Daniel Rohn: The Kreisler Story | Berlin Classics 0300784BC

Daniel Rohn: The Kreisler Story

£12.56

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Label: Berlin Classics

Cat No: 0300784BC

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 7th October 2016

Contents

Artists

Daniel Rohn (violin)
Paul Rivinius (piano)

Artists

Daniel Rohn (violin)
Paul Rivinius (piano)

About

“Whenever I put on an old violin LP, or listen to the same recording while out and about, (no doubt these days secreted in anything from a wristwatch to a contact lens!) something takes hold of me…. there is a reaction. Usually I feel admiration for the violinist, sometimes a sense of comfort; often I derive inspiration and counsel from it. How long I listen is not governed by the piece itself, but by the performer. When someone is telling us a story, then the personality and voice of the narrator is key to our attention, usually more so than the actual content.

“We want music to speak to us, and whether it reaches our soul is determined by the character and life in the sound - the vehicle through which the story is told. I’m thinking of Horowitz, a man who could make the piano speak as no other. When it comes to violinists it was perhaps the young Menuhin and Kreisler who captured audiences most in that regard. When I listen to Kreisler, I sometimes feel like he is actually addressing us personally - in my imagination ‘parlando’ (speaking) must have been scribbled on his sheet music! Musicians are meant to tell stories, to preach; sometimes say just one word. That is easier said than done, but Kreisler could do it! And he did it in a way that was different to all other violinists, even those who were technically superior to him. With his bow he drew beautiful phrases from his violin, conjured images, painted pictures and warmed hearts - whether it be the great violin concertos or his own smaller works, that made him famous the world over, and for which he is still so loved.

“Without his violin he was also … colourful - not one to let the truth get in the way of a good story. He was a Good violinist, not a Bad one. A sort of good-natured Paganini (now HE really was wicked!).

“Wherever one of Kreisler’s works is performed, something happens to the audience, there is a reaction ... an endowment of happiness, almost as though he were with us for a moment. Let his stories and music live on!”
– Daniel Röhn

Over a number of decades, both Daniel Röhn’s grandfather and his father were renowned concertmasters on the universally unique German orchestral scene; now the new generation has joined those ranks as a soloist and chamber musician, who will no doubt contribute significantly to the world of violin. His first two CD releases featuring Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and virtuoso 19th-century works for violin and piano earned him several international awards. When describing his playing, it is hardly sufficient to simply mention his seemingly effortless, brilliant virtuosity. Daniel Röhn’s heart-meltingly warm tone and his almost narrative gestures are what endear audiences to him – he has a way of expressing himself through music that we might almost have thought had been lost.

It is therefore hardly surprising that Ruggiero Ricci, one of the most distinguished violin virtuosos of the 20th century, said of Daniel Röhn already when he was very young: “His playing is reminiscent of the old masters.” And indeed, to this day, the young man often augments such compliments by adding, with his special brand of self-irony: “I took most of my inspiration from all these Kreislers and Heifetzes. My enamoured teacher was my parents’ LP cupboard”. As a result, Daniel Röhn not only plays the great Classical and Romantic concert repertoire, guesting with the likes of the Bavarian Radio or South-West German Radio symphony orchestras, or the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; he also breathes new life into the traditional wit and Viennese charm of the character pieces by Fritz Kreisler in a way that hardly any other violinist alive today can do. This applies as much to classic evergreens like “Liebesfreud” as to the virtuoso arrangements of works by Bach, Paganini and Wieniawski. It is therefore no surprise that he has quite a bit of fun with the bonus track in the form of a dialogue with Kreisler spanning many decades.

Tracklist:
1. Paganini/Kreisler - Caprice No.13
2. Paganini/Kreisler - Caprice No.20
3. Kreisler Liebesfreud
4. Kreisler Grave in the style of W. F. Bach
5. Wieniawski/Kreisler – Caprice in A Minor
6. Wieniawski/Kreisler – Caprice in E Flat
7. Kreisler Tempo di Minuetto
8. Kreisler Schön Rosmarin
9. Tartini/Kreisler The Devil's Trill
10. Falla/Kreisler Danza Española
11. Poldini/Kreisler La Poupée Valsante
12. Kreisler La Chasse
13. Schubert/Kreisler – Ballet Music “Rosamunde”
14. Paganini/Kreisler Moto Perpetuo
15.-21. Bach/Kreisler – Partita No.3 BWV 1006
21. Bonus track: Kreisler La Chasse (with original recording of Fritz Kreisler)

Reviews

Daniel Röhn has this music in his blood, through his grandfather Erich Röhn, leader of the Berlin Philharmonic under Furtwängler, who heard Kreisler play. Here, Kreisler’s celebrated Liebesfreud, all the schmaltz and grace of another age in a mere few minutes, sits alongside his arrangements of caprices by Paganini and Wieniawski, Tartini’s The Devil’s Trill and Bach’s Partita No 3 in E: stylistically a bit of a shock but all wonderfully played by Röhn, springy, stylish and incisive.  Fiona Maddocks
The Observer 27 November 2016

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