MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around   2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64 (1844) [26:21]
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35 (1878) [32:38]
Pablo de SARASATE (1844-1908)
Zigeunerweisen, Op.20 (1878) [8:08]
Gerhard Taschner (violin)
Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Lehmann (Mendelssohn)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Artur Rother (Tchaikovsky)
Michael Raucheisen (piano)
rec. August 1953 (Mendelssohn) April 1948 (Tchaikovsky) December 1943 (Sarasate)

Three labels in particular have done much to bring the name of violinist Gerhard Taschner to international prominence; Tahra, German EMI, and MDG (see reviews of the Beethoven & Fortner and Sibelius and Khachaturian concertos on MDG). Born in 1922 in what is now Krnov in the Czech Republic, also known as Jägerndorf to German speakers, he had early success in Prague and was leader of the Brno opera orchestra. This Czech background is a little deceptive as his musical orientation was broadly Austro-Hungarian, given that he studied with Jenö Hubay in Budapest between 1930 and 1932. His first conducting mentor was Hermann Abendroth who recommended to him to Furtwängler. It was through this latter association, and Taschner’s appointment as the Berlin Philharmonic’s leader at an incredibly young age, that he first rose to prominence.
Though he became the leading German violinist by the early 1950s, after the deaths of Kulenkampff and Busch, his career didn’t last long. He gave up solo performances when he was 40, devoting himself to teaching. Thus it is that Taschner, who didn’t like studio recording, lives posthumously through radio broadcasts such as these.
I’ve never been wholly convinced by the documents that have survived. Great claims have been made for Taschner but I find them seldom supported by the playing, attractive, indeed intense though it can often be. Whereas I didn’t elsewhere much like his Bruch, his Mendelssohn is rather more convincing. True, he makes some expressive gestures that don’t sound wholly integrated into the fabric of his playing - something I’ve often noticed in his performances, a kind of expressive inconsistency - he plays thoughtfully and often imaginatively. There is a musing quality to the slow movement, and a rhythmically attractive control in the finale - neither too fast, nor too sluggish. Like the fine concertmaster that he was, good rhythm is the name of the game. He is somewhat let down by Fritz Lehmann and the Bamberg Symphony who are heavy handed from time to time - especially the lower strings, which boom - and by a recording that is inclined to spread.
With his old orchestra (which he had left in 1945) he performs the Tchaikovsky, in April 1948. Artur Rother, an old hand, proves a more suitable accompanist here. Like his Hanseatic colleague Georg Kulenkampff, who died that same year, Taschner was attuned to the Slavic muse. Indeed Taschner would have been listening avidly when Kulenkampff performed, as he did so often, with the Berlin Philharmonic and Furtwangler during the War. Taschner binds the first movement’s second subject well, though very occasionally one notices a blanching of tone. Fluent but not overtly personalised, he is affectionate in the Canzonetta, and effective in the finale. The final piece is the wartime Zigeunerweisen with Michael Raucheisen, which has been reissued at least twice before, I believe.
There’s no faulting MDG’s commitment to Taschner’s legacy, which I am happy to commend. The notes are good and the restorations similarly.
Jonathan Woolf

See also review by Stephen Greenbank

Masterwork Index: Mendelssohn violin concerto ~~ Tchaikovsky violin concerto