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Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, March 2017

…this effort by Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt has much going for it in in highly responsive playing and probing—I’d even say, penetrating—musicianship, not to mention exceptionally detailed recorded sound, and fans of Tetzlaff will not be disappointed. …I must say that in these performances I find Vogt the more interesting and compelling of the two players. He reveals thematic counterpoints, especially in the left hand, that can go unheard in performances by pianists who favor a more dominant right hand in these works. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Richard A. Kaplan
Fanfare, March 2017

…these performances might appeal to those who like their Brahms highly charged and heavily inflected. The playing itself is of the highest caliber: Tetzlaff has a lovely, silvery tone and seems incapable of making an ugly sound, and as noted above, the pianissimos are most effective. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, December 2016

…the recording is very well judged. These are thought-provoking and scrupulously intelligent performances. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Andrew Farach-Colton
Gramophone, December 2016

This is one of those rare recordings that’s given me fresh appreciation for old friends. Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt convey a sense of wideeyed discovery, ardent conviction and warm affection in Brahms’s violin sonatas that’s not only immensely satisfying but unexpectedly moving as well. © 2016 Gramophone

Huntley Dent
Fanfare, November 2016

The most impressive chamber musicians presently are the ones who find something original to say that remains, perhaps paradoxically, within the great tradition. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff, who is probably more dedicated to recording chamber works than any other virtuoso soloist, fits this description perfectly. His playing probes deeply into the meaning of a familiar score, …this shows respect, even reverence, for the masters.

Tetzlaff and Vogt deliver differences that are fairly micro when it comes to fundamentals such as tempo, dynamic range, recorded balance, and so on. But I hear major differences at a level no one can quantify—these readings have an “it” factor that is traceable mostly to Tetzlaff, whose playing of the solo line is entrancing. Vogt’s pianism is very fine, no doubt, and he’s in total sympathy with the violinist… © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, November 2016

Fourteen years is a long time to play music together. In the process, if you are Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt, you get a lot of issues resolved in the performance of the music you play. In the case of Brahms, so many years’ acquaintance with this composer can give you what we hear in these performances: his deep love of nature, the seeming paradoxes in his moods of “melancholy happiness and cheerful sadness” (as Vogt puts it in the booklet interview), and a habitual reserve which was his way of guarding the very intimate feelings in his music and not wearing them on his sleeve. © 2016 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review

Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, September 2016

The opening of the Sonata No. 1 in G Major Op. 78 is simply lovely, and the beautiful playing that follows evokes all the usual Brahms descriptive terms—it’s warm, gentle, expansive and autumnal in feel. The Sonata No. 2 in A Major Op. 100 is equally lovely, and there is plenty of fire in the Sonata No. 3 in D Minor Op. 108.

The playing from both performers throughout is rhapsodic, passionate and nuanced, with an excellent dynamic range and a simply lovely recorded sound. © 2016 The WholeNote Read complete review

James Manheim, September 2016

Tetzlaff has a lovely way of taking a little pause during the transition passages, as if to let you reflect on what you’ve just heard, and Vogt matches him with playing that is both quiet and detailed. …The rare Brahms Scherzo from the collaborative F-A-E Sonata of 1853 and excellent sound from the Sendesaal Bremen are added attractions in this Ondine release, but the main thing is really masterly and deliberate playing. © 2016 Read complete review

Andrew Farach-Colton
Gramophone, September 2016

The 50 greatest Brahms recordings

Tetzlaff and Vogt take obvious pleasure in details without losing sight of the larger picture, whether it’s a phrase, a movement or an entire work. Indeed, they sharply delineate the individual character of each sonata. Opp 78 and 100 are both overwhelmingly sunny and lyrical, yet there’s greater vulnerability in the former and more confident ardour in the latter. Op 108, on the other hand, is anxiety-ridden and turbulent—and this interpretation aptly broods and frets, seethes and squalls. Even the eerie molto legato passage that introduces the first movement’s development (at 2’16”) harbours a deep disquiet. The finale is explosive, rhythms bristling, dynamic contrasts starkly illuminated, and with an unrelenting dramatic thrust.

