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Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, March 2016

…Kolja Blacher is a terrific violinist with excellent technique and a beautiful sound; and the orchestra, conducting, and recording are as good as they are in Pelleas. If a Schoenberg aficionado told me it was one of the best if not the best performance of the concerto, I would not be surprised. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, January 2016

Kolja Blacher is a violinist I’ve encountered on a number of past occasions, and I’m happy to encounter him again in this performance of the Schoenberg Concerto. His playing of the piece is very fine, every bit as convincing as Hahn’s, and if anyone can persuade me of the lucidity of the piece and its not so forbidding nature, I think Blacher is a good candidate for the job. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

James H. North
Fanfare, January 2016

Karl Böhm leads the Vienna Philharmonic in an absolutely scrumptious performance on the Andante label, the great orchestra rising to Schoenberg’s music as never before. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Steven Kruger
Fanfare, November 2015

…the new Pelleas und Melisande from Markus Stenz evokes the music’s grim kaleidoscope with a fine growling beauty, much having to do with rich, close sound. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, November 2015

I’m not a great fan of Schoenberg at his grittiest but I love Pelleas and this recording does it full justice. The concerto is a tougher nut—more challenging than the Berg with which it’s sometimes coupled—but this recording might win me round. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

José Luis Bermúdez
Classical Net, October 2015

…Stenz and the Gürzenich sound completely at home in the sprawling single movement Pelleas… They keep the overall structure in view, bringing out the piece’s rich orchestral textures without getting lost in its highways and byways. …Kolja Blacher rises to the occasion, matching the technical challenges with a sensitive and lyrical touch. The orchestral accompaniment is very fine. With very good sound and informative program notes this disc is highly recommended. © 2015 Classical Net Read complete review

Dominy Clements
MusicWeb International, October 2015

[The] Violin Concerto is not light entertainment by any stretch of the imagination, but as promised the more you hear the greater your appreciation grows for what is after all an acknowledged 20th century masterpiece—especially in such a fine performance as this. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Peter Quantrill
Gramophone, September 2015

The Cologne orchestra’s fairly lightweight tonal profile on record is heard to better advantage in a classically moulded account of the Violin Concerto. [Kolja Blacher’s] relationship with the orchestra is strong and he makes a muscular but never ugly case for the finale in the virtuoso tradition. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Andrew Clements
The Guardian, July 2015

[Markus Stenz is] equally at home in the romantic sweep of Pelleas as he is in the much more ambiguous world of the concerto, with its tensions between tradition and innovation, serialism and tonality, while never allowing the former to become too indulgent nor the latter to seem too dry and calculated. © 2015 The Guardian Read complete review

Remy Frank
Pizzicato, July 2015

Markus Stenz’s last CD as music director of Cologne’s Gürzenich Orchestra is a total success. Pelleas und Melisande is performed in a beautifully atmospheric and dramatic way, and in the Violin Concerto, the interaction between the soloist and the orchestra makes it a top recording. © 2015 Pizzicato

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