One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider


.
La Mer Ticciati

Eriks EŠENVALDS

Detlev GLANERT

Jaw-dropping

simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin


Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive


Cantatas for Soprano

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Op.2
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Violin Concerto in D minor, MWV 0 3 (1822) [22:47]
Karl Amadeus HARTMANN (1905-1963)
Concerto funebre for violin and string orchestra (1939) [23:11]
Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936)
Antiche danze ed arie, Suite No.3 (1931) [15:36]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Rondo for violin and strings in A Major, D.438 (1816) [15:16]
Sebastian Bohren (violin)
Chaarts Chamber Aartists
rec. September 2016, Kirche Oberstrass, Zurich
RCA RED SEAL 88985 39497-2 [76:50]

The disc is called Op.2 because this is the second of Sebastian Bohren’s RCA discs with the Chaarts Chamber Aartists. In fact, the only deplorable thing about the release is the name of the group with its surfeit of vowels.

The major work is Hartmann’s Concerto funčbre, of which there are now fortunately a number of contemporary recordings to augment the first, classic Gertler recording with Ančerl. As I’ve remarked before in a review of the concerto, no one today begins to replicate Gertler’s very personal, expressively romantic tonal arsenal. Refinement and a rather taut intensity tend to be the way violinists approach it these days, from Zehetmair to Ibragimova to Faust. The concerto thus builds cumulatively toward the overpoweringly moving Choral but each of the named players, with their various collaborators on disc, find subtly different means by which to convey these feelings. Bohren’s intensity is conveyed as much through the right arm as the left. His attacks can be incisive and razory, his dynamics, in places, extreme so the tone becomes a whisper. Importantly he brings out its Bergian qualities. Perhaps coincidentally Hartmann’s string writing also sounds, in places, quite like Britten’s. Bohren is also characterful when it comes to the work’s dimensions. The second movement Adagio is slow – though Čeněk Pavlík on Panton was even slower - and getting on for two minutes slower than Zehetmair for example, in this movement alone (and it’s a compact concerto). Nevertheless, Bohren’s is a fine reading indeed, though it doesn’t dislodge Ibragimova’s more complex approach and yet she is almost as slow as Bohren in the finale. For my own tastes the tauter approach here of Gertler, Snítil (also with Ančerl conducting, on Radio Servis CD), Faust and Zehetmair is preferable.

The programme does have a somewhat strange look and if you wanted the Hartmann you’d possible look askance at the remainder. But the early Mendelssohn Concerto in D minor – assuredly not the E minor, this – is played with deft detailing. This was the concerto that Menuhin famously dug out in 1952 for first performance, and recorded. Even in a church acoustic, the bass line is defined, the reverberation not excessive; the small chamber band is well balanced. Bohren plays with energetic and youthful vitality. The Schubert Rondo is played with stylistic assurance. Then there is Respighi’s Antiche danze ed arie, Suite No.3. You’d have to have a heart harder than mine to resist this confection of sixteenth and seventeenth century tunes and the small group brings out its warmth very well indeed.

Given the fine recording and the decent notes it only remains to see if the programme appeals. Clearly Bohren and RCA calculate that the Hartmann will draw you in and you’ll stay to enjoy the other works.

Jonathan Woolf

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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

Sample: See what you will get

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