Saturday, July 21, 2018

Friedemann Eichhorn Concludes Rode Concerto Series with Elan

Friedemann Eichhorn completes his traversal of Pierre Rode's violin concertos in fine style.

Over the years Eichhorn seems to have internalized Rode's technique, and perhaps some of his aesthetic. In this recording, he plays with a sweet tone and a light touch.

Pierre Rode was one of the most brilliant violinists of his age, a complete master of the instrument. His caprices and etudes may have been written to instruct others, but the concertos were written to showcase his own talents.

And that's exactly how Eichhorn approaches them. There are no somber pronouncements from on high in these works. These concertos were written as vehicles for the violist. Eichhorn plays with relish and abandon. Technical challenges seem to melt away.

Trills, rapid-fire runs, spiccato, bariolage -- he does it all without seeming to break a sweat. And that's exactly what this music needs. Rode's concertos work best when their light on their feet.

The Jena Philharmonic is certainly light enough. Nicolás Pasquet seems to have a much fun with these works as Eichhorn. And that's what makes this disc -- and series -- so successful aesthetically.

The release also includes to airs for violin and orchestra. Eichhorn dives into these short, lyrical works with relish.

If you're ready to be dazzled by exceptional playing -- and want to hear some pleasantly tuneful music besides -- this is the disc for you. Come to think of it, so are the previous four volumes.

Pierre Rode: Violin Concertos Nos. 11 and 12
Volume 5
Friedemann Eichhorn, Violin
Jena Philharmonic; Nicolás Pasquet, conductor
Naxos 8.5734674

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