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Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, March 2015

RODE, P.: Violin Concertos Nos. 1, 5 and 9 (Eichhorn, Jena Philharmonic, Pasquet) 8.572755
RODE, P.: Violin Concertos Nos. 3, 4 and 6 (Eichhorn, Jena Philharmonic, Pasquet) 8.570767
RODE, P.: Violin Concertos Nos. 7, 10, 13 (Eichhorn, SWR Kaiserslautern Orchestra, Pasquet) 8.570469

For many these releases will be their first introduction to German violinist Friedemann Eichhorn. And none too soon as his magnificent playing shows he’s worthy of much wider recognition as one of today’s finest up-and-coming artists. An incredible virtuoso, he only uses his prodigious technique in service to the music.

That along with the stunning support provided by Uruguayan-born, German-trained conductor Nicolás Pasquet should give these forgotten concerti a new lease on life. Maestro Pasquet gets superb performances from the Kaiserlautern Southwest German Radio (SWR) and Jena Philharmonic Orchestras. © 2015 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

Robert Maxham
Fanfare, March 2012

If these concertos make their strongest appeal to violinists and aficionados and historians of the instrument, they could still open the ears of many listeners as well to the melodious appeal of the violin before Paganini. In these headlong performances, sympathetically supported by Pasquet and the orchestra and captured by Naxos’s engineers with the spotlight—where it arguably belongs—on the soloist, they may, as suggested, reach a larger audience as well. Strongly recommended, therefore, across the board. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare

MusicWeb International, January 2012

These three concertos, all first recordings, are minor masterpieces of their time and place. Though highly taxing for the soloist—even if Friedemann Eichhorn does not let it show—they are hugely entertaining and satisfying for the listener. The beautiful Violin Concerto in B flat, for example, is rightly considered one of Rode’s jewels, and its dancing rhythms, joie-de-vivre and endlessly lyrical solo lines are typical of Rode’s writing. His slow movements, always adagio, are stunning, Mozartean cantilenas. There is none of the exhibitionism that Paganini liked to indulge in—Rode’s musicianship is as aesthetic as his gift for melody is boundless, with double-stopping and fancy harmonics eschewed in favour of high-speed and often filigree passage-work, musical expression always to the fore.

The Jena Philharmonic, in its first recording for Naxos, under the Uruguayan conductor Nicolás Pasquet…work splendidly and modestly together and with Eichhorn to produce expressive, persuasive accounts of the three Concertos. Eichhorn’s own cadenzas are as dazzling as his playing, which is sweet of tone, fleet of finger and marvellously communicative. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Steven J Haller
American Record Guide, January 2012

No. 3 in G minor commences in grandiose fashion…suggesting Paganini…soaring to the heights in Eichhorn’s impassioned hands….committed support of the Jena players, who clearly relish the purely orchestral passages…Rode closes out with a scintillating Polonaise that fairly dances with joy as it bounces off Eichhorn’s nimble bow. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, December 2011

Adding to the pleasure of the disc is the solo playing of Friedemann Eichhorn, as polished and pleasing as the music; he really has the feel of this era’s style. Even better, he’s written his own highly accomplished cadenzas for each concerto, very good in the first two concertos and then in No. 6 providing quite possibly the highlight of the whole disc: Eichhorn has brought in one of the variations from Bach’s Chaconne in D minor and incorporated into the heart of the solo, and the result is a really well-written synthesis of the original Bach and the Rode themes which never feels like a stylistic clash. We’re fortunate to have such a thoughtful performer engaging so closely with the composer and his style, and the Jena Philharmonic under Nicolás Pasquet provide admirable support. © MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2011

‘You have to find a violinist of Friedmann Eichhorn’s remarkable left-hand dexterity when passages are of finger-knotting complexity’. Those words are equally true of this second installment in the complete violin concertos of Pierre Rode, a composer who today is only known by young violinists who have ploughed dutifully through his instructional exercises. Born in Bordeaux in 1774, he became a touring virtuoso violinist of mixed fortunes, dying in obscurity at the age of fifty-six. As a composer of thirteen concertos, the Seventh did continue in the repertoire of great violinists into the early 20th century, but all others faded into obscurity. Today’s young superstars should listen to this disc to know what they are missing, the concertos full of those audience pleasing melodies that have made Paganini’s concertos popular. Rode produced a mix a lyric attractions with outrageous demonstrations of virtuosity that have been made no easier by Eichhorn’s brilliant cadenzas. That Rode could also write music of substance comes in the dramatic opening of the Third, while the Adagio of the Sixth is an example of his warm melodic creativity. To Eichhorn these are works of tremendous fun and enjoyment whose technical demands are so easily performed as to bewitch the listener by their sheer audacity. History is often unkind, and you will find Rode composing more of orchestral interest than his contemporary, Paganini, the Jena Philharmonic responding with fine and robust playing under Nicolas Pasquet. An absolutely fabulous release, splendidly recorded and fervently recommended. 

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