Taschner, Gerhard became the concertmaster in Brno at the age of seventeen, and shortly thereafter Wilhelm Furtwängler appointed him to the same post in Berlin. Taschner was one of the twentieth century’s top talents, and the fascination with which this genial musician held his public spellbound is documented on this brand-new release featuring the violin concertos of Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky – with an encore in the form of Sarasate’s Gypsy Airs.
A contemporary critic likened Taschner’s performance of the Tchaikovsky concerto “to the eruption of a volcano.” Uncompromisingly, while transcending the instrument’s supposed limits, Taschner’s rendering intensifies into previously unimagined expressive spheres. Jarring sounds seem to threaten the whole enterprise, fingers and bow simply fly over the strings, and smooth perfection is left behind and swept away by the superior forces of wild emotion.
Consequently, Taschner was no friend of the recording studio. Fortunately, some of his concerts were broadcast on the radio and in live productions. Unfortunately, however, some of them were erased during the 1950s and 1960s – an incredible loss! The Mendelssohn concerto released here continues to be extant in a single radio tape recording, on which this careful and respectful restoration is based.
Preserving Taschner, Gerhard’s unique talent for future listening generations – what task could be nobler for an MDG edition bringing to light lovingly selected and meticulously restored treasures on the basis of rare musical documents? They include live concert recordings conducted by the legendary Wilhelm Furtwängler and Georg Solti as well as Taschner’s favorite occupation in the field of violin cabinet pieces – a fascinating fireworks display of violin playing!