CD Reviews

Reviews von CD´s mit David Frühwirth

Shostakovich Transcriptions

Capriccio CD Label

Die Welt 01/13

“Wenn man nicht in der allerersten Geigerreihe mit exklusivem Plattenvertrag steht, dann ist die Suche nach Unbekanntem, Vernachlässigtem ein probates Mittel für lohnende CD-Aufnahmen. So verfährt auch mit Erfolg der Salzburger Violonist David Frühwirth, der immer wieder mit seiner Stradivari “ex Brüstlein” zu so mutigen wie ergiebigen Saitensprüngen verführt. Aktuell kümmert er sich um mal süffige, mal harsche Kammertranskriptionen von Schostakowitsch-Werken. Gehaltvoller ist hingegen sein akustischer Hinweis auf die beiden Violinsonaten des im übergroßen Schostakowitsch-Schatten stehenden Nikolai Rakov (1908-90). Der schrieb eine sinnliche wie tiefsinnige Musik, ohne viele Widerhaken, aber melancholisch kräftig.”

 

NDR Kulturradio 01/13

“Manche Stücke haben durchaus Ohrwurmcharakter. Trotzdem ist die Musik nicht seicht, denn die Transkriptionen stecken voller Ideen. In der Interpretation von Frühwirth und Chernyavska entfalten sie diesen Charme. Frühwirths Geigenton ist klangvoll aber nie pathetisch, denn sein Vibrato setzt er wohltuend dosiert ein. Und er hat weit mehr zu  bieten als reinen Schönklang, wird auch mal bissig oder so schelmisch, dass man schmunzeln muss. Fein ausbalanciert ist das Zusammenspiel mit der Pianistin Chernyawska, die immer wieder auch eigene Akzente setzt.
Schostakowitsch hat nur eine einzige Violinsonate geschrieben. Die Transkriptionen der drei Arrangeure bieten eine willkommene Ergänzung des Repertoires für Geige und Klavier.”

 

 

Egon Wellesz Violin Concerto (RSO Berlin)

Capriccio CD Label

All Music Guide 07/10 Jim Leonard Rovi

“Frühwirth has the incisive tone and impressive technique required by the strenuous demands of his concerto, and Roger Epple coaxes a commanding performance from the Berlin Radio Symphony. Capriccio’s sound is crisp, bright, and clean.”

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung 29.09/10, Helmut Mauro

“Herausgekommen ist ein beeindruckend großformatiges Werk, in dem – selten genug – der Spagat zwischen Zwölftonmusik und musikalischer Leidenschaft mühelos zu gelingen scheint.”

 

Stereo Play 11/10

David Frühwirth verdanken wir eine intensiv lyrische, geigerisch prachtvoll verfeinerte, leidenschaftlich makellose Aufführung. Wellesz´ Violinkonzert verdient es öffentlich gehört zu werden, und Frühwirths Darbietung setzt einen hohen Maßstab.

 

 

 Vienna Connection (Florian Uhlig, Klavier)

EDA – Berlin CD Label

Fono Forum 06/10, Thomas Schulz ****

„David Frühwirth erweist sich in allen drei Werken als stilsicher gestaltender Interpret, der in den entsprechenden Passagen eine unmittelbar packende Intensität geniert, ohne dabei seine eigene Persönlichkeit in den Vordergrund zu stellen. Auf diese Weise lässt er Werken Gerechtigkeit widerfahren, die es verdient haben, zum festen Repertoire zu gehören.“

 

NMZ, 09/10

„Frühwirth ist ein durch und durch musikalischer, feinnervig phrasierender Gestalter von großer Natürlichkeit und warmer Tongebung. Der Hörer erfährt dank des sehr intelligenten, achtsamen Zusammenspiels auf exzellentem instrumentalen und feinem strukturellen Niveau sehr eindrücklich den individuellen Ton jedes einzelnen Komponisten.“


 

“Korngold live at Salzurg Festival 2004” (Henry Sigfridsson, Klavier)

Oehms Classics CD Label

“CD des Monats” The Strad,   04/06

To round things out David Frühwirth provides glowingly assured performances of the “Much Ado about Nothing” Suite and the “Gesang der Heliane”.


