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Berg, Janácek & Hartmann : Violin Concertos - Apex
 
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Berg, Janácek & Hartmann : Violin Concertos - Apex

Thomas Zehetmair, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Philharmonia Orchestra & Heinz Holliger
1 Oct. 2001 | Format: MP3

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Song Title Artist
Time
Popularity  
30
1
4:33
30
2
6:22
30
3
7:59
30
4
9:13
30
5
11:47
30
6
1:39
30
7
6:23
30
8
7:42
30
9
3:47
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Oct. 1992
  • Release Date: 1 Oct. 2001
  • Label: Warner Classics International
  • Copyright: 2001 Warner Classics UK
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 59:25
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LGY1YI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,801 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nobody TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first point to note here is that this is a budget priced disc. That being so you can allow for, perhaps one sub standard performance if the rest measures up. That is indeed what you get here.

The Berg concerto has been well served by many other performers and whilst Thomas Zehtmaier's performance is perfectly acceptable it is far from being the first choice. The two other works, however, make this a very attractive package.

The Janancek though lasting less than 15 minutes packs a lot in and represents the finest mature late Janacek style. It is tantilising to think what might have been had he completed this concerto. Much of the material originated in the overture to his opera "From the House of the Dead". The music is light, sinewy, passionate and athletic. This is an essential recording to any fans of Janacek's music.

The same is true of Hartmann's Concerto Funebre - essentially another violin concerto with string orchestra. Though much is made of Hartmann's anti-nazi stance in this work and his symphonies it isn't absolutely essential to know (though it helps) this background because this concerto works very well as an absolute piece with strong neo baroque influences as well as mature Bartok, Hindemith and even Berg. Hartmann's music is still under appreciated even if this is possibly his most popular score. The Concerto Funebre is a finely crafted and poetic score. The Hartmann performance by Zehetmaier and orchestra is one of great intensity and is the highlight of the disc.

So if you're only, interested in the Berg Concerto look elsewhere. If you want the Janacek or Hartmann then snap this up without delay.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Crowe on 7 Aug. 2013
Format: Audio CD
I defer to the opinion of the earlier reviewers who seems to know much more about modern music than I do and thus is in place to make comparisons between different performances of this material. I can report only my impression of whether these works engaged me or not, and I have to say that I found them powerful. The Hartmann seemed in some ways the most old-fashioned, with a kind of danse macabre in its third movement and a threnodic brief final movement, both of them calling to mind 19th Century ways of expressing responses to death and change. But the first two movements seem to have more in common with Berg. Melody seems fragmented, even pitch seems uncertain at times, and the violin seems to be grasping for something to hold on to. If the liner notes are right, Hartmann was lamenting the death of a culture at the hands of fascism, and that would accord with what might be called the "public" quality of the last two movements. As a whole, though, it's a gripping and accessible work.

A listener who doesn't know the difference between a twelve-note row and a diminished seventh should probably be wise to say nothing of the Berg concerto, but I want to testify to its accessibility and expressive power even for the non-expert listener. It is much more expressively concentrated than the Hartmann piece, with the violin always seeming to be engaged with dark, low colors in the orchestra, sometimes merging with them, sometimes soaring free. I take the piece to be about memory, as its subtitle suggests -- the way that in the mind the radiance of the dead young girl (in real life the 18-year-old daughter of Alma Mahler and Walter Gropius) will at times overwhelm the fact of her loss. It's a moving and powerful piece, played unshowily but beautifully by Zehetmair.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Zehetmair only rocks one of three concertos from 1927-1939 30 May 2013
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Thomas Zehetmair (b. 1961), the Austrian violinist extraordinaire, only really impresses on one of these three concertos, the rather obscure piece by Janacek:

Alban Berg (1885-1935)
Violin Concerto 'Dem Andenken eines Engels' (1935 -- 28'00)
Philharmonia Orchestra, Heinz Holliger conductor

