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Borodin & Tchaikovsky
Alexander Borodin, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Artists of Spannungen Festival 2018

Borodin & Tchaikovsky

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: CAvi
UPC: 4260085531011
Catnr: AVI 8553101
Release date: 06 September 2019
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Label
CAvi
UPC
4260085531011
Catalogue number
AVI 8553101
Release date
06 September 2019
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

RUSSIAN STRING QUARTETS

BORODIN: „Many Russian instrumental works of the 19th century were based on a programme, and the same holds true of Alexander Borodin’s Second String Quartet. Here the underlying subject was the great love he felt for his wife Ekaterina. In 1877, the composer (who was also a doctor and a chemist) travelled to Heidelberg, where he had met her 16 years earlier. In letters he described to her how he was returning to the spots they had visited together, and added: “I would give anything to have you here at my side.” Borodin finished writing the D Major Quartet on a date that was likewise symbolic: on 10 August 1881, their twentieth anniversary. ……“ (from the liner notes by Mathias Corvin)

Tchaikovsky managed to make ends meet by teaching, until his concert overture The Tempest (1873) drew widespread attention to his talent as a composer. In high spirits after that resounding success, Tchaikovsky euphorically wrote his Second String Quartet in the course of one night in January 1874. This work is even more elaborate and mature than the more well-known First String Quartet, with which he had attempted to supplement his meager professor’s salary in 1871. He certainly had less trouble composing the Second Quartet: “I regard it as my best work; no other piece has poured forth from me so simply and easily. I wrote it almost in one sitting.”

Musical connections with Mozart’s string quartets are already evident in the first movement.“…. (from the line notes Pedro Obiera)

Artist(s)

Julian Steckel (cello)

“As an interpreter, I’ve started trusting my inner life more and letting the audience in,” he says. “It’s a kind of vulnerability that makes you stronger.” His first child was born at the end of 2018. Since then, his conviction has grown, his sense for metaphor expanded. He knows that making music for an audience occasionally involves tipping the scales too far one way or another. But he is aware of his responsibility toward what is often called the “intentions of the composer.” He dives deep into scores, investigating the organic connections that give a work its unity. “If you know one room in an apartment, but not that the apartment has seven other rooms, you won’t even understand the room you’re in,” he says. For Julian, these...
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“As an interpreter, I’ve started trusting my inner life more and letting the audience in,” he says. “It’s a kind of vulnerability that makes you stronger.” His first child was born at the end of 2018. Since then, his conviction has grown, his sense for metaphor expanded.
He knows that making music for an audience occasionally involves tipping the scales too far one way or another. But he is aware of his responsibility toward what is often called the “intentions of the composer.” He dives deep into scores, investigating the organic connections that give a work its unity. “If you know one room in an apartment, but not that the apartment has seven other rooms, you won’t even understand the room you’re in,” he says.
For Julian, these experiences and encounters are the result of organic growth, not external pressure.
It’s a development that tends to happen when a musician of his ability goes through life with an open mind.
His playing is effortless, unhindered by technical boundaries. He derives energy from appearing not to try. It’s a quality that many look for and few find. He sees his talent and his musical upbringing as a gift. His mentors are responsible for the rest.
“My very first teacher considered lightness and simplicity to be at the core of cello playing,” Julian says. “Listen to yourself, plan what you’re doing, get it right the first time. I owe everything to these insights.” He studied with Ulrich Voss, Gustav Rivinius, Boris Pergamenschikow, Heinrich Schiff and Antje Weithaas. Now he is a teacher himself, at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich.
On this recording Julian Steckel plays a cello by Andrea Guarneri (Cremona, 1685). When he’s not performing, he lives in Berlin.

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Barbara Buntrock (viola)

Barbara Buntrock took her first violin lessons at the age of five; it was only just before entering university-level studies that she discovered her love for the viola, its deeper tones and timbres. She studied at several music universities: in Cologne with Werner Dickel, in Lübeck with Barbara Westphal, at the Juilliard School in New York City with Heidi Castleman, and in Berlin with Tabea Zimmermann and Lars Anders Tomter. From February 2009 to December 2010, Barbara Buntrock was Principal Violist of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra but decided to devote herself instead to solo appearances and chamber music. In 2015, she was appointed Viola Professor at the Robert Schumann University of Music in Düsseldorf. Buntrock plays a viola made by Antonio Mariani in Pesaro, ca. 1650, an instrument...
more
Barbara Buntrock took her first violin lessons at the age of five; it was only just before entering university-level studies that she discovered her love for the viola, its deeper tones and timbres.
She studied at several music universities: in Cologne with Werner Dickel, in Lübeck with Barbara Westphal, at the Juilliard School in New York City with Heidi Castleman, and in Berlin with Tabea Zimmermann and Lars Anders Tomter.
From February 2009 to December 2010, Barbara Buntrock was Principal Violist of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra but decided to devote herself instead to solo appearances and chamber music.
In 2015, she was appointed Viola Professor at the Robert Schumann University of Music in Düsseldorf.
Buntrock plays a viola made by Antonio Mariani in Pesaro, ca. 1650, an instrument that previously belonged to legendary violist Lionel Tertis.
Her most recent recordings on CD include Walter Braunfels’s Scottish Fantasia (on the Capriccio label) and the viola concertos of Christian Westerhoff (cpo). In contrast to her musical activities, her two children have been the leading voice in Barbara Buntrock‘s life since 2021.

