by Daniel Hautzinger
The Knights evolved out of chamber music parties among friends, and have a “unique camaraderie [that] retains the intimacy and spontaneity of chamber music,” according to their biography. That driving concept is so strong that it is clearly audible in the New York-based orchestra’s playing. The informality and joy of making music with friends animates their new recording for Sony Classical of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and Fifth Symphony.
That congenial spirit fits the highly collaborative Triple Concerto well. Knights violinist Colin Jacobsen, cellist Jan Vogler, and pianist Antti Siirala share the limelight as soloists, relishing the musical back-and-forth (Jacobsen is also a member of Brooklyn Rider with Knights conductor Eric Jacobsen). The cello often leads, which is good news when it’s played by Vogler. He has one of the more astonishing tones of any cellist: impossibly expressive, whether potent or dulcet. This is in contrast to Jacobsen, whose sound is pared down and razor-like, especially in the upper range. Siirala’s clear, smooth touch infuses each note with effervescence. [Read more…]