 

 

H. Koessler und E. Moor         

Hungaroton CD Label

The Strad,   04/06

The Koessler Quintet and Trio are a joy, as is obvious from these performances: the musicians seize the many opportunities for expressively soulful playing. They are fully up to the demands of the music….

 

American Record Guide,   03/06

This is attractive music, beautifully played.

 

 

Short Stories (Henry Sigfridsson, Klavier) 

Avie CD Label

A collection of romantic violin pieces  

 

Crescendo Magazin,   10/04

Eine launige und kurzweilige Zusammenstellung, die David Frühwirth souverän, brillant und zupackend präsentiert. Leicht melancholisch-tänzerische Werke, wie zum Beispiel der Tango Habanera von Kurt Weil gelingen Frühwirth und seinem Klavierbegleiter Henri Sigfridsson perfekt. Unterhaltung auf hohem Niveau!

 

Classic FM Magazine,   08/04

This album gets its title from the first piece by Gershwin and all the pieces that follow are short but have a story to tell, from Rachmaninov to Chopin. The premiere recording of Vieuxtemp´s Bohememiene is particularly haunting, and the Hungarian Violinist Jenö Hubay provides a very catchy Bolero.

 

 

 

Trails of Creativity (Henry Sigfridsson, Klavier)            

Avie CD Label

Music from between the wars 1918 – 1938     Vienna – Berlin – London

 

CD des Monats“, Fono Forum    04/03

„Seiner Geige entlockt er ein erstaunlioche Bandbreite an Ausdruck und Stimmungen……mit einer gut ausgeloteten Mischung aus musikantischen Witz und tiefem Ernst machen die beiden den Anspruch deutlich in die Riga der internationalen Nachwuchssolisten aufgenommen zu werden!“ ****

 

Editor´s Choise“, Grammophone Magazin    02/03

Both players perform with understanding and sensitivity…..deservedly rescued from oblivation. Recommended!! ****

 

The Times,   05/03

„What a treasure trove that is! ……Frühwirth´s passion carries him far on this fascinating journey through history with the pianist Henry Sigfridson.“

„Both players perform with understanding and sensitivity…..deservedly rescued from oblivation. Recommended!! „Editor´s Choise“ Grammophone Magazin (February 2003)„What a treasure trove that is! ……Frühwirth´s passion carries him far on this fascinating journey through history with the pianist Henry Sigfridson.“ The Times (London)„Superlatives are likely to flow towards this stunning Avie release, not least thanks to the eloquent, emotionally-insightful playing of Austrian violinist David Frühwirth and his Finnish pianist Henri Sigfridsson!!!“ Music Week (London)„….there is little doubt that David Frühwirth and his excellent partner perform everything with fervour and total commitment!“ BBC Music Magazin“Admirable artistic and technical values throughout!“ www. musicweb.com„With a good mixture of musical humor and deep seriousness both the artists make their claim clear to be accepted in the league of international and interesting rising generation of Soloists!“ „Editor´s Choise“ Fono Forum (April 2003)

 


 

 

CD Reviews 2006

To round things out David Frühwirth provides glowingly assured performances of the “Much Ado about Nothing” suite and the “Gesang de Heliane”. (OEHMS Classics)
The Strad Selection, April 2006

If your taste runs to Romantic chamber music , however, you should not overlook this one. No matter what one may think of Hungaroton , the label has always made very good sounding chamber music recordings, and this is no exception. The performances are generally outstanding.
All Music Guide, David Lewis, May 2006

The performers are hardly novices in their craft, and most have recorded before. They exhibit a beautiful tone of moderate weight, and a refined sense of dynamics.
FANFARE Magazine, May/June 2006

The Koessler Quintett and Trio are a joy, as is obvious from these performances: the musicians seize the many opportunities for expressively soulful playing. They are fully up to the demands of the music…. (Hungaroton)
The Strad, April 2006

This is attractive music,beautifully played.
American Record Guide, March/April 2006

The interpretations on the CD have confirmed my previous experience, that an ouvre of a less known composer can be only revealed by first class interpretations. Each musician on this CD is exellent – they devote all of their gift and skills for the demanding pieces, showing of the works from M. Seiber. I can just speak with the greatest enthusiasm about the intensive playing from Péter Szabó and David Frühwirth, which testifies deep experience and understanding of these works.
Muzsika Hungary , April 2006

