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Violin Concertos

Rudolf Koelman

Violin Concertos

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917295122
Catnr: CC 72951
Release date: 07 July 2023
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917295122
Catalogue number
CC 72951
Release date
07 July 2023

"So, we have two terrific performances—but, very short measure on this CD. There was plenty of room for a third concerto, which is a missed opportunity considering the excellence of what we have on hand."

Fanfare Magazine, 01-3-2024
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Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

These two splendid violin concertos breathe the air of Late Romanticism. Well orchestrated and skilfully written for the soloist, they have retained their footholds in the repertoire, even though their respective composers have gone out of fashion. Camille Saint-Saëns’ Third Violin Concerto in B minor had the absolute certainty and conviction of a masterpiece. Saint-Saëns wrote it early in 1880 for the popular Spanish virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate.

Although Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936) was a pupil and lifelong friend of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, he can be seen as heir to Tchaikovsky’s Romantic, heart-on-sleeve approach to composition.

The A minor Violin Concerto of 1904 is perhaps Glazunov’s most striking work, in fact the sole criticism one might make is that it takes only 20 minutes to play, which means it fits awkwardly into today’s stereotyped classical concert programmes. Like the Saint-Saëns B minor, it was written for a great fiddler, in this case the Hungarian Leopold Auer who was the leading player on the Russian scene.
Rudolf Koelman’s teacher Jascha Heifetz learnt the Concerto directly from Auer. At the St Petersburg Conservatory on 18 January 1914 Heifetz and Glazunov got together to present the Concerto; and the story goes that the almost-13-year-old’s fee was a bicycle.
Heifetz told Rudolf Koelman that he would have liked to record the Saint-Saëns B minor as well, but somehow it did not happen.
De twee prachtige vioolconcerten op dit album ademen de sfeer van de laatromantiek en behoren tot het standaardrepertoire van elke violist. Het derde vioolconcert in b-klein van Camille Saint-Saëns is een overtuigend meesterwerk. Saint-Saëns schreef het begin 1880 voor de populaire Spaanse virtuoos Pablo de Sarasate. Ook het vioolconcert van Alexander Glazunov werd voor een groot violist geschreven: de Hongaarse violist en vioolpedagoog Leopold Auer.
Diese beiden prächtigen Violinkonzerte atmen die Luft der Spätromantik. Gut instrumentiert und geschickt für den Solisten geschrieben, haben sie ihren Platz im Repertoire behalten, auch wenn ihre jeweiligen Komponisten aus der Mode gekommen sind. Das dritte Violinkonzert in h-Moll von Camille Saint-Saëns hatte die absolute Sicherheit und die Überzeugungskraft eines Meisterwerks. Saint-Saëns schrieb es zu Beginn des Jahres 1880 für den populären spanischen Virtuosen Pablo de Sarasate.
Obwohl Alexander Glasunow (1865-1936) ein Schüler und lebenslanger Freund von Nikolai Rimski-Korsakow war, kann er als Erbe von Tschaikowskys romantischem, mit dem Herzen auf der Zunge liegendem Kompositionsansatz angesehen werden.
Das Violinkonzert in a-Moll aus dem Jahr 1904 ist vielleicht Glasunovs auffälligstes Werk. Der einzige Kritikpunkt, den man anbringen könnte, ist die Tatsache, dass es nur 20 Minuten dauert und daher nur schwer in die stereotypen klassischen Konzertprogramme von heute passt. Wie das h-Moll-Stück von Saint-Saëns wurde es für einen großen Geiger geschrieben, in diesem Fall für den Ungarn Leopold Auer, den führenden Spieler der russischen Szene.
Der Lehrer von Rudolf Koelman, Jascha Heifetz, lernte das Konzert direkt von Auer. Am 18. Januar 1914 trafen sich Heifetz und Glasunow im St. Petersburger Konservatorium, um das Konzert vorzutragen, und man erzählt sich, dass das Honorar des fast 13-Jährigen ein Fahrrad war.
Heifetz erzählte Rudolf Koelman, dass er gerne auch das h-Moll-Konzert von Saint-Saëns aufgenommen hätte, aber irgendwie kam es nicht dazu.

Artist(s)

Rudolf Koelman (violin)

Dutch violinist Rudolf Koelman regularly performs worldwide as a soloist with numerous internationally renowned orchestras, such as KBS Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, WDR Radio Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and many others. One of Jascha Heifetz’s last pupils (LA, 1978 to 1981) and first leader of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (until 1999), Rudolf Koelman teaches at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and is frequently invited as a juror and guest professor at international violin competitions and master courses around the world. Rudolf Koelman has made numerous TV-, radio- and CD recordings among them a live recording of all 24 Paganini Capricci. In 2010, he performed in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and recorded live both Violin...
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Dutch violinist Rudolf Koelman regularly performs worldwide as a soloist with numerous internationally renowned orchestras, such as KBS Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, WDR Radio Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and many others.
One of Jascha Heifetz’s last pupils (LA, 1978 to 1981) and first leader of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (until 1999), Rudolf Koelman teaches at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and is frequently invited as a juror and guest professor at international violin competitions and master courses around the world.
Rudolf Koelman has made numerous TV-, radio- and CD recordings among them a live recording of all 24 Paganini Capricci. In 2010, he performed in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and recorded live both Violin Concertos 1 & 2 by Paganini (CC 72343 Challenge Classics). These performances were released on Challenge Records and won the prestigious Edison Award 2010 in The Netherlands.
Rudolf Koelman plays the Stradivari “Ex Woolhouse” 1720.

