Christian Tetzlaff/ Lars Vogt, Wigmore Hall, London
Monday 27 April 2009
The temperature must have risen at least ten degrees during the second half of this Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt programme at Wigmore Hall.
It was pretty cool to begin with: circumspect Bach – the 5th Violin Sonata in F minor – marked, in the first page or two of the opening Largo, by a shade too much vibrato, almost as if Tetzlaff were attempting to warm the music and render it less austere than is customary. It was very 21st century – Tetzlaff playing on his own modern instrument and Vogt luxuriating in Steinway grand amplitude.
There was another thing, too: music on Tetzlaff’s stand. It was a BBC Radio 3 recording, I know, but music always comes between a performer and his audience and beautiful though both players’ responses were to the grand soaring lines of Brahms’ Violin Sonata No.2 in A there was no question that Tetzlaff, in particular, was psychologically – to use actors’ parlance – still “on the book”. With a player as special as this you know instinctively when the technique is not quite connecting with the emotional core of a piece. It was quite simply one of those performances which left you wanting more.
And, boy, did we get more. It could be, of course, that with Bartok’s huge and voracious Violin Sonata No.1 waiting to pounce from the other side of the interval that Tetzlaff and Vogt’s Brahmsian reserve was simply a case of pacing by design – at any rate, the music in this instance may physically have been on the stands but in every other respect it was back in the dressing room. From the very opening page where Tetzlaff seemed quite literally to hurl himself into the foaming rapids of the piano part this was an Allegro appassionato that was in every sense - livid.
The big surprise of this first movement is its nocturnal middle section, tremulous and expectant, a serenade of sorts but so very different from the spare, beautiful theme of the ensuing Adagio where transfiguration is the name of the game. Seeking inspiration in altissimo Tetzlaff seemed to spirit sounds from higher than a dog can hear until the opening theme was festooned in shimmering embellishments.
Both parties then powered into the dizzying finale, Tetzlaff shredding bow hair and Vogt stomping into piano part like his feet not his hands were going to do the business. This was country dancing as a blood sport, a whisker away from grievous bodily harm, sensationally uninhibited You could hardly recognise either player. Until, that is, they politely offered us genial Dvorak as a reassuring encore.
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Blade Runner sequel: Harrison Ford confirmed to return with Denis Villeneuve directing
All fiction follows one of six basic storylines, according to new research
House of Cards season 3 premiere, review: Has Frank Underwood gone soft?
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia