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Volkmar ANDREAE (1879-1962)
Piano Concerto in D (1898) [27:20]
Konzertstück in B minor, for Piano and Orchestra (1900) [15:47]
Violin Concerto in F minor, Op.40 (1935) [19:42]
Rhapsodie for Violin and Orchestra, Op.32 (1919-20) [11:51]
Fali Pavri (piano); Christian Altenburger (violin)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Marc Andreae
rec. 4-5 July 2012, The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset. DDD
GUILD GMCD 7394 [75:10]

Experience Classicsonline

Conductors who composed or composers who conducted. The choice depends on the vagaries of history and taste. It is difficult to be both, as least when viewed from the benches of the music critic. CPO among others has carried the banner for more than a few conductor-composers, including Bruno Walter who wrote a stunning First Symphony in D, Otto Klemperer and Felix Weingartner. Guild entered the fray some years ago with a whole series of the compositions of Volkmar Andreae who for me will forever be locked into memories of the Turnabout, Candide and Vox LP labels. More recently we have seen his recordings of the Bruckner symphonies (Music & Arts) and of the Othmar Schoeck Violin Concerto (Jecklin). If that association remains true after hearing this disc it will be down to a failure in imagination.
These four works are conducted by the composer’s grandson and funded by the Andreae family with the blessed Czeslaw Marek Foundation. They are triumphantly vibrant examples of the late-romantic movement and here appear in their first-ever commercial recordings. The spirit of adventure is well and truly alive.
The three-movement Piano Concerto is a tempestuous Tchaikovskian foray with golden splendour flowing through its veins and arteries. This should not be missed by adherents of the Hyperion romantic piano concerto series, especially of the concerto niche also occupied by Bortkiewicz, Arensky and Scriabin. I hasten to emphasise that this work runs with the Tchaikovskian current rather than the Brahmsian one. After a dreamy middle movement the finale gallops along in optimistic vein but pulls itself together for a conventional buffeting storm with which to end. Those moody coal-black clouds gradually lighten for the Konzertstück and take us into a more Schumann-inflected style. The dying bars emphasise the irrepressibly reverberant acoustic of The Lighthouse.
Then comes the compact Violin Concerto which opens in slowly pulsating film noir gloom. The violin enters high and slender in a finery that blends Berg and Delius. The music develops temperaments that dance and sing. All in all this is a triumph of variegated yet predominantly lambent writing. The ‘sweet tooth’ finale is reminiscent of both Saint-Saens and Korngold. A Mephisto darkness builds towards the end but soon changes tack for a cheery final wave. Encircling shadows hang over the Rhapsodie but once the music finds its feet this proves to be another exuberant feel-good effort. Again the work is in the concentrated, tunefully catchy style established by Saint-Saens in his short violin pieces such as Havanaise and Caprice Andalou.
The agreeably detailed notes are by Robert Matthew-Walker and are no token contribution. The research shows and is put across with a light but not condescending hand.
Well worth the investment for those who are curious about Andreae the composer and for adherents of catchily romantic concertos.

Rob Barnett

  Volkmar Andreae on Guild:-

Symphony GMCD 7377
Songs GMCD 7237
Piano Trios GMCD 7307
String and Flute Quartets GMCD 7328

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