 

 ”Trails of Creativity”

Avie Records
violin: David Frühwirth, piano: Henri Sigfridsson

 

 

“Trails of Creativity”,

Avie Records
violin: David Frühwirth, piano: Henri Sigfridsson

BBC-Music Magazin Classical Music Week

 

 

“Trails of Creativity” Avie Records
violin: David Frühwirth, piano: Henri Sigfridsson

Gramophone Editor`s Choice Jan 2003

 

 

“Trails of Creativity”

violin: David Frühwirth, piano: Henri Sigfridsson

BBC Music Magazine – News ItemRelease of the ‘Vienna Berlin London 1918-1938’ CD, on the Avie label,
by David Frühwirth, violin, and Henri Sigfridsson, piano.
by Malcolm Miller

‘Vienna-Berlin-London, 1918-1938’ the festival held in London last year, brought to light fascinating connections amongst European composers of 1920s and 30s, whose works were considered Entartete Musik (‘Degenerate music’) by the Nazi regime and who found refuge in Britain and America. Many rediscovered gems of this repertoire will soon appear, for the first time, in an exciting double CD album, to be released on the new Avie label in November, by the exceptional duo of Austrian violinist David Frühwirth and Finnish pianist Henri Sigfridsson. Frühwirth, who is steadily forging an international career (he studied with Ricci, Bron and Zukerman and won the 1998 Panasonic Award, New York) is a passionate advocate of this neglected repertoire, which the duo performed at the Wigmore Hall last November. “The Austrian Cultural Forum asked for a concert and I took six months to research it and put something special together” Frühwirth recalls, “I collected names and used the Internet to find scores in libraries, and was in contact with several musicologists in Europe and elsewhere!”.

Expanding the recital for two CDs was particularly exciting due to the musical credentials of the recording team: “The CD’s producer is Michael Haas, who masterminded Decca’s Entartete Musik series, and the sound engineer is Simon Fox, grandson of the Viennese composer Hans Gal. I believe in Gal and love his works” Frühwirth emphasises, “the Second Violin Sonata (which here receives its premiere) is a passionate work, besides many others”. Indeed Gal was very popular in pre-war Central Europe, before emigrating to Edinburgh in 1938, where he composed well into his nineties. Also premiered here is the Suite for Violin op.56 (1937 rev.1957) by Gal’s fellow Viennese emigré, Egon Wellesz, a Schoenberg-pupil who settled in Oxford.

One of Frühwirth’s more startling discoveries, however, is the Suite for Violin op 38 (1927) by Adolf Busch, leader of the famous Busch Quartet, who emigrated from Berlin to the USA in the 1930s. “Busch also composed prolifically – about a hundred and thirty works! I am in touch with Mrs. Busch, his widow, who is eager to have them played. Many of them, including symphonies, are still in manuscript.” Other composers featured include the Polish-born, Berliner Karol Rathaus (who visited London en route to America) and the more familiar Kurt Weill and Erich Korngold who escaped to America’s Hollywood and Broadway.

Selecting worthy repertoire was not always easy: “I had to decide what was really good, and not just historically interesting. Of fifteen English works of the period at least ten were possible. But fortunately we had the chance to give the modern premiere of the newly-published complete version of Walton’s Toccata (1922-3) in our Wigmore Hall recital.” Certainly their premiere recording is aptly timed for this year’s Walton Centenary, complemented by two contemporary rarities: music by Ivor Gurney and the violinist Albert Sammons’s little-known 1921 arrangement of Frederick Rosse’s Merchant of Venice Suite (1905).

