Chamber Music in Intimate Spaces


In early 19th-century in Vienna, the popularity of Schubert’s songs and dance music became so great that concert parties were entirely devoted to them. These parties, called Schubertiaden, were given in the homes of wealthier friends or aficionados of Schubert's music. In addition to Schubert's music, they often also featured poetry readings, dancing, and other sociable pastimes. The goal of Cotik’s Schubertiaden project is to recreate the spirit and essence of those homonymous historic events; creating informal gatherings in intimate spaces and private homes, sponsored by hosts, who directly invite their guests and friends. In addition to Schubert's chamber music, these concerts can also include music by other composers performed with diverse ensembles and flexible instrumentation.


 

“NOMINATED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CLASSICAL MUSIC AWARDS 2018”

ICMA

“a treat from start to finish”

Musical Toronto

“short  this is a great recording  if you value warmth and sweetness in Mendelssohn. Here, though, nothing is forced, and, as  I say, the world seems a better place.”

AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE

“laudable level of technical accuracy…tenderness and warmth”

The Palm Beach Arts Paper

“Cotik…honored not only his professions as musician, but the memory and work of Franz Schubert”

The Palm Beach Arts Paper

“Cotik plays with a resonant, clear and warm tone, and dynamics, phrasing and tempi are all perfectly judged...a sentiment that is clearly evident in every single track of this exemplary set”

THE WHOLE NOTE

“If anyone's up to the task, it's Cotik”

TEXTURA

“without a doubt, an album to get excited and listen to continuously. Pure excellence. Essential!  ”

CULTURALMENTE INCORRECTO

“We encounter here an extraordinary violinist, with an overwhelming technique and a musicality; the results are excellent, with little or nothing to envy the greatest  interpretations that could have ever been recorded.”

RITMO MAGAZINE

“Cotik and the orchestra provided impressive advocacy for a multifaceted work that deserves to be heard more often. Cotik seamlessly handled the frequent changes in mood and adroitly traversed the work’s myriad technical challenges while always keeping the focus on the music.”

SOUTH FLORIDA CLASSICAL REVIEW

“ Also in the interpretation of Mozart's sonatas, Cotik's excellent performance and perfect technique stand out in the particularly brilliant articulations  ”

GBOPERA MAGAZINE

“None of these pieces has ever sounded quite like this before.”

INFODAD.COM

“unusual depth and broad compass...absolutely brilliant... unmistakable vitality...optimally recorded”

Audio Video Club of Atlanta

“a musician who prepares thoroughly and has great respect for the music he performs”

The Palm Beach Arts Paper

“Comparisons are inevitable; on my shelves are the Grumiaux- Haskil team, the Stern-Barenboim combination, Szymon Goldberg and Radu Lupu, and Zukerman and Neikrug readings. The Cotik-Lin duo can take its place among those earlier esteemed ensembles with heads held high.”

STRINGS MAGAZINE

“The technical qualities of the recording - which is on the NAXOS label, by the way - are excellent.”

Robert W. Plyer, THE OBSERVER

“this is clearly a team to watch. I am sure we will be hearing good things from them in the future”

MusicWeb International

“perfectly conceived”

Fanfare Magazine

“excellent violin playing...extremely enjoyable interpretations of music that I love”

American Record Guide

“Cotik sounds consistently brilliant ”

STRINGS MAGAZINE

“Tomás Cotik’s deeply analytical playing adds to an exhilarating display of the musical wonders the composer saw in the violin”

GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE

“it is a fact that the enthusiastic performance of Argentine Tomás Cotik and the way he captures the audience is captivating”

GRAMOFON

“brilliant Argentinean violinist”

David Denton for David’s Review Corner

“Cotik never indulges in violinistic brilliance at the expense of music, but he sounds consistently brilliant nevertheless.”

Fanfare Magazine

“a new way of looking at, understanding and perceiving music from different eras”

SONOGRAMA MAGAZINE

“a record which quality manages to propose the fascinating freshness of Germanic musical culture as new, as if the music had never been heard before  ”

GBOPERA MAGAZINE

“excellent Piazzollean style, which is not frequently found”

Daniel Binelli

“brilliantly performs the complete series of sonatas composed by Mozart ... a masterful musical compendium ..... an essential, addictive set. An almost hypnotic musical journey  ”

CULTURALMENTE INCORRECTO

“A revealing album of the mastery of the young performers who sign it  ”

REVISTA DOCENOTAS

“The Piazzolla album is not just Cotik as brilliant interpreter, but also as creative mind.”

