Markus Wolf plays the "Vollrath-Stradivarius" from 1722, a loan from the Bayerische Landesbank.
With the friendly assistance of
Recorded at FARAO Studios, July 2005
booklet: (German, English) · introduction BayernLB · text · biographies
Markus Wolf is First Concertmaster of the Bavarian State Orchestra. There, not only does he play the first violin, but also the best: a Stradivari from the year 1722, purchased by the BayernLB. But since the patrons cannot play it themselves, the valuable piece was placed at Markus Wolf’s disposal. Ever since, he has enchanted his audience with its rare sounds, once again turning a precious violin into invaluable art.
Hans Pfitzner’s violin sonata is among the most rarely played works of its genre. On the new CD by Markus Wolf and Julian Riem, it comes together with the disproportionately better-known sonata by Richard Strauss, to allow us a glimpse into the world of music in Munich between the end of the 19th century and the end of the period under the emperor.
Pfitzner’s music may surely be regarded as retrospective, whilst the sonata by Richard Strauss was ahead of its time – but the parallels between the two works cannot be missed. In this new recording, Markus Wolf may be heard for the first time playing the 'Vollrath' Stradivarius.
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"… Both of these sonatas are given especially successful performances by violinist Markus Wolf and pianist Julian Riem, who do an exemplary job simultaneously highlighting each piece's Romantic and progressive qualities. Wolf's sound is very warm and inviting while easily rising above the piano. The dialogue between the two instruments is seamless and balance is totally fluid, allowing each instrument to rise to the forefront when appropriate. Anyone who lacks quality recordings of these oft overlooked pieces of chamber music would do well to add this album to their collection." www.allmusic.com, Mike D. Brownell, 2008
"[…] Wolf and Riem manage to give volume, much breath and symphonic weight to these pieces. The result is a CD which is both historically and musically exciting." Crescendo, Felix von Freuden, Heft 01/2008
"[…] Markus Wolf, concert master of the Bavarian State Orchestra, commissions his sovereign handiwork to a consistently successful rendition. This lean conception, always aiming for polyphony, even the way the partners conduct their dialogue, has a pleasant appeal to it, so that it all comes together to form one big arch. The slow movement radiates great warmth followed by a fiercely attacking allegro. […] Thus, the brilliant sound of Markus Wolf’s Stradivari can reveal itself perfectly. Julian Riem sees to a tastefully phrased, subtly balanced accompaniment. Diverse, elegant, cultivated – this is how the interpretation comes across. A most welcome encounter for friends of chamber music. As far as the recording is concerned, it leaves nothing to be desired." klassik.com, Prof. Egon Bezold, 17.01.2008
"[…] the young Munich pianist Julian Riem and Markus Wolf, First Concertmaster of the State Orchestra of many years, are two utterly distinguished, top-notch chamber musicians who play the pieces earnestly and with devotion […]" Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2006