After Frühwirth’s adventurous CDs, a vital new piece in the jigsaw of 20th century musical history, does the enterprising violinist have any further discoveries from this still-untapped musical treasury on the horizon? “…there are some wonderful violin works of that period by Sergei Bortkievitz, a Russian who lived in Berlin and Vienna, Julius Roengten, Thiessen, Krenek and Steinberg (Rimsky-Korsakov’s son-in-law and Shostakovich’s teacher), many not yet recorded!”. More riveting repertoire in the pipeline, perhaps?
Malcolm Miller

 

“Trails of Creativity”

violin: David Frühwirth, piano: Henri Sigfridsson

Fanfare Magazin – March/April 2003
Violinist David Frühwirth on the Trails of Creativity
BY MARTIN ANDERSONFor someone who, like me, prefers exploring the by-ways of music rather than go once again around the same tired mainstream works, it’s obvious that some releases will be more rewarding than others. One that brings an unusually high proportion of unknown gems is a new violin-and-piano recital from the Austrian violinist David Frühwirth and Finnish pianist Henri Sigfridsson, on a two-disc set from the recently founded UK label Avie (AV0009). Frühwirth’s choice of repertoire is enterprising indeed: Hans Gál’s Sonata in D (1933), Karol Rathaus’ Suite, Op. 27 (1927), Albert Sammons’ arrangement of the Suite from Frederick Rosse’s music to The Merchant of Venice (19905, arr. 1921), Korngold’s Suite from Much Ado about Mothing (1920), Walton’s Toccata (1922–23), Adolf Busch’s Suite in G minor, Op. 38 (1927), Egon Wellesz’s Suite, Op. 56 (1937, rev. 1957), Stefan Frenkel’s arrangement of seven pieces from The Threepenny Opera (1928, arr. 1930), and two short pieces by Ivor Gurney, The Apple Orchard (1919) and a Scherzo (c. 1919)—more unfamiliar material than you’d find in a monthful of releases from one of the majors. I was marginally involved in this set myself: I edited the booklet notes and wrote one or two of the composer-essays, so the call to interview David Frühwirth for Fanfare was a welcome return for familiar pastures.I began by asking him how the project got off the ground. “It started when I was asked to play a recital at the Wigmore Hall [in London], part of a festival organized by the Austrian Cultural Forum which had the theme of Vienna, Berlin, and London between the Wars. Right away, I didn’t want to play the usual pieces or composers; I wanted to select something special. At that recital I gave two world premieres and two UK premieres: the Gál and the Wellesz were world premieres, and the Busch was a UK premiere; and it was the first London performance of the Walton Toccata in 75 years. And then, because I loved the music so much and was so convinced about it, I thought it’s not good enough just to perform it in concerts—it should be available for a wider audience, and so, of course, I thought of making a CD. So I did more and more looking around, and looked at approximately 40–50 pieces: I first read them alone and then I get a pianist to run through it. With lots of the pieces you can very soon see that there’s something very special in there. So I made quite a large selection: there were some more I couldn’t fit in—composers like Erich Zeisl and Robert Kahn and others.“So in the end it came down to those nine, three from each of the cities, Vienna, Berlin, and London—and from each city there is a transcription from an opera or stage work: the Kurt Weill, the Rosse, and the Korngold. I wanted to show a selection of chamber music for violin and piano at that time in what were probably the most important cities in Europe (of course, beside Paris and Budapest). It’s one of the most undiscovered periods in music history: It’s quite important that we find ways in the music industry of showing the audience what was out there, so that they have a fuller knowledge about it. But people are playing Hans Gál (for example) more and more, and at some point he will be a known name. He wrote four operas, and not one of them has been played on stage since the Second World War—and in the ’20s his operas were having twenty different stagings at the same time. Besides the known names from the time there was so much more going on. It was a real adventure for me, digging around and finding these gold nuggets; I was so happy. I’ve put them in my repertoire and I’m going to keep performing them. They also make a strong impact on the audience because each of these nine composers has his own distinct musical language, and you can hear the different styles in such a profound way. Even the more Romantic composers, like Korngold and Rosse and Gurney, are all very personal in style. And then when you take the more intellectual works, like Wellesz and Rathaus, they’re all different in their musical language. And there are many more composers beside these ones, so I’m really looking forward to finding some further possibilities.” That argument suggests that Frühwirth ought to pursue this approach to examining the repertoire—so can we look forward to Trails of Creativity, Vol. 2? “Yes, at some point: I have some music I definitely want to put back before an audience.”