Musical Toronto

“an excellent violinist”

Michael Tilson Thomas

“This is an excellent recital. I enjoy the Piazzolla Tango Etudes more as played by Cotik than by anyone else. ”

American Record Guide

“Editor's Picks”

DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE

“there is no question but that this is the most exciting rendition of these works I’ve ever hear... this is now my benchmark performance of these works”

THE ART MUSIC LOUNGE

“My first chamber choice for the year.   ”

MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL Recordings Of The Year 2013

“phenomenal technique”

Musical Toronto

“Cotik proves to here to have conquered an impressive variety of repertoire, already now much wider than what is usual today.”

CONCERTO - DAS MAGAZIN FÜR ALTE MUSIK

“violinist Tomas Cotik is always up for a new challenge”

Julia Amacher – American Public Media

“among the very best Piazzolla albums”

David Denton for David’s Review Corner

“The joyful virtuosity and stylish musicianship that Tomas Cotik and Tao Lin brought to their superb cycle of Schubert’s violin-and-piano works for the Centaur label happily permeate their cycle of Mozart’s sonatas”

Gramophone Magazine

“'What a Performance 2020' Award Winner”

THE ART MUSIC LOUNGE

“A neglected stash of unrecorded Schubert”

NORMAN LEBRECHT

“urgently recommended”

Fanfare Magazine

“intelligent and sensitive...glories in...colorations and shared emphasis”

Fanfare Magazine 

“One imagines the Nuevo tango master would be as captivated as any listener by such exquisite performances.”

TEXTURA

“an exemplary presentation of marvelous music”

The Palm Beach Arts Paper

“It is the result of many years of experience, full attention, research and decision-making....it is a recording of incontestable beauty...an adventure that displays a journey of absolute love for the music of J.S. Bach”

SONOGRAMA MAGAZINE

“recreating the visceral charge of Piazzolla’s legendary quintet concerts and recordings”

South Florida Classical Review

“exceptional...Piazzolla can be played differently than this, but provably not better.”

​DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE

“I was immediately impressed by their virtuosity and also their understanding of Piazzolla’s music. I was anxious to see them perform in person”

Gary Burton

“absolutely impeccable, with intonation in the centre of every note, and his left hand flying around the fingerboard with remarkable agility”

David Denton for David’s Review Corner

“this is one of the great Piazzolla discs, and in perfect sound quality, I urge you to buy it.”

David Denton for David’s Review Corner

“The versions are optimal due to the stylistic understanding of the duo and the instrumental excellence of the admirable violinist.  ”

REVISTA SCHERZO

“uplifting quality”

MusicWeb International

“should leave listeners almost breathless…a vibrancy and attention to detail...strong individuality and… vitality”

Fanfare Magazine

“Overall, these two discs featuring Cotik must be regarded as among the finest performances for their consistent artistry and idiomatic grasp”

Classical Net

“An ideal disc”

SONOGRAMA MAGAZINE

“Cotik makes Kreisler seem almost smarmy, Isabelle Faust almost mannered, and Julia Fischer as though she's filed down the detail”

Fanfare Magazine

“His amazing technical skill and artistic know-how...create an indelible interpretation of Bach’s music...Cotik’s combines impeccable technique and an intuitive artistry to fashion a mesmerizing interpretation of these pieces.”

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION

“Cotik has a consistently brilliant violinism and warm, enveloping sound  ”

GBOPERA MAGAZINE

“this superbly produced Schubert disc…comes warmly commended”

MusicWeb International

“The BBC Music team’s current favourites”

BBC MAGAZINE, Niel McKim

“their lofty musicianship dwarfs their profound scholarship”

Fanfare Magazine

“Cotik transcends even the profoundly meditative”

FANFARE MAGAZINE

“I highly commend Mr. Cotik for his innovative interpretations and I hope many future audiences will  experience his musical excellence”

Gary Burton

“Argentinean violinist Tomás Cotik... is not just another violinist. He is a passionate musician who always seems to get under the skin of the music he performs”

THE ART MUSIC LOUNGE

“the secret here...always let curiosity be a constant inspiration. If Tomas Cotik ever revisits these works on record it will be fascinating to hear the results, but it's hard to see how they could be better that this”

THE WHOLENOTE MAGAZINE

“outstanding from the very beginning”

Fanfare Magazine

“Very recently I discovered this marvel ... two extraordinary instrumentalists who, combining their talents, achieve ... something great.  ”

Luis Andarcia, VENUE MAGAZINE

“Supersonic Award winner. Tomas Cotik’s Piazzolla is carnal, passionate and nowhere easy-going. Together with his group he has produced a riveting CD.”