Leos Janacek (1854-1928)
Violin Concerto (1927-28 -- 11'38)
Philharmonia Orchestra, Heinz Holliger conductor

Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905-1963)
Concerto funebre for violin solo and string orchestra (1939 -- 19'43)
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Thomas Zehetmair conductor

Berg's concerto is one of the few 12-tone compositions to enter the classical repertoire. It is a tragic work in four movements "to the memory of an angel" for Manon Gropius, the daughter of Alma Mahler and Walter Gropius, who died at 18. The tragedy was also Berg's, who had come under attack by the Nazis when Hitler took power in 1933, and who died shortly after this concerto was written.

There have been many recordings of Berg's concerto, and unfortunately this one from 1990 along with many others pales by comparison to the 1992 recording by Anne-Sophie Mutter for Deutsche Grammophon with James Levine leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mutter's performance is much more emotional, with greater contrast, telling a powerful story. By comparison Zehetmair's version and the others I've heard sound thin and lifeless.

Janacek, the Czech composer, sketched a violin concerto to be used in the overture to his opera "From the House of the Dead," based on Dostoevsky. It was left a fragment upon his death and was reconstructed by a student. More conventionally Romantic in style than the longer concertos here by Berg and Hartmann, the Janacek piece stands out with a strong melodic line and powerful emotion. It might be the lesser work of the three as a composition, but as a performance, Zehetmair throws himself into the Janacek with abandon, resulting in the one piece that makes this disc indispensable. I can't offer comparisons as this is the only recording I've heard.

Hartmann's "Concerto funebre" is a great piece mourning the rise of the Nazis and the onset of war, provoked by the March 1939 occupation of Czechoslovakia. Powerfully emotional, with melodies from Hussite hymns in the first movement and a quotation from the song of the defeated Russian Revolution of 1905 ('Our banners are lowered') in the conclusion, it should be far better known. While Zehetmair, both playing and conducting, turns in a better performance here than in the Berg, it too is decisively surpassed by another recording. Isabelle Faust and the Munchener Kammerorchester, like Mutter and the CSO, reveal the full emotional depth and power of Hartmann's work.

Zehetmair is a great violinist, but with the exception of the Janacek, this disc is not his finest hour.

(verified purchase from Amazon.co.uk)
haunting 7 Aug. 2013
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I defer to the opinion of the earlier reviewer who seems to know much more about modern music than I do and thus is in place to make comparisons between different performances of this material. I can report only my impression of whether these works engaged me or not, and I have to say that I found them powerful. The Hartmann seemed in some ways the most old-fashioned, with a kind of danse macabre in its third movement and a threnodic brief final movement, both of them calling to mind 19th Century ways of expressing responses to death and change. But the first two movements seem to have more in common with Berg. Melody seems fragmented, even pitch seems uncertain at times, and the violin seems to be grasping for something to hold on to. If the liner notes are right, Hartmann was lamenting the death of a culture at the hands of fascism, and that would accord with what might be called the "public" quality of the last two movements. As a whole, though, it's a gripping and accessible work.

A listener who doesn't know the difference between a twelve-note row and a diminished seventh should probably be wise to say nothing of the Berg concerto, but I want to testify to its accessibility and expressive power even for the non-expert listener. It is much more expressively concentrated than the Hartmann piece, with the violin always seeming to be engaged with dark, low colors in the orchestra, sometimes merging with them, sometimes soaring free. I take the piece to be about memory, as its subtitle suggests -- the way that in the mind the radiance of the dead young girl (in real life the 18-year-old daughter of Alma Mahler and Walter Gropius) will at times overwhelm the fact of her loss. It's a moving and powerful piece, played unshowily but beautifully by Zehetmair. The disc also contains a realization of a fragment of a Janacek violin concerto. again played well by Zehetmair. Heinz Holliger conducts in the Berg and Janacek, and Zehetmair himself in the Hartmann. Unobtrusively good sound.
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