Volkmar Andreae, Orchestral works, Vol. 2: Concertos

Guild Records has been putting the name of Swiss composer Volkmar Andreae back on the musical map through an excellent series of recordings which began with the composer’s chamber works, and is now two volumes deep into his orchestral music. This Guild CD contains the world premiere recordings of four concertante works, two each for piano and for violin, performed by piano soloist Fali Pavri and violinist Christian Altenburger.

A celebrated conductor and composer, Volkmar Andreae (1879-1962) was respected by Bruno Walter, Arturo Toscanini and Felix Weingartner among many others. He was offered directorship of the New York Philharmonic in 1911 (a tenure that would have followed Gustav Mahler’s), but declined in order to remain in Zurich. Andreae also enjoyed dedications of works by both Richard Strauss and Ferruccio Busoni.

The opening two pieces on the disc for piano and orchestra were written when the composer was a teenager. They are dramatic, remarkably assured and commanding works written in a late romantic vein, much in the manner of Brahms. Close to forty years separate these early compositions from the latest one the disc, the Violin Concerto, Op. 40 (1935). A more bold harmonic expression is obvious from the opening measures, especially if you listen to the conclusion of the Konzertstück in B minor (1900) and go directly to the Violin Concerto. Still, this too is a highly romantic work, but clearly influenced by what was heard in concert halls during the intervening years. Following the Violin Concerto, the program concludes with Andreae’s Rhapsodie for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 32 of 1920. This lovely piece comes from the near halfway point between the earliest and latest works on the CD. Although this is the first recording, it did make many appearances on stage, performed by such luminaries as Zino Francescatti and Joseph Szigeti.

Himself a revered conductor, the composer’s grandson Marc Andreae leads the first-rate Bournemouth Symphony in fine performances. An earlier post on Expedition Audio recommended the first volume of Andreae’s orchestral music. If you have not been initiated to the series, I suggest beginning with that recording. My guess is, once you hear Andreae’s First Symphony on that disc, you will need very little persuasion to also obtain this one.

Album Overview

The music of the greatly significant Swiss composer and conductor Volkmar Andreae has, in recent years, been rescued from its unjust neglect by a series of fine releases of his Chamber and Orchestral music on the Guild label, and we are proud to present this latest issue, the second in an important collection of Andreae’s Orchestral works newly recorded by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer’s much-admired grandson, Marc Andreae. The four works are all concertos or concertante compositions, brilliantly and authoritatively performed by Fali Pavri (piano), Christian Altenburger (violin) and excellently recorded.

Artists

Composer: Volkmar Andreae

Andreae was born in Bern. He received piano instruction as a child and his first lessons in composition with Karl Munzinger. From 1897 to 1900, he studied at the Cologne Conservatory and was a student of… read more

Conductor: Marc Andreae

Born into a musical family, Marc Andreae studied in his native town of Zurich, as well as with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and Franco Ferrara in Rome. From 1969 to 1991 Andreae was musical director of the… read more

Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

The BSO is one of the UK’s leading orchestras, proudly serving communities throughout the South and South West as well as performing nationally and internationally. It is one of the most dynamic and innovative symphony orchestras in the world, a tradition that dates from its foundation in 1893. … read more

Fali Pavri, piano

Fali Pavri enjoys a busy and varied career as soloist, chamber musician and teacher. Born in Mumbai,India, he studied the piano at the Moscow Conservatoire with Professor Victor Merzhanov and at the Royal Academy of Music, London with Christopher Elton.

www.falipavri.com

Christian Altenburger, violin

Showing promise from an early age, but not paraded as a child prodigy, Christian Altenburger gave his first public violin performance at age 7 after having studied with his father. More formal training came from Ernst Morawec at the Vienna Academy of Music, from which he graduated when he was 16. Altenburger made his official professional debut three years later in a recital at the Vienna Musikverein.

 

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