Mendelssohn & Schumann (2016)

Mendelssohn, Schumann

Philippe Graffin, Orchestra di Padova

Tuomas Rousi

Robert Schumann turned to the violin as a solo instrument late in his too-short life, inspired by the brilliant young musician Joseph Joachim. In 1853 the 22-year-old violinist appealed to Schumann to increase the repertoire for the instrument, sending him the score of Beethoven’s concerto. Schumann, despite his increasing physical and mental weaknesses (some say the result of syphilis, while others suggest a bipolar disorder) responded with a characteristic flood of enthusiasm: he penned the Phantasie Op.131 in a few days, and soon afterwards started on a D minor Violin Concerto. 
The latter was underway in October when an unexpected guest arrived to see the Schumanns in Düsseldorf: the 20-year-old Johannes Brahms, a friend of Joachim’s. After hearing the young genius play his own works, Schumann completed the concerto in a rush of inspiration. 
This promising start, though, did not presage a happy fate for concerto or composer. The piece had just one play-through, with Joachim as soloist; troubled by what he what he termed its “morbid brooding” and “tiresome repetitions”, the famously cantankerous violinist never performed it again. 

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Philippe Graffin

Philippe Graffin has established an indisputable reputation for his interpretations of the French and English repertoire. He has rediscovered original settings of Chausson’s Poème and Ravel’s Tzigane and has championed the concerto of Coleridge-Taylor which he has recorded and performed at the BBC Proms. A number of composers have written works for him including Vytautas Barkauskas, Philippe Hersant, David Matthews, Yves Prin and Rodion Shchedrin.

As concerto soloist, Philippe has performed with orchestras such as The Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, the Residentie Orkest, Gothenburg Symphony, Orchestra di Padova et del Veneto, St Petersburg Philharmonic, and Georges Enesco Philharmonic, Bucharest.

Philippe’s discography includes an early recording with Lord Menuhin and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and many world premieres and rarities. He is a highly sought after chamber musician and featured on BBC 4’s documentary ‘Delius: Composer, Lover, Enigma’ in 2012, performing Delius’s ‘Legende’ for violin and piano. 

He is founder and artistic director of the “Consonances” chamber music festival of St Nazaire, France.

He plays a Domenico Busano violin, made in Venice, 1730. He is currently guest professor at the Royal Conservatorium Brussels and at the conservatory in The Hague.

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Mendelssohn & Schumann (2016)

Mendelssohn, Schumann

Philippe Graffin, Orchestra di Padova

    Klassiek Centraal, juli 2016

Philippe Graffin is de virtuoos van de linkerhand en van de korte, snelle boogstreken in staccato, spiccato en saltato spel. Dit horen we overduidelijk in de door Schumann improvisatorisch opgevatte, grillige Fantasie. ===== Philippe Graffin is the virtuoso of the left hand and the short, quick bow strokes in staccato , spiccato and saltato performance. We can hear this clearly in the by Schumann improvisatory conceived , fancyful Fantasy.

Michel Dutrieue[read full review]

    Pizzicato, juli 2016 -

Graffins rassiges Spiel ist in beiden Konzerten und in der Fantasie von größtmöglicher Leidenschaft. Auch wenn er in den oberen Lagen funkelt, so sind die dunklen Töne seiner Geige berückend schön. ==== Graffins thoroughbred performance in the two concerts and in the Fantasie is of the utmost passion . Even if he sparkles in the upper layers, the dark tones of his violin are enchantingly beautiful.

Remy Franck[read full review]

    Het Parool, june 2016

The Mendelssohn performance by Philippe Graffin sounds more modest and intimate then you hear it often. He also wrote the cadenza in the first movement ...... ...... Graffins cadenza is light and strong improvisational.

Eric Voermans

    Opusklassiek june 2016

"The French violinist Philippe Graffin (1964) belongs like his compatriot Renaud Capuçon to the worldtop. Their game certainly has important similarities, but also that of Graffin is individualistic enough to recognize it at a distance; such that, in all of the major violin players is the case. We have thus arrived at the great tradition of violinists as Heifetz, Milstein, Chung, Stern, Oistrakh, Francescatti, Kogan, Menuhin, Erlman and Hirschhorn (and the list is still far from complete) can be called quite variegated. Or of later date Hahn, Kremer, Jansen, Frang, Mullova, Mutter and the afore mentioned Capuçon." "The playing of Graffin (and in this he finds in conductor Tuomas Rousi a true soulmate) is characterized by beautifully worked dynamic contrasts, a natural sense of melodic development and sublime tone production." "The recording made by Tom Peeters leaves no wish unfulfilled."

Aart van der Wal[read full review]

    Presto Classical

"The programming of Philippe Graffin is always surprisingly remarkable. He is a master in making a logical connection between unknown or forgotten repertoire and "main" repertoire, and also a master in breaking new ground, on this album by introducing a cadenza of his own. He has chosen one of the most recorded 'Violin Concerto in E minor' by Felix Mendelssohn with the cadenza written by himself, and for his other selection included the not often recorded and quite controversial 'Violin Concerto in D minor' together with the 'Fantasy fur Violine und Orchester' both by Robert Schumann."

Presto Classical[read full review]

Mendelssohn & Schumann (2016)

Mendelssohn, Schumann

Philippe Graffin, Orchestra di Padova

Digital Converters: dCS & Mytek
Microphones: B&K 4006
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis
Producer: Tom Peeters
Recording Engineer: Tom Peeters, Frank Imholz
Recording location: Auditorium Pollini, Padova, Italy
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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COBRA0043: Mendelssohn & Schumann
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Violin Concerto in E minor - Allegro molto appassionato
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Violin Concerto in E minor - Andante
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Violin Concerto in E minor - Allegretto non troppo
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Fantasie fur Violine und Orchester
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Violin Concerto in D minor - In kraftigem, nicht zu schnellem Tempo
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Violin Concerto in D minor - Langsam
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Violin Concerto in D minor - Lebhaft, doch nicht zu schnell
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