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  • Brahms - Violin Concerto, Schumann - Symphony No. 4
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Brahms - Violin Concerto, Schumann - Symphony No. 4 CD


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Over the last decade, the husband and wife team of Thomas Zehetmair and Ruth Killius have been heard together on ECM New Series as members of the Zehetmair Quartet, in outstanding – and prize-winning – recordings of Schumann, Bartók, Hindemith and Hartmann. “Manto and Madrigals”, however, is the first documentation of a duo recital programme which the violinist ... Read more in Amazon's Thomas Zehetmair Store

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July 2006, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall: Thomas Zehetmair and Northern Sinfonia perform Schumann's Fourth Symphony (in the original 1841 version) and Brahms' Violin Concerto, a bold and brilliant move by the orchestra's Music Director, conducting from his violin. This recording re-creates that programme, which received rapturous reception and unanimous acclaim. Zehetmair and Northern Sinfonia have forged one of Europe's most dynamic musical relationships. The pairing of one of the most significant violinists of his generation with the award winning chamber orchestra from Tyneside has secured them their growing international reputation.

This is the second in an ongoing series of recordings made at the spectacular Sage Gateshead with Northern Sinfonia, inaugurated last autumn with the Gramophone Editor's Choice release of 'Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 9 and 23', with Imogen Cooper directing from the keyboard.

Recorded 2006, The Sage, Gateshead

Review

(4 stars) The detailed care and Zehetmair's effortlessly expressive solo playing, make it a performance of significant weight and seriousness. -- The Guardian, (Andrew Clements), April 27, 2007

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Zehetmair is both dramatic and musical, but both readings are nerve-wracking 9 May 2010
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've only recently discovered the multi-talented Zehetmair, who is a spontaneous, excitable conductor as well as violinist. In the two works heard here, the Brahms Violin Cto. and the first version of the Schumann fourth, he is intent on sandblasting away the cobwebs, and the result is several degrees too restless and jumpy. It's too bad that Zehetmair chose to adopt dual roles in the Brahms -- there's enough to do either as soloist or conductor. By taking n both assignments, he loses the symphonic depth of the orchestral accompaniment, which tends to fly by on autopilot, although it's certainly dashing enough.

I think the error of his ways is easy enough to spot -- the Gramohone made much of it -- but if you listen to the violin part on its own, Zehetmair is quite compelling. He has a big tone and makes bold gestures, so I sat up and took notice -- this isn't the usual whistle-stop for a famous virtuoso before jetting off to his next gig. From bar to bar, the music-making is riveting. Too soon, however, it turns nerve-wracking. Zehetmair can't shape the score over its long arc, and there's a feeling of rushed improvisation. A slow movement marked Adagio shouldn't go by like a hurried Andante. Still, it must have been quite a ride in the concert hall. (Years ago Zehetmair recorded the concerto with Cleveland and Dohnanyi, but the conductor imposed a conventional approach that I found uninteresting.)

The Schumann evidences the style I now expect from Zehetmair the conductor-- alert, dramatic, very propulsive and again excitable to the point of being nerve-wracking. the Northern Sinfonia is considerably smaller than the ensembles who generally play Schumann's symphonies, and it sounds fairly scrawny in the lower strings. We've been getting similar Schumann from Thomas Dausegaard, who goes even further in his jet-propelled tempos and chamber-like sonority. Despite critical accolades, the whole thing sounds like Schumann on meth to me. If you want to experience this nervous new style, this reading is musical, but what does it matter when the landscape is flying by so fast?
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
very good 6 Feb. 2013
By gken1me - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great music very good recording maybe a little bass shy. All the other Avie recordings I own are excellent and highly recomended
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