Pierre RODE (1774-1830)
Violin Concerto No. 7 in a minor, Op. 9 [17:53]
Violin Concerto No. 10 in b minor, Op. 19 [20:14]
Violin Concero No. 13 in f-sharp minor, Op. posth. [19:53]
South West German Radio Orchestra, Kaiserlautern/Nicolás
rec. SWR Studio, Kaiserlautern, Germany, 29 January-1 February,
6-9 February 2007.
Includes free downloadable bonus track available from Classics Online. NAXOS 8.570469 [58:00]
Rode was a prominent violinist in his day and was one of
the founders of the violin department of the Paris Conservatoire,
newly reformed after the ousting of Louis XVI. He was respected
by Beethoven, and was a friend of the Mendelssohn family.
Favored by Paganini, he enjoyed a fairly successful career
as a soloist, spending a brief span as the solo violinist
at the Paris Opera, and four years in Russia as violinist
to the Tsar. Upon his return to France in 1808 his playing
was received with far less enthusiasm than it had been
in the past, and his fame diminished. A disastrous comeback
attempt in 1828 ended his performing career, and his friends
claimed that the failed concert hastened his death in 1830.
left behind thirteen violin concertos, none of which has
a place in the modern repertoire. Friedemann Eichhorn has
attempted a bit of a revival here as a part of the laudable
quest by Naxos to give us a recording of every note of
music ever penned. The result is some fairly elegant stuff,
worthy of the occasional listen, but with little chance
of supplanting Mozart, Beethoven or Mendelssohn on the
modern ears, this is classical music through and through.
Structured and somewhat formulaic, one might mistake it
for the work of a lesser Beethoven upon first hearing.
These concertos were, however, somewhat groundbreaking
in their time, with their emphasis upon the soloist as
the hero. The solo parts are indeed more prominent than
what Mozart allowed in his concertos, and the music is
by turns dramatic, lyrical and jaunty. Well crafted, concise
and to the point, they provide the needed aural pleasure
to pronounce them good, but they will hardly change the
Eichhorn plays with a sweet and airy tone, well suited
for the light-heartedness of the music, even when it is
cast in the minor mode. There is ample technical display
to support Rode’s reputation as a virtuoso, and Eichhorn
carries off florid passages with ease. The Kaiserlautern
Orchestra is a fine ensemble, playing with a taut rhythmic
drive and a fine sense of balance and intonation. Maestro
Pasquet never lets his players overwhelm the soloist and
he has chosen brisk but never breathless tempi.
would be nice to see some of these works revived in the
student repertoire perhaps or in the professional realm
as matinee material. They are pleasant excursions, and
worthy of a listen or two, especially at the Naxos bargain
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