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Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst (1814-'65): Fantaisie Brillante - The Virtuoso Violin / Thomas Christian, violin; Thomas Christian Ensemble

Notes & Reviews:

As an artist of the romantic era, Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst comes across to the listener as an independent and profound musician maintaining a thoroughgoing occupation with harmony and counterpoint. The present double CD brings together not only Ernst's original compositions for violin and piano and the First String Quartet but also arrangements of his works prepared by two artists heard on this recording: Thomas Christian and Hans Winking, and concludes with Wieniawski's 'Reverie', dedicated to his friend and quartet colleague Ernst in memory of their joint performances.

Gramophone Magazine, July 2015
Sweet of tone and with an almost Heifetzian intensity when needed, Christian is formidably au fait with Ernst's unique voice, leading performances of unobtrusive refinement that present this and the other works here in an ideal light and recorded sound.

American Record Guide, July/August 2015
The great surprise is the String Quartet. It is a very serious work. Reading the booklet, I learned that Ernst was one of the earliest champions of Beethoven's late quartets, which were considered the works of a madman by nearly all musicians until the late 19th Century. Thomas Christian is a more than adequate violinist for Ernst's exhibitionist and serious works. He studied with Theodore Pashkus in New York and Jascha Heifetz in Los Angeles, but he retains that relaxed, sweet Austrian style. He is the perfect interpreter for this music and draws a sweet, unforced, very even tone from his instrument. I'd like to hear more from him.


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