The Archipel label has done listeners a great service by restoring this set of recordings by violinist Gerhardt Taschner. The remastered sound, even in the 1944 recording with the Berlin Philharmonic, is remarkably clear, full, and warm, making this album a great choice for anyone interested in great historical recordings. Of course, one of the things that makes it great is Taschner's playing. The album opens with the Sibelius violin concerto, the first two movements of which could stand alone as an ideal reference for how the piece should be played. Taschner's sound is very smooth and luxurious, intonation is generally precise, and he achieves a magnificent, romantic sound without every being sappy. The third movement of the concerto begins quite briskly and unfortunately seems to get away from Taschner a little bit. The Bruch concerto follows a similar pattern, with Taschner seeming to want to "wow" his audiences in the finale by pushing the tempo a little bit faster than he can really execute with precision. The remaining two works are pieces for violin and piano. Although the sound quality is quite different than the concerto recordings, it is still appealing. Taschner's performance of Schubert and Paganini, while adequate, is not as ravishing as his interpretations of the late-Romantic concertos. Despite the minor problems found in the concerto's third movements, this recording is still quite musically fulfilling.
AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47|
|Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op. 26|
|Sonatina for violin & piano in D major, D. 384 (Op. posth. 137/1)|