rather limited expressive ranges but leads a spirited, fluent finale.
Whatís not in doubt in any of this is the spirited commitment to Taschnerís art shown by Tahra, who have once again placed themselves at his service. Youíll doubtless enjoy the notes, which detail the process by which these players were selected as the most likely. And the performances are good too, alive with historical frisson.
Jonathan Woolf


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.