LABELS: Berlin Classics
ALBUM TITLE: The Kreisler Story
WORKS: Works by Kreisler, plus arrangements of Paganini, Wieniawski, Tartini, Falla, Poldini, Schubert and JS Bach
PERFORMER: Daniel Rohn (violin), Paul Rivinius (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 0300784BC
It is surprising how few violinists have devoted albums exclusively to Kreisler’s indelible miniatures. Most notable are Henryk Szeryng (Mercury/Philips), Itzhak Perlman (EMI/Warner), Rodney Friend (EMI/Warner) and Schlomo Mintz (DG), all of whom combine old-world interpretative charm and technical insouciance to captivating effect.
Daniel Röhn may not be a big personality player in the manner of the aforementioned, yet his silvery tonal purity and exquisite subtlety of phrasing (where others are inclined to lay on cantabile luxuriance with a musical trowel) has one listening to these radiant gems with fresh ears. If old-school players in the post-Romantic tradition rarely descend below a healthy mezzo-forte, Röhn draws upon a full dynamic range just as surely as if he was playing Ravel or Prokofiev. The effect is especially beguiling in such light-as-air sweetmeats as Poldini’s Dancing Doll and Paganini’s Moto perpetuo, which float by effortlessly where others are inclined to dig deep in order to extract the maximum amount of tonal depth.
Just occasionally, as in the Falla Spanish Dance, one might wish for a touch more flamboyance, although it is difficult to imagine a more beguiling performance of Bach’s E major Partita (a premiere recording) with Kreisler’s Rachmaninovian harmonies indulged to perfection by Paul Rivinius.