Pizzicato

“I’ve had a listen to a few alternatives…including Isaac Stern with Daniel Baremboim and Lydia Mordkovitch, but this duo pretty much ticks all the boxes”

MusicWeb International

“one comes away from the recording dazzled by Cotik's musicianship and technique; one is also struck by the agility of his execution, his expert command of tempo and intonation, and his ability to consistently maintain the highest level of performance ”

TEXTURA

“Everyone who plays these works should hear these exemplary performances...you will never hear these Telemann Fantasias played so well  ”

American Record Guide

“a first-rate set of Mozart sonatas”

​THE ARTS MUSIC LOUNGE

“His pure sound, perfect intonation and fast tempos mean that Bach’s fiendishly difficult challenges become more exposed, yet he never misses a beat. The recording….captures the golden glow of his violin… in sound that is honest and clean”

GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE

“If you love the solo violin, you won't find a better recording to suit your tastes”

OBSERVER TODAY

“remarkable, artistic and expressive interpretations ... at a high level and perfectly adapted to the respective styles  ”

PIZZICATO

“a work of high quality, for the originality of the arrangements and especially because he is an excellent instrumentalist  ”

REVISTA RITMO

“an extraordinary performance that can stand up against any other”

TEXTURA

“I find the Cotik and Lin performances most interesting and the sound on their disc is excellent”

Maria Nockin – Fanfare Magazine

“clarity and tonal opulence rare in recordings of violin music”

Fanfare Magazine

“true treasure...one of the latest gems to emerge from the season”

John Terauds – Musical Toronto

“Warmly and sensitively played with beauty of tone, Cotik... captures the essence of Mozart in finely spun tone and sensitive contrasts in dynamics, rhythmic integrity, and clear phrasing. Their deeply felt rendition of this purest of music, from the carefree early sonatas to the more dramatic later opuses, is a model of transparency and genuine emotion. ”

STRINGS MAGAZINE

“Cotik’s performance is powerful and technically brilliant, the intonation always flawless,... fearless round, and well-balanced”

CONCERTO - DAS MAGAZIN FÜR ALTE MUSIK

“wonderful album…impressive for the elegance and sensitivity of the interpretations”

John Terauds – Musical Toronto

“This album...immediately stands out as a recording of excellent quality. Equipped with a refined technique, Cotik interprets  these masterpieces of Bach's genius with a deep sense of style thanks to an attention to phrasing ”

GBOPERA

“Evocative concert of Jewish classical music”

The Washington Post

“conviction, commitment, diplomacy, and character”

The Strad

“Cotik Kicks Butt in Piazzolla! A wild and wonderful CD.”

THE ART MUSIC LOUNGE

“there is no question that this disc is, by some distance, Naxos's best Piazzolla recording”

MusicWeb International

“the brilliant musicians’ ability to shift tempos...gracefully wring emotion from heartbreaking ballad tempos or generate fireworks with breakneck riffs...”

DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE

“ There are so many delightful details to savour that one hardly knows where to begin...a most rewarding Mozart cycle”

Gramophone Magazine

“Cotik scales Bach’s solo mountain with skill. His intricate yet soulful take is assured without ever being showy.”

BBC Magazine

“an excellent violinist ... who picks up a rigorous, natural and unusual way of understanding and interpreting music  ”

Docenotas

“I marvel at the technical skill which effortlessly encompasses these deeply contrasting styles....a technical as well as expressive master stroke”

CONTEMPORARY RECORD SOCIETY

“Cotik phrases this music with such feeling, making you wonder if it could possibly sound better in any other performance.”

Classical Net

“Cotik’s performances are full of color, possess an elegant virtuosity and above all achieve the lyrical refinement that springs from a music that catches us by its rhythmic and melodic seduction  ”

REVISTA MUSICAL CATALANS

“Some of the music is sultry while other works are fast, rhythmic, and ornamented to show the exquisite virtuosity of Cotik”

FANFARE MAGAZINE

“His interpretation of Bach’s sonatas and partitas his newest album in should add a notch to his reputation as a stellar violinist”

NORTHWEST REVERB

“Astor Piazzolla and its main interpreter is the Argentine violinist Tomas Cotik's ...musical maturity joins that way of feeling one's roots, which gives the experience of remoteness  ”

REVISTA TEATRO COLON

schubertiaden

Recordings, Reviews & Research

More about the Schubertiaden

Between 1815-1824, acclaimed house concerts took place in the large family apartment of Sonnleithner in Gundelhof, Vienna. Ignaz Sonnleithner had gathered a group of culturally interested citizens and soon came into contact with Schubert. These house concerts from Sonnleithner offered Schubert a great way to make his works known in Vienna.


The first documented event, which can be described in a narrower sense as a Schubertiade, took place on January 26, 1821 in the home of the Schober’s family. From 1822 on, Schubert used the term himself.


