What the critics say
“It is a good sign that the Lionel Tertis repertoire of English music form the early 20th century is being takenup on the other side of the Channel. This recording by German-born Christian Euler includes tow of the best sonatas written for Tertis: Arnold Bax’s from 1922 and Arthur Bliss’s from 1933. …
This well-fille CD is completed by Vaughan Williams’s Suite from 1934, seldom heard in its viola-and-piano guise. Euler’s playing in the eight short movements is utterly lovely, catching theinnocent charm of the `Carol´and `Christmas Dance´while dispatching the Moto perpetuo with rare virtuosity.” THE STRAD, November 2013[/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
“With great cultivation and sensitivity, Christian Euler and the pianist Paul Rivinius emphatically and deliberately advocate three British viola sonatas from the first half of the past century, heard extremely rarely in Central Europe, by Arthur Bliss, Arnold Bax and Ralph Vaughan-Williams.” KLEINE ZEITUNG, 1 October 2013
“One must indeed be a master violist like Christian Euler in order to do justice to the demands made by this music. Euler can allow his instrument to sing both in the low register and the highest registers and, if need be, he can also coax heftier tones out of the instrument (third movement of the Bliss Sonata). In Paul Rivinius, he is joined by a pianist who listens with precision and also sits firmly in the saddle when in precarious situations. It is a great joy to listen to these two when they make music – the music of Bliss, Bax and also Vaughan-Williams is certainly well worth listening to.” ensemble, June/July 2013
“Two large three-movement sonatas by Arthur Bliss and Arnold Bax as well as the chamber version of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Suite for Viola and Orchestra are introduced here. The distinguished viola virtuoso Christian Euler and the experienced pianist Paul Rivinius perform the complex major works with a flawless technique, and their interpretation of the Suite is also notable for its seriousness and attention to details of tempo and dynamics. The work by Vaughan Williams comes off best, for the structures are simple, the movements quite brief and not so diverse in their respective characters; thus this pastoral music finds expression beautifully in its reservedly elegiac, at times playfully communicative gestures. …” www.klassik-heute.com, 23 August 2013
“This is truly virtuoso music, what Arthur Bliss composed for the viola in 1933: the highest registers and speedy runs – challenges that Christian Euler masters with ease. In the other late-romantic works, too, the Kassel-born musician shows his brilliance, precisely supported by his partner at the piano, Paul Rivinius. The full, dark viola tone is brought out especially well in the Sonata by Arnold Bax, as is the humoristic talent of the viola in the Suite by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Not least, one can enthuse over the warm and detailed tone in the best SACD resolution. This is the best advertising for an underestimated instrument.” AUDIO, May 2013
“… Christian Euler emphatically dedicates himself to the common features and the differences between the pieces with great flexibility of tone and gesture. Accompanied by Paul Rivinius at the piano, his scale of expression is romantic, but it adds the characteristic traits of each composer. The Bliss Sonata reminds one of the brittle objectivity of a Paul Hindemith; through the inclusions of Celtic folklore, he gives the Bax work an aura of fantastic melancholy; and Vaughan Williams sounds at first like Christmas before the dancing begins.” Frankenpost, 7 October 2013
… as an upbeat to a viola course given by Christian Euler in Murcia, there was a duo concert with his piano partner Paul Rivinius.
Excerpts from the review:
“This concert included known entities – the Second Sonata of Brahms as well as the Adagio and Allegro – supplemented by Ernest Bloch’s Suite Hebraïque and the delightful Sonata of Arthur Bliss. We could consistently admire the complete identification of the two interpreters and a sumptuous viola sound – not very powerful, but of an absolute beauty, purity and refinement. Lessons as represented by the sonatas of Brahms and Bliss, and the manifestations of the highest degree of elegance shown by the two encores by Ravel and Gluck, must have had a profound influence on the young students. …”
Tender Tones in the Church
Bernhard Lang directed the second Symphony Concert 1994/95 of the Kassel State Theatre at the Martinskirche (St. Martin’s Church). Works of Olivier Messiaen, Johann Christian Bach and Camille Saint-Saëns were on the programme.
“For violists there is only a small repertoire of solo pieces that can be played in concert. Christian Euler, originally from Kassel and now teaching at the Academy of Music in Graz, presented a guest performance with an adapted concerto of the youngest Bach son, Johann Christian, a valuable Adagio embedded between two thrilling Allegro movements. Bernhard Lang had to hold the orchestra back quite a bit in order to allow the solo viola room to unfold, for its alto tone does not carry as far as that of the violin. Euler surprised the listeners with a gentle, almost spherical softness that also attained depth of content in the slow movement. Here, Johann Christian may have once again envisioned his father’s famous D-minor Double Concerto. …”
HNA Critic Georg Pepl on
“Ulf Hoelscher – Music with Friends” on the Occasion of the Kassel Music Days
“Ulf Hoelscher, Felicia Terpitz (violins), Christian Euler, Yannis Kormpetis (violas) and Alexandre Vay (cello) played the finely wrought String Quintet in B minor, Op. 69 by Kassel’s musical hero Louis Spohr, then Mozart’s great C-major Quintet and, after the interval, the String Quintet in A minor of Max Bruch. The last-named work proved to be a pleasant surprise: this late work of 1918 has many attractions to offer.