Of this first collection, are there any works in particular that he would single out for special mention? “I personally love the music of Hans Gál. But the Walton Toccata is a work with an amazing impact—and not one note sounds like Walton. It comes from the years when he was trying out different music styles, so it has some similarities with Szymanowski, a little bit with Bartók, and with Sorabji. The Stefan Frenkel transcriptions are fabulous. I love the slow music from the Rosse transcriptions—it’s really bliss, beautiful music, perfectly written for the instrument: Albert Sammons did an amazing job.” Adolf Busch is another figure awaiting rediscovery: Everyone knows him as a violinist and leader of the Busch Quartet, but he was also an outstanding composer. “The mixture of intellectual and tradition with him is very interesting. There are something like 130 opus numbers. I think slowly but surely he will find his way into the recording studios.”
What about the execution of the project itself? “The people I worked with for the recording was very interesting, because I had as producer Michael Haas, who was the mastermind behind the Decca ‘Entartete Musik’ CD series, and he knows more than most people about music between the Wars. And the sound engineer was Simon Fox, the grandson of Hans Gál, so he has a lot of personal insight into the music.” So there was more interaction than usual between control room and studio? “Definitely, yes! We put everything together in four-and-a-half days, which was quite a challenge. And we were grateful for the support of Bösendorfer and Thomastik-Infeld—it’s one of the leading string factories in the world, based in Austria.” It is their strings that Frühwirth uses normally in any event? “Yes. Pinchas Zukerman, one of my former teachers, made the company famous 25 years ago, when they made the Dominant strings. And now they’ve just come out with a new set of strings, called Infeld. For years I’ve been on a research program for them to develop better strings: Every ten days I get a new set of strings to try out and see if they’re better or worse, for overtones, to see how they speak—it’s really very challenging. But it’s also very interesting to find out what a string can do for the instrument and make it really better.” What instrument was the recording made with? “I was then using the ‘Carlo Bergonzi’ from 1715 which was lent to me by the Austrian National Bank. But I just returned it and received the ‘Ex Brüstlein’ Stradivari of 1707 in exchange. They’ve been lending me instruments for a few years now, which I am very grateful for. It’s one of the biggest foundations in Europe.
“Anyway, coming back to the recording, one of the biggest challenges was finding the printed music, so I did a lot of research on the Internet and in libraries. I was reading lots of books, so I knew a certain amount of music existed. But to find it printed? Most of it doesn’t exist any more or actually hasn’t been printed, including the Sonata by Hans Gál and the Wellesz. So I’m the only one so far who has a computer score of them. In the case of the Wellesz I paid myself for it to be typeset—but now I just sold it to Doblinger, because they’re going to publish it. For the Busch Suite, I was in contact with his widow, who lives in Switzerland; she was so delighted that she paid for the setting out of her own pocket—and for such a big piece it was quite a big amount of money. I sent her the recording and she’s very happy, and pleased that the name is getting out there and getting some recognition.I have another link to this project in that I profiled the label, Avie, in Fanfare 25:6. It’s the brainchild of Simon Foster, one of the best-known A&R names in the business, and his partner Melanne Mueller. They noted the proliferation of artist-produced recordings that were missing all manner of market opportunity, not least distribution, because they were one- or two-shot efforts, and so they devised Avie as an umbrella company in which the musicians (or their sponsors) pay for the recording and production but retain the rights to their recordings and get the lion’s share of the profits. Avie had two attractions for Frühwirth: “It’s such a collection—nine composers—that probably most of the big labels wouldn’t bring it out: They like one or two names on a single CD, because it’s easier for the market, which is understandable. On the other hand, I have more rights: Basically, I own the copyright. And it was my project from beginning to end, the research, from finding the music to performing it—although they do their work, of course. I was introduced to Simon Foster of Avie, he heard me play, and he asked me if I wanted to work together. And since I had this project in my mind, I saw this as a possibility of putting that music on the market. I’m very glad it’s being recognized—it’s ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone magazine, for example. You have to trust the understanding and knowledge of the audience, and it’s too bad that in some halls there are such old-fashioned programmes. Of course, I love my Mozart, my Bach and my Brahms, and I keep performing their music for the rest of my life, but I would definitely like to find possibilities to play the