Violin Concerto in E minor
Violin Concerto in D minor; Fantasy for Violin & Orchestra
Christian Tetzlaff (violin)
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Reference Recording - Mendelssohn: Milstein (DG)
Christian Tetzlaff is an absolutely fabulous violinist, and this repertoire suits him perfectly. His tone is unfailingly sweet, penetrating, and lyrical, but never burdened with excessive vibrato. His intonation is as accurate as we have any right to expect, his phrasing of the big tunes always natural and unaffected. In the slow movements, particularly that of the Mendelssohn, he makes his expressive points with an unobtrusive mastery that's truly moving, and seemingly inevitable. The music sounds as though it is being composed on the spot, songfully and spontaneously.The couplings are perfectly chosen and even more impressive, if possible. Schumann's two clumsily orchestrated concertante works for violin and orchestra are full of beautiful ideas, but they so often bog down in what can seem like tiresome repetition. Not here. Tetzlaff plays with evident affection, making light of the difficult and often unforgiving solo parts, while Paavo Järvi does everything that he possibly can with Schumann's accompaniments. Superb engineering, ideally balanced, puts the finishing touch on an irresistible release.