Felix Schwartz press reviews
A skilful performance in its full bandwidth
Alsfeld Musik Art: Felix Schwarz (viola) and Wolfgang Kühnl (piano) as guests – a "home game" for Wolfgang Kühnl
The experienced duo startet this evening with three romances of Schumann. Internalizing [Schumann's] era, they started the first piece softly, characterized mainly by a dynamic motion. They knew how to please in the delicate intermediate piece: thoughtfully the two varied the tempo. In "Einfach innig" Schwartz elicited his viola weeping sounds... Thoughtful, almost touching, the giant musician played his viola as things developed...
Fine heavy labour
Enthused the audiance applauded Hindemith's multivarious "Sonata op. 11 No.4". Here the skilful playing of two real artists it its full bandwidth was shown. In unbelievable speedy viola parts, in which Schwartz did real fine heavy labour, as well as in the ... pianopart full of facettes, technical difficulties were mastered without any problems. In this performance Hindemith shone as bright as the brightest star.
After the pause they fired off with ... Enescu's "Concert piece". Schostakowitsch's last opus "Sonanta for viola and piano op 147" was performed by the artists as a reminiscence of his life. This last lamento of a human being, that was destroyed by the political plight of the Sowjet Union, was performed with a suitable sorrowful sound.
Being vigorously asked for encores, Kühnl and Schwartz... concluded the concert with the 2. piece of the "Sonata op. 120/1" by Johannes Brahms.
Having performed an almost magical atmosphere
A concert with Felix Schwartz and Wolfgang Kühnl
...With Prof. Felix Schwartz (viola) and Wolfgang Kühnl (piano) have been engaged two extraordinary musicians for the Bürgerhaus. Both have represented themselves on Sunday evening as artists, who are working surpassingly together as a team...
Paul Hindemith's third Sonata op. 25 No. 1 for viola solo, composed in 1922, was part of the programme of that evening. The audience in Telgte was under the spell of the gripping interpretation by Felix Schwartz. From the vigorous, resolute first and second phrase via the third, with its ballad-like beginning and its delicately performed laments, to the furiously hammering fourth part, a tension has been built up continously, which lead finally to more tranquility in the grave final phrase. An almost magical atmosphere has been performed by the conjuring conclusion of Hindemith's opus.
The evening was completed by the Sonata op. 147 by Dimitri Schostakowitsch for viola and piano. Because of the tragical events in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh this opus had been added to the evening's programme subsequently... Schwartz and Kühnl have performed this work of music especially convincingly and managed to cast a spell over their unresistant audiance. The final phrase, the Adagio offered some surprises: Over and over again phrases of Beethoven's "Mondscheinsonate" have appeared, completed by a motif of Mussorgski and quotations of the composer himself. After a solo start of the viola with a prayer-like character a smoothing, soft piano followed, which accompanied the pathetically performed melody to a silent, peacable conclusion.
A very interesting and – in its last part – very affecting concert.
A concert of contradictions
The Staatskapelle opened the season 2001/2002 (concerning Felix Schwartz' interpretation of Alfred Schnittke's concert for viola and orchestra)
...Owing to the technical phenomenal, livelily molding soloist Felix Schwartz (viola) and to the accompaniment, performed with circumspection and atmospheric sensitiveness, the listener felt the deep depression, in which he was lead by this work of music. It has impeeded a spontaneous applause though such would have been honestly merited...