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Robert Maxham
Fanfare, November 2011

The Koeckerts, alternating figuration and cantabile, explore its greater range sympathetically, enter into the more brooding, almost transitional, slow section that begins the second movement with a sense of foreboding, and plunge into the pert theme of the variations that bring such a genial variety.

To read the complete review, please visit Fanfare online.

Joseph Magil
American Record Guide, November 2011

…Nicolas Koeckert plays stylishly and with verve and shows that he is a real virtuoso. The program is filled out with three duos that he plays with his father Rudolf…The Koeckerts play very well together, as you would expect.

To read the complete review, please visit American Record Guide online.

David Hurwitz, June 2011

Pierre Rode’s Etudes are generally considered teaching pieces, but they are beautifully crafted little gems, particularly worthwhile if you enjoy the solo violin but don’t have the patience for some of the more heavy-duty repertoire pieces (think: Bach). Nicolas Koeckert tosses them off with aplomb. His double-stops are nicely in tune, most evident perhaps in the Duetto cantabile of No. 5, and he’s more than capable of driving the ensuing presto (No. 6) with the necessary dash and point. Occasionally, as in No. 2, his legato runs threaten to turn into quasi-glissandos, but in the multi-sectional No. 11 he gives each bit its own personality while holding the entire four-minute piece together quite effectively. Nicolas’ father Rudolf joins him in the duos, slighter works that are heavy on charm, albeit light on substance. Each has two movements, the most imposing being the lengthy variation finale of Book 2, No. 2. Fine sonics make this a disc that violin students and casual listeners alike should enjoy, though the repertoire admittedly belongs squarely in the “specialist” category.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2011

Though Pierre Rode had given to the violin world one of the great solo works in the Twenty-four Caprices, he was also to write a lesser known series of Twelve Etudes. When composed both would have been regarded as educational exercises, but today’s virtuosos are finding that such works serve the purpose of displaying their brilliance in public performances. Rode had already established himself as one of the great touring virtuosos of the time when he turned his attention to teaching, his own brilliance having burned itself out by the time he was forty. Reviewing the recent Naxos recording of the Caprices, I commented that if they ‘do not have the outgoing flamboyance of Paganini, they are highly enjoyable’, and much the same can be said of the Etudes. They probe the accuracy of double-stopping where melody and accompaniment take place simultaneously, often about to tie the performer’s fingers in knots. The work is punctuated with mercurial etudes that require the most prodigious left-hand dexterity in key signatures that do not readily lend themselves to such feats. They are here played by the young Nicolas Koeckert, the first German laureate in the Moscow International Tchaikovsky Violin Competition, and the third generation of violinists of the Koeckert family. Just go to the second and third track to enjoy performances that are, by any standard, an audacious display of an awesome technique. In the duos he is joined by his distinguished father, Rudolf Koeckert, founder of the famous Koeckert Quartet and leader of the Bavarian Radio Symphony. These scores were obviously designed for a pupil and teacher to play, the second violin being an accompanying voice. A rather up-front recorded sound to which ears soon adjust.

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