An Echo Klassik for Hofmann, an Opus d’or for von Bausznern, and now for the third time the Berolina Ensemble steps into the spotlight with a spectacular discovery – and once again we are at a loss to explain how it was that such magnificent works could ever be forgotten. The ensemble’s newest release is dedicated to Ernst Rudorff. His opulent String Sextet, Romance for Violin and Piano, and a series of enchanting piano pieces offer extensive documentation of the chamber oeuvre of this Berlin composer, who also numbered among the pioneers in the field of conservation.
Rudorff was on close personal terms with Clara Schumann and her family; one of the Schumann daughters received instruction in piano from him. The fact that Schumann and Brahms were his models is in particular evidence in his piano compositions. Just listen to the second of the Six Piano Pieces, in which a Schumannian agitato meets ambitious harmonies, or to the first, which recalls the narrative tone of the Kinderszenen. At the latest by the fourth piece of the collection, an entirely new tone is encountered, and in the harmonic tension of the concluding adagio this tone clearly points to the future.
The String Sextet published by the young Rudorff as his op. 5 begins with a sweeping gesture. David Gorol, the ensemble’s spiritus rector, opts for impassioned voice leading from the very beginning. The second movement reflects high ambitions. After only a few measures of bright major the charmingly simple beginning of the theme moves into a brooding minor; simplicity and magnificence are united in the splendid beginning of this variation movement of symphonic dimensions!
The concluding Romance for Violin and Piano presents salon culture on the highest level. Here David Gorol dedicates his violinist’s perfection to the cause of a highly romantic narrative, which Viller Valbonesi has rest on orchestral sound optimally supporting the singing violin in the ecstatic highest of the heights. All of this is experienced in finely balanced SACD recording technology featuring genuine 3-D sound – a treat not only for friends of natural sound!