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BARTÓK, B.: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 (C. Tetzlaff, Finnish Radio Symphony, Lintu)


Ondine ODE1317-2

   National Public Radio, December 2018
   Fanfare, November 2018
   Gramophone, October 2018
   MusicWeb International, September 2018
   Limelight, September 2018
   Fanfare, September 2018
   Fanfare, September 2018
   ClassicsToday.com, August 2018
   BBC Music Magazine, August 2018
   AllMusic.com, June 2018
   The Strad, June 2018
   Audiophile Audition, June 2018
   Pizzicato, June 2018
   The Flip Side, May 2018
   MusicWeb International, May 2018
   Audio Video Club of Atlanta, May 2018
   Cinemusical, May 2018
   Gramophone, May 2018
   Violinist.com, April 2018
   My Classical Notes, March 2018

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Tom Huizenga
National Public Radio, December 2018

NPR Music’s Best Classical Albums Of 2018

…Tetzlaff taps into the folk influences of the opening theme, while conductor Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra expertly judge tricky balances between the harp, French horn and string pizzicatos. Teztlaff, portraying these concertos, is like that great character actor whose performances are so natural they rarely get the praise they deserve. © 2018 National Public Radio Read complete review




Huntley Dent
Fanfare, November 2018

The year brought a remarkable pairing of the two Bartók violin concertos from Christian Tetzlaff, whose career moves from strength to strength. Even though this release came on the heels of the same pieces recorded by Renaud Capuçon, whom critics widely praised, Tetzlaff offers more insight and originality, and conductor Hannu Lintu was inspired to raise the bar in the orchestral part, too. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review




Rob Cowan
Gramophone, October 2018

Bartók’s two violin concertos capture a great composer at very different phases in his career: the First as a young, headstrong late-Romantic madly in love with a beautiful violinist; the Second as gutsy and thoughtful (‘formal sophistication and phantasmagorical invention’ is how I described the work in these pages), writing a masterpiece in full maturity where elements of folk music, jazz and modernist daring are melded with the greatest skill. Both works have been repeatedly recorded, the Second including its world premiere (1939) and first American broadcast (1943), but with Christian Tetzlaff, Hannu Lintu and his Finnish forces you feel as if you’re eavesdropping on animated conversation, whether on the vicissitudes of helpless infatuation or the urgency and pathos of a Europe poised on the edge of war. © 2018 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Robert Cummings
MusicWeb International, September 2018

Tetzlaff plays with all sorts of nuance in his phrasing and dynamics, everything well thought out without sounding calculated, the music flowing naturally but with feeling and, where appropriate, intensity.

What helps make this a truly outstanding account of the Second is the contribution of Hannu Lintu, who draws an excellent performance from his Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. I especially liked the brass section throughout: try the ending of the finale where the brass play with a cutting-edge style that suggests neither bombast nor blandness, as can happen under the direction of a lesser conductor. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Warwick Arnold
Limelight, September 2018

Tetzlaff keeps the tension taut throughout the opening movement’s lyrical outpouring, building to a climax of Schoenbergian transfiguration before ripping into the concluding movement with hot-headed abandon. Flinging off phrases with relish, this is a reading of firm conviction.

Once shunned by flash and dash violinists as box-office poison, there has been a recent spate of recordings by the current generation of adventurous, intelligent virtuosi—if I had to flee the burning building, it would be a toss-up between this and Isabelle Faust’s superb account. Or would I take Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s daring revelatory reading? Those who prefer an elegant, romantic approach would do well with Renaud Capuçon’s recent account on Erato. Rich pickings to be had. © 2018 Limelight Read complete review



James H North
Fanfare, September 2018

Christian Tetzlaff gives an aggressive account of Bartók’s great Second Violin Concerto. There is much that is exciting in the opening Allegro non troppo, and the violinist plays with silky tone…

The First Concerto is less demanding on the orchestra, with the solo line dominating even the closing Allegro giocoso. Tetzlaff is adventurous, often finding unusual phrasings. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review



Huntley Dent
Fanfare, September 2018

A performance of this quality, which now holds first place for me, needs no fillers, but like Capucon, Tetzlaff gives us the First Violin Concerto, composed in 1907–08 but left in a drawer by its dedicatee, Stefi Geyer, until her death in 1956.

