Christian Tetzlaff & Lars Vogt
I must admit I only discovered Christian Tetzlaff’s outstanding talent in the last two years. There are so many talented female violinists out there, as a self-declared Isabelle Faust fanboy, and then there’s Janine Jansen, Alina Ibragimova, Vilde Frang, etc. etc.
My first formal review of any of his albums was his 2020 recording of the Beethoven and Sibelius violin concertos with the DSO, which promptly made it into my Top 5 classical albums of 2020.
Lars Vogt I already followed for longer, he initially came to my attention with his beautiful recording of the Schumann and Grieg back in the Birmingham days of Simon Rattle.
I really appreciated his excellent recordings of the Brahms piano concertos with the Royal Northern Symphonia in the last 2 years (though I totally missed to formally review them here, will have to follow up on that).
I already had the pleasure of hearing Lars Vogt live, playing Beethoven’s 4th piano concerto with the Zurich Tonhalle under Paavo Järvi. A memorable experience.
Tetzlaff and Vogt have been playing chamber music together for a long time, both in a duo setup as well as in a piano trio with Tetzlaff’s sister.
Brahms Violin Sonatas
Brahms’ violin sonatas No. 1 and 3 were among the earliest works I owned on CD, in the great recording with Henryk Szerying and Anton Rubinstein. I discovered the sonata No. 2 only much later, it seems to be much less loved than the two other ones
My modern reference recording so far is (obviously) Isabelle Faust, as reviewed here. So how does the duo Tetzlaff/Vogt compare to the dream team Faust/Melnikov?
Brahms: The Violin Sonatas – Christian Tetzlaff – Lars Vogt (Ondine 2016)
Well, to make it short, very well indeed.
First of all, as opposed to Melnikov’s fortepiano, you get a modern concert grand (presumably a Steinway, couldn’t find any information in the booklet).
Well, this is as close to perfection as you can get with modern instruments. The sound overall is a bit broader, more “romantic”, than the (still excellent) reading of Faust and Melnikov, with broad vibrato, and a lot of rubato. You can hear the passion and love both artists have for these works. Gramophone agrees by the way, this was their “record of the month”.
As a side note, for the audiophiles among my readers, the label 2xHD has applied their remastering voodoo (a lot of Nagra and other stuff), making the excellent Ondine sound even more smooth.
My rating: 5 stars