Similarly, in the propulsive, Hoffmann-esque Scherzo Brahms composed for the collaborative FAE Sonata (along with Schumann and Albert Dietrich), Tetzlaff and Vogt go for broke. Tetzlaff makes his violin spit and whine like a fiddler possessed, while Vogt stabs at the jagged syncopations with gusto. It’s an exhilarating encore to a superbly satisfying disc. No matter that the catalogue is crammed with recordings of these sonatas; this one will sit proudly on my shelf alongside Szeryng/Rubinstein, Mullova/Anderszewski and Dumay/Pires. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone, August 2016

These are warm, expressive readings throughout, always beautiful and very nicely paced: they actually feel somewhat slower than they are, since Tetzlaff and Vogt emphasize the works’ extended lines and thematic subtleties—bringing the latter out effectively in the sort of true partnership that Tetzlaff and Vogt have evolved through longstanding performance together and that stands them in particularly good stead in these works. The flow, the lyricism here are beautifully shaped, and while there is noticeable rubato from time to time, it never seems out of keeping with the spirit or intent of the music: Tetzlaff and Vogt approach these sonatas with as much thoughtfulness as virtuosity. The two recorded these works before, in 2002, and those readings were released as a live recording, but their performance here is even more assured and beautifully blended than the earlier one, and the sound quality is significantly better. © 2016 Read complete review

Hank Zauderer
My Classical Notes, August 2016

Award-winning violinist Christian Tetzlaff, together with pianist Lars Vogt, offer an exciting program of Violin Sonatas by Johannes Brahms (1833–1897). This new release continues a successful series of recordings of violin chamber works by these two artists.

Johannes Brahms’ Violin Sonatas are among the greatest masterpieces in 19th-century chamber music. Brahms wrote these sonatas between 1878 and 1888 at the height of his creative powers. © 2016 My Classical Notes Read complete review

Fiona Maddocks
The Observer (London), August 2016

Christian Tetzlaff’s distinctive, quicksilver playing, capable of extreme pianissimo, suits the intensity and introspection in each: Op 78 in G major with its melancholic mood swings, the breathless fragility of Op 100 in A major and the restlessness of Op 108 in D minor. The performances are agile, airborne, refreshingly unpredictable and alive with exhilirating freedom. © 2016 The Observer (London)

Fiona Maddocks
The Guardian, August 2016

…each work has a questing lyricism, vividly captured here. Christian Tetzlaff’s distinctive, quicksilver playing, capable of extreme pianissimo, suits the intensity and introspection in each… The performances are agile, airborne, refreshingly unpredictable and alive with exhilarating freedom. © 2016 The Guardian Read complete review

Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), August 2016

This new recording of the 3 Violin Sonatas by Brahms comes from award-winning violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt as the latest volume in their highly successful series of violin chamber works. The release also features the Scherzo movement from the F.A.E. Sonata, which was Brahms’ contribution to a composite sonata with Albert Dietrich and Robert Schumann in 1853. © 2016 WFMT (Chicago)

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2016

‘I think of myself as an actor who speaks through the violin,’ writes Christian Tetzlaff, who has now recorded the complete Brahms Violin Sonatas with Lars Vogt. Their performances are imbued with a warm and mellow disposition, that does tend to melt the moments of drama—the few that there are—into an overall concept of expressive beauty. Tempos never sound hurried, though if you compare the overall time of each movement you will find they are among the most adroit on disc. The problem with all three sonatas is one of balance between the two instruments, Brahms, being a pianist, having given much of the thematic thrust to the keyboard. So it is that pianists, more often than not, fall foul of remembering they have such superior weight, they can easily swamp the violin. That certainly does not happen here, Vogt restraining himself to form a perfect relationship, the passages of dialogue emerging as between equal partners. For this reason alone I would much commend the disc to you. Together they also provide the subtle colours that create such a wide range of expression, the long flowing lyric passages shaped with much affection, while the use of rubato is always judicious and in keeping with the nature of the music. My one caveat comes with the fact that the same duo recorded the works 14 years ago during a concert where they had a spontaneity that is difficult to recreate in the studio, the Vivace sections of the the Second sonata—for instance—offering a greater sense of fun in those earlier days. On the flip side Ondine’s recording is of superb quality, and Tetzlaff’s gorgeous modern instrument is a joy to hear. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

David Mellor
Classic FM, July 2016

This is a mightily impressive album… Tetzlaff is a very searching interpreter, so all of the performances here sound freshly minted. He really does dig deep into the music in a way a lot of even quite distinguished violinists don’t. He is exceptionally well partnered by the pianist and conductor Lars Vogt who is also a musician of real stature, as those lucky enough to see him perform with his new charges, the Royal Northern Sinfonia can readily attest. © 2016 Classic FM Read complete review

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