I can’t express higher praise for the main performance here, coming away with a conviction that Tetzlaff already deserves to be considered the equal of any violinist of the past, if his searching, intense style appeals to you in the first place. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, August 2018

Tetzlaff’s purity of intonation, lean but penetrating sonority, and most of all, his close integration with the larger ensemble (kudos to conductor Hannu Lintu as well) ensure that musical logic triumphs over mere flash and fury, and that the work’s structural coherence never founders. It’s a great performance, made even finer by exemplary sonics, balancing the solo against the orchestra in an ideally clear perspective. © 2018 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review




BBC Music Magazine, August 2018

Tetzlaff produces playing that’s warmly lyrical and dazzlingly virtuosic, by turns. With the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu on top form, this is an easy recommendation. © 2018 BBC Music Magazine




James Manheim
AllMusic.com, June 2018

Lintu captures the unusually complex interaction between soloist and orchestra in this concerto, and special credit goes to Ondine’s engineers, working from live performances at the Helsinki Music Centre. Tetzlaff also delivers an impressively sustained line in the arch-Romantic two-movement Violin Concerto No. 1, Sz. 36, written to impress a potential new violinist girlfriend. © 2018 AllMusic.com Read complete review



Andrew Mellor
The Strad, June 2018

…Hannu Lintu’s Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra plays with snap and crackle and is recorded with a thrilling combination of proximity and perspective. In the Second Concerto, Bartók’s col legno instructions bounce out of the speakers, as does his snare drum. Tetzlaff plots the line of the piece impressively… © 2018 The Strad Read complete review




Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, June 2018

Christian Tetzlaff (rec 18–19 October 2017) intones the opening Andante sostenuto in D Major as a lovely cantilena that enjoys dreamy support from the Finnish Radio Symphony string and woodwinds. The music rises into a brief, ardent climax and then subsides. The English horn lends a distinctive hue to the middle section, ushering in another rapturous moment that nods to the voluminous color palette of Richard Strauss. A final section serves as a quiet postlude, mutely sounding a triangle and harp, while Tetzlaff sails high into C-sharp for Stefi, so to land on D, and an emotional repose. © 2018 Audiophile Audition Read complete review




Uwe Krusch
Pizzicato, June 2018

Bartok’s two violin concertos come from different periods of his life and disclose different atmospheres. Tetzlaff and his Finnish companions use their outstanding abilities and musical senses to expressively recreate the moods without neglecting structural refinement. © 2018 Pizzicato



Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, May 2018

The violin concertos of Béla Bartók (1881–1945), separated by 30 years, are the works of first a youthful virtuoso gaining his footing and then of a sublime master. That’s not to say that the first concerto (1908) is in any way inferior; in soloist Christian Tetzlaff’s dazzlingly capable hands, it’s a beguiling, buoyant piece of music (Bartók wrote it for a young woman violinist he was head over heels for), while the second concerto (1938) is, simply, a mesmerizing masterpiece. Both are played with great feeling by Tetzlaff and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hannu Lintu. © 2018 The Flip Side



Stephen Barber
MusicWeb International, May 2018

In both concertos, Tetzlaff displays his immaculate technique and a sovereign command of his instrument. He has a complete grasp of the idiom, and I cannot imagine these concertos better played. Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Orchestra show themselves completely unfazed by Bartók’s orchestral writing, and enter into the spirit of the works with gusto—including some rather noisy passages for the brass—but also with subtlety where required. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, May 2018

A performance of conviction and great beauty by Tetzlaff qualifies as the first account of this work I have come across that makes it seem a worthy album-mate for the 2nd Concerto. © 2018 Audio Video Club of Atlanta




Steven A Kennedy
Cinemusical, May 2018

Tetzlaff’s articulation here helps drive this work with gorgeous phrasing that is equally matched in the orchestra. Both here prove to be just as in synch interpretively as in the first work on the album and that helps make this an even more engaging performance.

While I will not likely toss aside the Kelemen, the pairing here of the two concerti with such excellent sound and dramatic energy is going to be hard to beat moving forward. © 2018 Cinemusical  Read complete review




Gramophone, May 2018

From the fierce rhythms to the moments of great fragility, Christian Tetzlaff, a supreme soloist, and Hannu Lintu take us on a thrilling journey through Bartók’s two violin concertos. © 2018 Gramophone



Laurie Niles
Violinist.com, April 2018

Christian Tetzlaff performs Béla Bartók’s two violin concertos with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu. The two violin concertos of Béla Bartók, completed 30 years apart in 1908 and 1938 respectively, celebrated relationships with two Hungarian violinists: the first romantic, with Stefi Geyer and the second artistic, with Zoltán Székely. Bartók’s first Violin Concerto was published after the composer’s death in 1956, but Bartók reused the opening movement as the first of his “Two Portraits” for orchestra. Bartók completed two movements that portray the character of Stefi Geyer, to whom the work was dedicated. Completed towards the end of 1938, Bartók’s second Violin Concerto was dedicated to Zoltán Székely. © 2018 Violinist.com



Hank Zauderer
My Classical Notes, March 2018

Christian Tetzlaff is considered one of the world’s leading international violinists and maintains a most extensive performing schedule.

Recordings by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu have gathered excellent reviews in the international press. © 2018 My Classical Notes Read complete review





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