Borodin & Tchaikovsky
Alexander Borodin - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Borodin & Tchaikovsky

Artists of Spannungen Festival 2018

Label: CAvi
Format: CD
Barcode: 4260085531011
Catalog number: AVI 8553101
Releasedate: 06-09-19

- Latest Live release from the famous chamber music festival SPANNUNGEN (June) 2018
- Russian String quartets are not very well known over in the West, but more than valuable to characterise the Eastern Russian orientated genre
- Alexander Borodin is one of the key figures of the Russian music school


BORODIN: „Many Russian instrumental works of the 19th century were based on a programme, and the same holds true of Alexander Borodin’s Second String Quartet. Here the underlying subject was the great love he felt for his wife Ekaterina. In 1877, the composer (who was also a doctor and a chemist) travelled to Heidelberg, where he had met her 16 years earlier. In letters he described to her how he was returning to the spots they had visited together, and added: “I would give anything to have you here at my side.” Borodin finished writing the D Major Quartet on a date that was likewise symbolic: on 10 August 1881, their twentieth anniversary. ……“ (from the liner notes by Mathias Corvin)
Tchaikovsky managed to make ends meet by teaching, until his concert overture The Tempest (1873) drew widespread attention to his talent as a composer. In high spirits after that resounding success, Tchaikovsky euphorically wrote his Second String Quartet in the course of one night in January 1874. This work is even more elaborate and mature than the more well-known First String Quartet, with which he had attempted to supplement his meager professor’s salary in 1871. He certainly had less trouble composing the Second Quartet: “I regard it as my best work; no other piece has poured forth from me so simply and easily. I wrote it almost in one sitting.”

Musical connections with Mozart’s string quartets are already evident in the first movement.“…. (from the line notes Pedro Obiera)
This impressive building, built in the Art Nouveau style in 1905 and located in the beautiful Eifel region
(West Germany), is serving as a spectacular venue for the remarkable chamber music festival
„SPANNUNGEN: Music in Heimbach‘s Hydroelectric plant“ since 1998, in June of each year.
This musical event, where musicians of the highest caliber come together for a week of chamber music
rehearsals and concerts, bears a title that truly reflects its underlying concept: „Tensions” is not only an
allusion to the electric current normally produced in this hydroelectric installation, but also to the underlying
musical tensions and contrasts in the festival’s music programs. The artists and their audience embark on
a musical journey ranking from the Baroque era to contemporary music: each year we also première a new
work. Surprising parallels often emerge in such programs, along with exciting musical contrasts and thrilling
interplay between the hydropower station’s architecture, the picturesque surroundings and the music itself.
In Heimbach, it is always exciting to adapt to one’s musical partners. Yet the most important thing is to remain
fundamentally and constantly open to one’s partners’ musical suggestions and leanings. This excellent working
environment is capable of producing concerts and recordings of which all participants can be proud of. It is
our wish and our desire that, listening to these CD’s, you will be able to relive the special atmosphere.
Norbert Ely, former music editor at the Deutschlandfunk, once called our undertaking a true „grass roots
initiative for chamber music”. In fact, this festival owes its very existence to the selfless dedication of quite
a number of music and art lovers who are active members of the Association for the Promotion of the Arts
in the County of Düren: from the very beginning, they enthusiastically continue to make this wonderful
event possible. Without wide-ranging, varied engagement on the part of our sponsors – particularly
on the part of our main sponsor and event partner INNOGY SE (also our host at the Hydroelectric
plant), and on the part of our media partner, DEUTSCHLANDFUNK (which has supported this festival
since its inception) – a chamber music event such as this one could not even be possible.
My heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported us!
Lars Vogt (Artistic Director)