In the first Schubertiaden, Franz Schubert played piano and the baritone Johann Michael Vogl (or later Carl von Schönstein) sang his songs. Readings and witty fun and games, which were often themed, were also typically present among the evenings. These gatherings were a mixture of amicable meetings and literary and musical salons.


Frequent guests were Joseph Sonnleithner, Leopold von Sonnleithner, Fritz and Franz von Hartmann, Anton Doblhoff-Dier, Joseph Huber, Johann Baptist Jenger, Jacob Nicolaus Craigher, the painter Moritz von Schwind, Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr von Carolsfeld and Wilhelm August Rieder, the poet Johann Mayrhofer, Johann Gabriel Seidl and the composer and conductor Franz Lachner, as well as Schubert's closest friends Joseph von Spaun, Franz von Schober, Karl Enderes, Joseph Witteczek, Joseph of Gahy and Eduard Bauernfield.


Besides Sonnleithner, Schubertiaden were hosted by the painter Ludwig Mohn, the Bruchmann family, the poet Franz von Schlechta, Eduard Bauernfield, and Schober's uncle Joseph Derffel, administrator of the castle Atzenbrugg.


The last major Schubertiade during the composer's lifetime took place on January 28, 1828 at Joseph von Spaun’s residence in the so-called Wiener Klepperställen (between Teinfaltstraße and Schreyvogelgasse). Shortly before this, in the fall of 1827, Franz Schober had hosted Schubert’s presentation and announcement with the words: "a circle of scary songs" – referring to the great song cycle, Winterreise. As evidenced by the previous and similar incidents, the Schubertiaden are also musicologically relevant.


​Today, our Schubertiaden project maintains the essence of a culturally relevant and high quality musical event shared in an intimate atmosphere with family and friends that is made possible by a generous host.

REVIEWS

Our Centaur album of Schubert’s Duo in A major, Rondo in B minor, and Fantasia in C major, was selected as “Recording of the Year” by Albert Lam from the British publication MusicWeb International, was broadcast all over the United States by American Public Media, and received enthusiastic reviews.


Fanfare Magazine: “outstanding…geniality...brilliance...pure tone...profound scholarship...lofty musicianship...boldness of gesture... subtlety... rich timbral nuance…Cotik and Lin make Kreisler seem almost smarmy...Isabelle Faust almost mannered...and Julia Fischer...as though she's filed down the detail…Urgently recommended.”  


MusicWeb International: “I’ve had a listen to a few alternatives…including Isaac Stern and Daniel Barenboim on Sony Classics and Lydia Mordkovitch and Gerhard Oppitz on Chandos, but this duo on Centaur pretty much ticks all the boxes.”


Palm Beach Arts Paper: “Tomas Cotik and Tao Lin have…honored not only their professions as musicians, but the memory and work of Franz Schubert.” 


American Record Guide: “excellent violin playing, excellent piano playing, and extremely enjoyable interpretations of music that I love.”


Musical Toronto: “...wonderful album…impressive for the elegance and sensitivity of the interpretations...true treasure...one of the latest gems to emerge from the season..."  


Brian Newbould: (Professor Emeritus of Music and Schubert expert): “an enlightened, historically-informed approach to the music… you have gone further than others in this direction.... You both hold balance… between the undeniable virtuoso character of much of the music and the 'inner' spiritual quality… most effectively and the performances place the music credibly as a product of its time and its composer.  In other words, I find the combination of brain and heart compelling. You capture the spirit of the music… I very much doubt that Paganini could have come near to playing this music with your understanding.”


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RESEARCH

The purpose of this doctoral essay is to enhance the study and performance of Franz Schubert’s three major compositions for violin and piano: Duo in A major, op. posth. 162, D. 574, Rondo in B minor, op. 70, D. 895, and Fantasia in C major, op. posth. 159, D. 934. This study offers a description of the historical context and the circumstances of the composition of these pieces, presents an analysis of the form and harmonic language, and discusses recent research on aspects of Schubertian performance style that help the performer make educated interpretative decisions. This research was done prior to making a CD recording; that recording reflects the interpretative and musical understanding that has evolved from the research done for this essay. The recording has been the subject of several reviews, which are included as appendices.

Download Dissertation


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RECORDINGS

3 Schubert CDs released by CENTAUR RECORDS


DISC 1

Duo Sonata in a major Op. 162, D. 574

Rondo in B minor, Op. 70, D. 895

Fantasy in C major, Op. 159, D. 934      


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DISC 2

Sonata in D major, Op. posth. 137/1, D.384

Sonata in A minor, Op. posth. 137/2, D.385

Sonata in G minor, Op. posth. 137/3, D. 408


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DISC 3

Ländler


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