Listeners could experience Hoelscher’s old-school charm and a violin tone that did not always sound flawless despite all the renown musician’s experience. Thus it was another musician who provided especially beautiful moments at this concert, acknowledged by the intensive applause given by the 230 listeners: this was the clearly focussed viola tone of Christian Euler, originally from Kassel, who is a Professor at the Music Academy in Graz Hoc. …”
Voluminous Sound Tapestries at the Weißenau Festival Hall
By our colleague Dorothee L. Schaefer
WEISSENAU (sz) – The Weißenau Festival Hall has wonderful acoustics when it is well filled. Listeners flocked to the concert on Saturday evening, a concert with a special formation – flute, viola and harp – and were enthusiastic. And rightfully so.
For these three soloists – flutist Stephanie Hamburger, violist Christian Euler and harpist Sarah Christ – transformed the hall into sound, atmosphere and emotion. Such a trio does not have much original literature at its disposal, of course. Already with the first piece – Jean Marie Leclair’s Trio Sonata in D major, Op. 2 No. 8 (1728) in the adaptation for flute, viola and harp, showing the French court composer’s Italian-schooled style – the three soloists not only conveyed ensemble playing almost suggesting an orchestra, but also their own unmistakeable tone, which each one allowed to unfold in his /her instrument. We also became acquainted with little-known composers such as Franz Anton Hoffmeister with the Duo for Flute and Viola No. 2 in D major, in which the viola unfurls a voluminous sound tapestry before which the flute plays tenderly and intimately, or twittering like a bird in the ensuing Allegretto. …
Each instrument performed a solo at this concert: Christian Euler began with Alfred Pochon’s “Passacaglia” which began with an expression of reverence for Bach, then developed the most difficult double-stops, cross rhythms and fugal variations. One rarely hears such a viola: nothing was lacking in this well-balanced and always luminous playing, neither tension nor intellect, neither emotion nor taming. …” Ravensburg, 27.4.2009
How to Master Challenges
Haydn, Mozart and Carl Stamitz at the Harleshäusen Chamber Orchestra
By Christoph Heimbucher
“Christian Euler is a violist of international format. This musician, born in Kassel, played with the New Yorker Philharmonic and as substitute solo violist with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Riccardo Muti. Alongside extensive chamber music activities, he is today Professor of Viola in Graz. It is indeed a special event to be able to hear such a top-notch musician in Kassel.
Christian Euler completely fulfilled the high expectations
“Christian Euler, a globetrotter on the viola born in Kassel, performed romantic and modern music with pianist Paul Rivinius from little-known realms of the duo literature.
Euler is, at least in Kassel, a well-known name in musical circles, and Rivinius, as one of two highly musical brothers, all the more so. Invited by the “Friends of Young Musicians” they both, violist Christian Euler and pianist Paul Rivinius, gave a guest performance at the Festival Hall of the Augustinum. For the many people who made the pilgrimage there, the duo appearance became a “peripheral” musical benefaction. …
He showed himself to be a master of technically controlled beauty of sound in the Sonata of Arnold Bax (1923), a work located between late-romanticism and impressionism … On the other hand, there was the memorable “Lachrymae” Op. 48, aphoristically compressed “reflections” (variations) on a song by Dowland from the pen of Benjamin Britten, whose instrumental finesses were handled by Euler with the technical mastery of a highly experienced string player… ”
Hard Blows, Exciting Playing
Concert at the Villa Bonn
“The interpretations of Christian Euler (viola) and Paul Rivinius (piano) at their chamber music concert of the Robert Schumann Society at the Villa Bonn were marked by expressive design and precise, richly facetted music-making. The programme ranged from Marin Marais to Arthur Bliss. “L’agreable”, the first of the “Cinq Danses Françaises Anciennes” von Marin Marais, began with suppleness; “La Provenole” and “La Basque” followed with marked rhythms and effervescence, whereas, in “La Musette”, the regularity of the hurdy-gurdy was vividly imitated with multiple stops and quiescent piano accompaniment. … The Sonata in D minor by Arthur Bliss, composed in 1933, became a kaleidoscope-like work full of contrasts, thanks to their flexible playing under constant tension. …”
Düsseldorf: Forum 20 — Music from 1910 to 1920
Messages from “Dark Times”
MICHAEL-GEORG MÜLLER wrote the following about the concerts: ” …The virtuosity and excessive joy of playing in Hindemith’s (still harmonically bound) Sonata for Viola (Opus 11, No. 5) was perfectly performed by Christian Euler. His wonderful, warm sound broke open the romantic world of feeling through terse rhythmical figures – and corresponded to Marc’s ‘longing for abstract, pure love’.”
On the KULTUR pages of the Süddeutsche Zeitung of 10 May 2007, ADOLF KARL GOTTWALD wrote the following about the concert of “Musica sacra Planegg”:
Trio Kontraste Thrilled Listeners with Serenades at Musica sacra
“… For serenades, with which a lover accompanies his own singing under the window of his beloved, the guitar (or mandolin) is the classical instrument. The “Romantic Serenades” of the “Musica sacra Planegg” with works by Antonio Diabelli, Joseph Kreutzer and Wenzeslaus Matiegka were also rather classical, both in their musical language and in their execution – if one understands the word “classical” to mean “perfect”.
Three excellent musicians interpreted these serenades with their instruments – flute, viola and guitar – as the “Trio Kontraste”. … the violist Christian Euler also revealed himself to be a master of his instrument and as a chamber musician of stature. His bowing, and thus his tone is – one cannot say it better – classical, perfect. Only a guitarist of ranking and name could keep pace with this highest level of music-making. This was Maximilian Mangold, who played with brilliance in St. Elisabeth, as accompanist and with the passages that allowed the guitar to stand out as a soloist in the serenades. …”