Dvorak: Violin Concerto & Romance – Suk: Fantasy / Tetzlaff
It was an inspired idea to open this disc with Josef Suk’s wonderful Fantasy, a sort of free-form violin concerto: such a striking initial tutti, fiercely dramatic, setting the mood for a searing 23-minute stretch, with some pastoral interludes to ease the intensity. Once into the fray Tetzlaff draws on an exceptionally wide range of colors and nuances, from fragility to full-on passion. You sense that every bar has been carefully thought through and yet there’s never as much as a suggestion of calculation.
In the case of the Dvo?ák Violin Concerto and Romance Tetzlaff largely avoids portamento, though that’s not to suggest that his playing lacks either warmth or authentic flavoring. Quite the contrary; there’s a winning suppleness about the playing. The slow movement has tenderness to spare, the finale delicacy as well as panache.
With Suk’s seductive earlier recording of the lovely Romance for violin and orchestra ringing in our ears even after many decades, any newcomer has to deliver with expressive generosity, which Tetzlaff does, his approach individual but utterly persuasive. Excellent, full-bodied sound. A disc to prize.
Catalog Number: ODE 1279-5
Composer: Antonín Dvořák, Josef Suk
Conductor: John Storgårds
Orchestra/Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Performer: Christian Tetzlaff