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Paul K. Haug (conductor)

Composer(s)

Alexander Glazunov

Alexander Glazunov was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor. In his music he reconciled the folkloric and nationalistic style of the Mighty Handful, a group of Russian composers devoted to nationalistic music, with the more cosmopolitan style of composers such as Tchaikovsky. He was a gifted artist in the use of counterpoint, a master of design and a brilliant orchestrator. Young composers like Shostakovich and Prokofiev eventually considered his music old-fashioned while also admitting he remained a composer with an imposing reputation. Glazunov had a phenomenal musical memory, which enabled him to complete several unfinished works by Borodin with the help of Rimsky-Korsakov, amongst others the Third Symphony and the opera Prince Igor. He reconstructed its overture from memory. As a conductor Glazunov introduced both...
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Alexander Glazunov was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor. In his music he reconciled the folkloric and nationalistic style of the Mighty Handful, a group of Russian composers devoted to nationalistic music, with the more cosmopolitan style of composers such as Tchaikovsky. He was a gifted artist in the use of counterpoint, a master of design and a brilliant orchestrator. Young composers like Shostakovich and Prokofiev eventually considered his music old-fashioned while also admitting he remained a composer with an imposing reputation.
Glazunov had a phenomenal musical memory, which enabled him to complete several unfinished works by Borodin with the help of Rimsky-Korsakov, amongst others the Third Symphony and the opera Prince Igor. He reconstructed its overture from memory.
As a conductor Glazunov introduced both his own works and the works of his Russian colleagues abroad. He appeared amongst others at the Russian concerts during the 1889 Paris World Fair.

Glazunov's most popular works are his ballets Raymonda and The Seasons, his two Concert Waltzes and some of his later symphonies. He is also known for being one of the few classical composers who wrote for the saxophone.


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Camille Saint-Saëns

Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, conductor, pianist and organist. He was a musical prodigy, writing his first pieces of music at the age of four and making his concert debut at the age of ten. During this concert he astonished the audience by playing one of the 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven at its request. After his studying at the Conservatory of Paris he followed a career as a church organist at Saint-Merri and later La Madeleine in Paris. He was also a successful freelance composer and pianist in France and abroad. Saint-Saëns initially helped to introduce German composers such as Robert Schumann and Richard Wagner in France. However, from 1870 onwards anti-German sentiments began to arise in France as...
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Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, conductor, pianist and organist. He was a musical prodigy, writing his first pieces of music at the age of four and making his concert debut at the age of ten. During this concert he astonished the audience by playing one of the 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven at its request. After his studying at the Conservatory of Paris he followed a career as a church organist at Saint-Merri and later La Madeleine in Paris. He was also a successful freelance composer and pianist in France and abroad.
Saint-Saëns initially helped to introduce German composers such as Robert Schumann and Richard Wagner in France. However, from 1870 onwards anti-German sentiments began to arise in France as a result of the Franco-Prussian War, which enhanced support for the idea of a pro-French musical society. In 1871 Saint-Saëns consequently founded the Société Nationale de Musique together with Romain Bussine, that was devoted to the promotion of French music and organised concerts on which young composers could perform their works.
Saint-Saëns was a keen traveler, and made 179 trips to 27 different countries during his life. He favoured Algeria and Egypt, were he gained inspiration for compositions such as the Suite Algérienne and the Fifth Piano Concerto, also known as The Egyptian.
Saint-Saëns' best-known works include the First Cello Concerto, Third Symphony, the opera Samson et Dalila, Danse Macabre and Le carnaval des animaux, a humorous suite in which various animals are musically portrayed. However, he never wanted the last work to be performed, since it was contrary to his image as a serious composer.
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Press

So, we have two terrific performances—but, very short measure on this CD. There was plenty of room for a third concerto, which is a missed opportunity considering the excellence of what we have on hand.
Fanfare Magazine, 01-3-2024

Trained by the legendary Jascha Heifetz, the Dutch violinist presents two great violin concertos with the 20-year-old Sinfonietta Schaffhausen under Paul K. Haug, which have retained their place in the repertoire.
Lufthansa In-flight Entertainment, 20-2-2024

The Third Violin Concerto by Saint-Saëns and Glazunov's concerto share the same breath of romantic exaltation that find here a fiery interpretation, brilliant and captivating by Koelman (clean sound, without excess vibrato or portamentos) and a corresponding orchestra, pasted and compact, with a hand full of Haug's brio and fire.
Scherzo, 01-2-2024

...he shapes the two epoch-stylistically similar works with the necessary density and depth and yet remains so focused that any slide into an exuberant interpretation is avoided. As a result, he offers a very pleasing view of these two concertos, which were appreciated not only by their dedicatees and premiere violinists and are gladly heard again.
Pizzicato, 23-7-2023

Koelman's sound is an irresistible mixture of warmth and inviolability, with echoes of Heifetz's energetic tempi and fast finger vibrato. In the delightful third movement of Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3, Koelman alternates the virtuoso and ethereal passages in a fluid manner and like quicksilver. The cadence in Glazunov, with trills in flawless double stops, is a prelude to an exciting finale the likes of which you only hear from top violinists.
De Volkskrant, 20-7-2023

Koelman's affinity with this repertoire is obvious (too), he plays both concertos with flawless technique, with a romantic touch (of course!), glowing and shiny in tone, filled with a lot of passion and tension. In short, that is exactly what these two concerts need and get. Like the soloist, conductor Paul K. Haug draws beautiful tension curves, while the orchestral playing is unmistakable. Music is played on the edge of the chair, the orchestral sound is not heavy-handed, flexible and agile, with the right dose of gravity. The collaboration between soloist and conductor is ideal, the striking expressive profile that so adorns and connects both concerts comes into its own in these performances. All things considered, this is a top-notch artistic achievement
Opus Klassiek, 01-7-2023

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