Christian Ferras ∙ Concert Tours in Germany 1954-1961 ∙ 2CD


The recordings featured in this double album presents Christian Ferras during his German tours from 1954 to 1961. These performances, executed by a violinist of the highest caliber, capture Ferras at the zenith of his interpretive and artistic abilities. Throughout the recordings, Ferras maintains an unwavering connection to the essence of the music, embodying its spirit with profound sensitivity. Listening to these recordings is akin to sharing an intimate moment with a dear friend who bares their soul through their music.

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CHRISTIAN FERRAS Concert Tours in Germany 1954-1961

CD 1

BEETHOVEN: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op 61
Christian Ferras ∙ violin
Südfunk-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart
Hans Müller-Kray ∙ conductor

Recorded · 22 March 1954 · Stuttgart · Villa Berg · SDR · Radio Studio Recording

TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op 35
Christian Ferras ∙ violin
Südfunk-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart
Hans Müller-Kray ∙ conductor

Recorded · 28 March 1957 · Stuttgart · Villa Berg · SDR · Radio Studio Recording

CD 2

CD 2
BRAHMS: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op 77
Christian Ferras ∙ violin
Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt ∙ conductor

Recorded · 09 February 1959 · Hamburg · Musikhalle · NDR · Live Recording

PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No 1 in D Major, Op 19
Christian Ferras ∙ violin
Dean Dixon ∙ conductor

Recorded · 10 March 1961 · Frankfurt · Sendesaal · HR · Live Recording

Article number: MC 2042
UPC barcode: 791154050736
Release date: 14 September 2020
Booklet: 8 Pages
Total timing: 77:27 CD1 ∙ 61:37 CD2
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2020 Meloclassic

March 2021 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Christian Ferras ∙ Concert Tours in Germany 1954-1961
Recommended Recording: The Melo recordings here – all of D major concertos – are of concerts from Ferras’s German tours between 1954 and 1961. The earliest, the Beethoven concerto with Hans Müller-Kray dates from 1954, when Ferras was 21, and is a more elusive performance than the more famous studio version he made as a 19-year-old with Karl Böhm and the Berliner Philharmoniker. Ferras’s considerable art is on display here: the effortless projection of a vision that gives a complete picture of where this performance is going, the sublime singing line, the profound beauty of what we hear. Ferras is nothing short of phenomenal. The 1957 Tchaikovsky recording is also with Hans Müller-Kray but he is in much better form this time, although playing without the soloist he still has a tendency to wander off tempo and apply strange rubato [Allegro moderato, 6:05 – 6:43]. A rather later Tchaikovsky concerto with Ferras, this time from Paris in April 1964 with Eugene Jochum, and taken at a markedly faster tempo, is electrifying. It can sound loose, on the cusp of dangerously falling off a cliff it’s so on the edge; Ferras comes close to challenging the limits of his own technique. That he keeps control is something of a miracle. Here he is more measured, although there is something uncommonly noble about this 1957 performance which is missing from the Paris one; it is also in better sound. Those upper harmonics have much more purity of tone, largely because Ferras has more time to play them here; in Paris they can sound rushed. As with the Beethoven concerto, Christian Ferras returned to the Brahms often and there are several live performances which survive. Ferras, however, was almost born to play this concerto. It suits the sweetness of his tone and that big Romantic, sweeping sound to perfection. There is considerable finesse here: the double stops are clean, broken chords are navigated solidly, intonation is pure (how beautifully poetic the Adagio becomes in his hands – it’s done with consummate beauty). The performance here of Prokofiev’s D major Violin Concerto sounds significantly better than the radio broadcast which surfaced on some newsgroups a few years ago. It is the only known live performance of Ferras playing this particular concerto – or indeed any Prokofiev – other than an unpublished one for EMI France conducted by Prêtre in 1963. It is by some considerable distance the finest thing on these discs. Always a violinist who could pinpoint octave leaps, it is also no surprise that he can control his bow with extraordinary precision and control. There is absolutely no quiver whatsoever during the closing bar; it is rocksteady. I don’t expect to hear a finer set of discs this year by a violinist than these. These are superb performances by an absolute master of the instrument.
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