Sinigaglia Concerto, for example, and I’m one of the few western violinists who performs the Second Violin Concerto by Martinu or the concerto by Reznicek—and I’ll keep doing that. From Fall 2003 I have the possibility of giving lecture-recitals in different music schools in Europe, with the theme of comparing the musical styles of Jewish composers in Europe between the Wars—and I do it in music schools because that’s the future audience. I’ll bring in some musicologists and some relatives of the composers, and then I will play examples of some different styles and what was going on at the time. So now it’s becoming a bigger picture: The project began with a single performance, where I tried to do something special, and then the recording, and now these lectures. I still keep finding very interesting composers and I say: ‘Oh, my God, why didn’t I know about him before?’ Robert Kahn, for example, is quite unknown nowadays, or Sergei Bortkiewicz, a Russian who lived in Berlin and Vienna between the Wars. There’s also the Jewish Russian Music Society that was active [in Leningrad] between (I think) 1909 and 1927, with the brothers [Alexander and Grigori] Krein and Joseph Achron and Mikhail Gnessin and others. Of course, not all of the pieces are masterworks, but if you look out for the best, you can find such a high standard that it’s really worth putting them back into the concert halls.”It’s heartening that Frühwirth is interested especially in these Jewish composers, since they represent an entire tradition, swept away by the Nazis. Even though interest in that lost generation is increasing, it’s still not generally realized just how many composers have been lost to sight. Frühwirth readily agrees: “It’s the most unresearched period of music history in general. It’s basically a must to bring back certain pieces and certain composer to the audience, to make sure they also know what was going on at the time. And I’ve always been interested to make recital programmes that were special for the audience. I figure I can keep doing that.”
What of Frühwirth himself—what’s his musical profile? “I was born in Salzburg and was raised there. I am very happy that I come from that background of music-making and music-understanding, because it gave me a certain base for my knowledge.” Is he from a musical family? “Not at all—I’m the only one in my family. Do you know how I started violin? I heard some Vienna Schrammelmusik, traditional Viennese music in a chamber-music setting, and one of the instruments is the violin, and my mother told me I was fascinated from the start. So I studied at the Mozarteum, and in my last two years there I studied with the famous virtuoso Ruggiero Ricci. It was an amazing pleasure. And last year at the Dartington Festival I was assisting him, so it came round in a circle. And then I went to study with one of the leading teacher in Europe, Zakhar Bron, the teacher of Maxim Vengerov, Vadim Repin, and many others. I finished there at 20, did my first diploma, and then I was invited by an amazing violinist and musician whom I really adore a lot, Pinchas Zukerman, and I studied with him and his assistant Patinka Kopec at the Manhattan School of Music for three years. For chamber music I had the possibility of playing regularly for Jaime Laredo and Isidor Cohen, the former violinist of the Beaux Arts Trio. All that widened my horizon in music-making—and in my violin-playing, because each time I had to change my violin technique completely. So now that I have the knowledge of these different styles and different schools I can perform my own way. Well, I’m on the way, but I think it will probably be a search for the rest of my life, as for every musician. In a way my style of violin-playing is a central-European mix with a touch of the Galamian school, which was taught by Pinchas Zukerman. The virtuoso aspect was put forward by Ruggiero Ricci, but he’s also a great musician; I really respect him a lot. We’ve known each other for thirteen years, and I am proud to say we’re very good friends also. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve made some recordings before, but this is my first recording for the international market. For me music-making is a very serious challenge: Of course, you can call it entertainment, but on a very serious and intellectual level. What’s very important is music as a message onstage, so that people in concerts really have an experience and come home saying that was a really emotionally satisfying evening.”And what of his pianist, the Turku-born Henri Sigfridsson? “I met Henri through my agency. We get along so well as human beings and as musicians; we have great fun rehearsing. It’s amazing how much work he has put into it. For those piano parts you really need a pianist and musician in one to put down pieces like the Walton Toccata or the Gál or the Busch Suite, because they’re very difficult technically, and you need to find the right way to make the music out of it. I’ll definitely work with him much more in the future: It’s a great partnership and it will continue, in concerts and in the recording studio.” Let’s hope so: As Frühwirth says, his work has only just begun.