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Byol Kang (violin)

Anna Reszniak (violin)

Composer(s)

Alexander Borodin

Alexander Borodin was a Russian Romantic composer of Georgian origin, as well as a doctor and chemist. He was one of the prominent 19th century composers known as The Mighty Handful, a group dedicated to producing a uniquely Russian kind of classical music, rather than imitating earlier Western European models. Borodin is best known for his symphonies, his two string quartets, the tone poem In the Steppes of Central Asia and his opera Prince Igor. Music from Prince Igor and his string quartets was later adapted for the US musical Kismet. A notable advocate of women's rights, Borodin was a promoter of education in Russia and founded the School of Medicine for Women in St. Petersburg.  
more
Alexander Borodin was a Russian Romantic composer of Georgian origin, as well as a doctor and chemist. He was one of the prominent 19th century composers known as The Mighty Handful, a group dedicated to producing a uniquely Russian kind of classical music, rather than imitating earlier Western European models.
Borodin is best known for his symphonies, his two string quartets, the tone poem In the Steppes of Central Asia and his opera Prince Igor. Music from Prince Igor and his string quartets was later adapted for the US musical Kismet. A notable advocate of women's rights, Borodin was a promoter of education in Russia and founded the School of Medicine for Women in St. Petersburg.

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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky is considered as one of the most talented Russian composers of the 19th century. Unlike many other Russian composers of his time, he studied at a conservatory and made the western music theory his own. So, he was not as distrustful of western music as the group of nationalistic composers surrounding Balakirev. Yet, Tchaikovsky sought to express the typical Russian mentality just as much and used many Russian folk songs in his music.  He had a good relationship with Balakirev, who helped him with constructive feedback on his first masterpiece, the overture of Romeo and Juliet. At times, Tchaikovsky was emotionally unstable, which has often been attributed to struggles with his homosexuality. His decision to marry proved to be disastrous...
more
Tchaikovsky is considered as one of the most talented Russian composers of the 19th century. Unlike many other Russian composers of his time, he studied at a conservatory and made the western music theory his own. So, he was not as distrustful of western music as the group of nationalistic composers surrounding Balakirev. Yet, Tchaikovsky sought to express the typical Russian mentality just as much and used many Russian folk songs in his music. He had a good relationship with Balakirev, who helped him with constructive feedback on his first masterpiece, the overture of Romeo and Juliet. At times, Tchaikovsky was emotionally unstable, which has often been attributed to struggles with his homosexuality. His decision to marry proved to be disastrous and plunged him into a deep crisis. Yet, the passionate letters of his fiance, even though they barely knew each other, did inspire him to compose his succesful opera Evgenij Onegin. Tchaikovsky had the wonderful gift of composing the most beautiful, lyric melodies. He had a feeling for creating a certain atmosphere in his music and mastered the art of orchestration. Moreover, he excelled in dance music, which made him the ideal composer for ballet. With his ballets The Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker he brought the genre to a higher level. During his life, he was already a celebrity. He often did tours to conduct his music and in the USA he was welcomed as a star. He died unexpectedly, nine days after the premiere of his incredibly gloomy Sixth Symphony, probably of cholera. Some other highlights of his body of works are his First Piano Concerto, his Violin Concerto and the Rococo-variations.
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Often bought together with..

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Dmitry Shostakovich
Shostakovich & Tchaikovsky
Thorn Magnus Reymert | NOR59
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Peter Donohoe
Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77 / In tempus praesens
Simone Lamsma / The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Mieczysław Weinberg, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Dmitri Shostakovich
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Linus Roth / Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn / José Gallardo
Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony no. 14
Gordan Nikolić / Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
Various composers
Vivat Leo! Music for a Medici Pope
Cappella Pratensis & Joshua Rifkin

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