Waltman plays Korngold

Daphne 1032




Paul Waltman plays Korngold!

This release from Daphne Records introduces Swedish-Canadian violinist Paul Waltman in his favourite repertoire. Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s breathtaking Violin Concerto, pioneered by Jascha Heifetz,is paired here for the very first time with his rarely heard Violin Sonata. Korngold was only fifteen years old when he started composing the Sonata which gives the listener an unique opportunity of comparing how, or if the composers’ style changed during the thirty years separating the two works. This CD also features another of the foremost champions of Korngold’s music, pianist Bengt Forsberg, who several times has appeared on Deutsche Grammophon’s label together with mezzo-soprano Anne Sophie von Otter. The recording of the Violin Concerto took place at a highly charged once-only live performance at Berwaldhallen, Stockholm. Joining Waltman was Sweden’s leading orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of upcoming Swedish conductor David Björkman.


Violin Sonata in G-major op.6 (1913)
1.  I Ben moderato, ma con passione   
2.  II Scherzo: Allegro molto (con fuoco)   
3.  III Adagio: Mit tiefer Empfindung   
4.  IV Finale: Allegretto quasi Andante (con grazia)   

Violin Concerto in D-major op.35 (1945)
5.  I Moderato nobile   
6.  II Romance:Andante   
7.  III Finale:Allegro assai vivace   


This recording of the Violin Concerto is from a live concert in 2006. It is hemmed about with exalted and robust competition….. Waltman does not give the impression of flying through the virtuoso demands of the score with quite the fluidity of his colleagues. One senses the effort he has to invest in the Korngold’s demands. On the other hand his is a poetic and sensitive reading with a sense of luxuriantly expansive grandeur which is very much to the fore in the first two movements. It is at its zenith in the gentle descent of the Romance; here superbly calculated. Waltman does all this without the all-too-easy surrender to slush.

The notes for this cleverly coupled disc are also by Paul Waltman. They remind us that although Heifetz premiered the Concerto it was actually written with the encouragement of Hubermann who sadly became evasive over a premiere date. Heifetz then moved in and the rest is history. Had Hubermann's been the recorded version of the Concerto we had known on disc the chromium-rigorous image of the work as left by Heifetz and RCA might have been very different. Mind you I am not sure that it would have been recorded so early.

The ‘hook’ for this disc is the Sonata which I have not heard bettered and remains neglected. Into the bargain you get a grandly poetic version of the concerto.
Rob Barnett

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