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Violin Concerto & String quartet No. 3
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Violin Concerto & String quartet No. 3

Antje Weithaas | Camerata Bern

Label: CAvi
Format: CD
Barcode: 4260085533930
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Catalog number: AVI 8553393
Releasedate: 09-03-18
- The third recording with a violin concerto after Beethoven/Berg and Brahms, ANTJE WEITHAAS playing the solo part, whilst also leading the CAMERATA BERN orchestra
- She explains her own reading of the score which in some cases is different from the “standard” reading
- Antje Weithaas stands for highest musicality, exquisite technique, fabulous playing and artistry. 

"Admittedly, it is quite exceptional for an orchestra and a soloist to record the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto without a conductor. Some members of Camerata Bern were less worried about this project; others – including myself – had their misgivings at first.

Essential questions remained with us throughout: how do we stay in sync while ensuring that the music remains lively and flexible; how can we go on interacting? What we are applying here is indeed a chamber music approach, which is supposed to allow us to gain in terms of freedom and clarity.

Otherwise, such a project would not be justified. Now, listening to the result, I must concede that the adventure was well worth the effort, even though such projects can only succeed when the soloist and the orchestra know one another very well, as is the case with myself and the Camerata. After several days of intense recording sessions, I feel thoroughly grateful to all members of the ensemble and to the marvellous additional wind section for the incredibly stimulating, creative time

we spent together. The shared atmosphere created a kind of energy that released unforeseen potential in us and inspired everyone involved. Of course we could already look back on our previous collaborations: in the Beethoven Violin Concerto, and particularly in the Brahms. Now, recording the Tchaikovsky, we found those experiences extremely helpful.

I wanted to record Tchaikovsky for several reasons. Most importantly, I love Tchaikovsky’s music, particularly the two works featured on this recording. I wanted to coax the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto out of the corner of virtuoso tradition it has occupied until now. In certain aspects, an established way of playing it has become somewhat cemented over the last decades. But neither do I see that approach justified in the score, nor does it correspond with my view of Tchaikovsky as a musician and as a human being. We all found it thrilling to challenge and question our previous experience with this piece, both as performers and as listeners, and to tackle it as if it was new to us. I had played the Tchaikovsky Concerto a lot as a student, but had not returned to it for over ten years. Besides, German violinists are generally not often called upon to interpret Russian composers. What better point in time than this one to learn the piece once more, almost from scratch? I purchased a new score; I intensely studied the Henle Urtext edition and tried to develop a fresh approach, daring to question tradition by taking Tchaikovsky’s tempo relations, dynamics and articulation utterly seriously.

I view Tchaikovsky as a gracefully elegant, thoroughly aristocratic Russian, and I wanted to help the listener clearly discern his moving sadness and yearning: however, this music always remains elegant and noble in spite of its emotional depth. These aspects are thoroughly Russian, but in a very fine, subtle way. I extend my heartfelt thanks to all members of Camerata Bern for this thrilling production.

What a luxury to be able to make music together in this way!"              

ANTJE WEITHAAS Violin

Her stage presence and charisma rivet the audience without ever detracting from the work itself. Unpretentiously, always allowing the music to take center stage, Antje Weithaas inspects every detail of the score with utterly convincing musical intelligence and unrivalled technical mastery. Her broad, multi-faceted concerto repertoire comprises not only the great concertos of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann, but also new works such as Jörg Widmann’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, a series of modern classics, and seldom-performed gems.

In 2013, Antje Weithaas recorded a benchmark version of the Beethoven and Berg violin concertos with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra conducted by Steven Sloane for the CAvi-music label, followed by the complete works of Max Bruch for violin and orchestra with the NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Hermann Bäumer for cpo, and the Brahms Violin Concerto with Camerata Bern for CAvi-music. Her latest project for CAvi is thrilling critics and music-lovers alike: the complete solo sonatas and partitas of Johann Sebastian Bach, coupled with the solo violin sonatas of Eugène Ysaÿe.

Antje Weithaas began playing the violin when she was 4 1/2 years old. She went on to study with Professor Werner Scholz at the Hanns Eisler University of Music in Berlin. In 1987 she won the Kreisler Competition in Graz, in 1988 the Bach Competition in Leipzig, and in 1991 the International Joseph Joachim Violin Competition in Hannover. Antje Weithaas has held a professorship for violin at the Hanns Eisler University of Music in Berlin since 2004; she plays a violin made by Peter Greiner in 2001.

CAMERATA BERN

Founded in 1962 as a flexible instrumental ensemble without a conductor, the CAMERATA BERN quickly rose to international success. Its members are highly gifted soloists and chamber musicians. Under the artistic direction of Antje Weithaas and guest concertmasters such as Erich Hörbarth, Patricia Kopatschinskaja, Amandine Beyer, Rachel Podger and Enrico Onofri, the ensemble stands out with its subtle and perfectly homogeneous sound, its freshness and mastery of style. The CAMERATA BERN now extends its focus to historically informed peformance on period instruments, while maintaining a lively, fruitful dialogue with the music of our time.

These exceptional qualities have led the ensemble to collaborate with a great number of internationally renowned soloists such as Heinz Holliger, András Schiff, Alexander Lonquich, Jörg Widmann, Tabea Zimmermann, Bernd Glemser, Christian Gerhaher, Marie Luise Neunecker, Vesselina Kasarova, Radu Lupu, Gidon Kremer, Barbara Hendricks, Reinhold Friedrich, Leonidas Kavakos and Angelika Kirchschlager, amongst others.

The ensemble has toured extensively in Europe, South and North America, as well as in South Asia, the Far East, Australia and Japan, recently to Mexico, Costa Rica, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Montevideo, Geneva, Genua and others. Its recordings have won several international awards. In 2012, the CAvi-Music label released a CAMERATA BERN Beethoven CD as well as the Brahms Violin Concerto (2015) with Antje Weithaas.

The CAMERATA BERN hosts its own subscription concert cycles in Berne. It brings music closer to children thanks to a large-scale project initiated in 2010, with over 130 concerts in schools across the Canton of Bern. In collaboration with Bern Municipal Theatre, the CAMEARATA co-produces full-length choreographies and opera. In early 2015, the ensemble co-produced Monteverdi’s opera “L’Orfeo” with Konzert Theater Berne very successfully conducted by Attilio Cremonesi.

The CAMERATA BERN FOUNDATION receives subsidies from the City, the Burgergemeinde and the Canton of Berne. It also receives regular support endowments from the Ursula Wirz Foundation and project-related funding from a series from further foundations and sponsors. In its programmes dedicated to early music, the ensemble performs on a set of 14 period instruments based on Baroque models, donated by the Bernese Guilds, the Burgergemeinde of Berne and and the Hans & Verena Krebs Foundation.