Die Welt von Gestern
Toon Fret is internationally known as the flautist of the ensembles Oxalys and het Collectief. Veronika Iltchenko has gained widespread recognition for her performances of late-romantic works by composers such as Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff, as well as 20th-century pieces by Debussy and Prokofiev. These two exceptional soloists combine to form an ideal duo as they share a passion for their instruments, for playing together and for conveying the fire that drives them.
The new CD of Veronika Iltchenko and Toon Fret, Die Welt von Gestern, alludes to the culture of well-to-do pre-war Europe, whose end was so dramatically captured in Stephan Zweig’s book of the same name. The pieces selected for this recording present a varied picture of 75 years of German and Austrian culture, including works by composers as stylistically different as Schumann, Reinecke, Karg-Elert and Zemlinsky. These compositions cover a wide timespan ranging from Schumann’s Drei Romanzen (1849), composed in a newly post-revolutionary Germany, to Niemann’s Aus einem alten Patrizierhaus (1933), written on the cusp of the darkest period in German history, which would mark the end of Zweig’s World of Yesterday. Toon and Veronika’s second album can be seen as a natural successor to their first CD, Le Temps retrouvé, which was devoted to the music of the French Belle Epoque and received warm praise from audiences and critics alike.