Mechthild Karkow


Audience bravos bestow appreciation
... a magnificent concert experience, feted with a standing ovation. The 400-strong audience was bewitched by what it heard. In Beethoven’s demanding Violin Concerto in D major Op.61 of 1802, the orchestra was joined by award-winning violinist Mechthild Karkow. Her emotive rendition of the solo part was captivating. The Leipzig Hochschule professor performed the lengthy opening movement with assurance and dreamy lyricism. She succeeded in keeping the listeners’ attention; not to be taken for granted in this convoluted work, with its disjointed musical ideas. Remarkable.
Ostfriesische Nachrichten, 27.11.2018

Painting with irresistible tone colours
The Mechthild Karkow / Marieke Spaans duo provided an evening full of musical esprit and sensuousness as part of the Mozart festival. […] This was a real magic moment, in which the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Pietro Nardini, Johann Christian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sounded authentic, sincere and harmonious. […] The slow movements in particular had an almost hypnotic effect, whereas the fast movements left the listener breathless. […] The imaginative and beguiling way in which these two superb musicians completely won over their audience was a pure joy to behold.
Schwetzinger Zeitung, 15.10.2018 / Violin sonatas with Marieke Spaans, harpsichord

Technical ease honed to perfection
…an orchestra on top form. […] Right from Mozart’s Symphony no.29, concertmaster Mechthild Karkow and the winds were playing ball with one another. The result was the utmost technical ease and orchestral equilibrium, paired with high-resolution precision and flawless intonation throughout. Mozart’s music effervesced and blossomed with this delicate treatment, developing enough momentum in the last movement to secure a vigorous finale. […] With Haydn’s Symphony no. 41 in C major, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra brought this exclusive concert with its feather-light and spirited performance, to a scintillating and euphonious conclusion. An outstanding concert.
Mittelbayrische Kultur-Nachrichten, 03.09.2018 / As artistic director of Freiburg Baroque Orchestra

Bach highlights
Baroque violinist Mechthild Karkow really made these movements smoulder. Concert experiences such as this have become rare, in which the music sounds as if it were conceived in the very moment [...] and you lose yourself whilst listening to the “Ciaccona” in the big questions of life whilst the outside world seems to stand still. [...] Bach’s solo sonatas in consummate form.
Dresdner Neue Nachrichten, 26.09.2017 / J.S. Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin

Mechthild Karkow and her Baroque violins
It was an evening of fine Baroque music with subtle musical emphasis. She introduced each piece on the programme in an entertaining, informative yet relaxed manner. […] With interwoven double stopping and implied polyphony, Karkow astounded the listener with her multifaceted, versatile and multi-voiced playing.
Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, 29.09.2017 / Works for solo violin from the 17th, 18th and 21st centuries

Opening concert of the Freiburg Ensemble Academy
The cadenza niche in the centre of the work was subtly filled by Mechthild Karkow on the violin, before the (nonetheless civilised) furore of the final Allegro was unleashed. […] First rate!
(Johann Sebastian Bach, Brandenburg Concerto no. 3 in G major)
Badische Zeitung, 12.09.2017 / As artistic director of Freiburg Baroque Orchestra

Two voices on one violin
… anyone who heard both Bach cycles, stunningly played by the young Mechthild Karkow, professor of baroque violin in Leipzig, will have wished that the concert in St. Urban’s church in Schwäbisch Hall had been longer. This was, admittedly, not only due to the consistently impeccable intonation, nor the technical and musical perfection of this virtuoso violinist on her instrument dating back to 1660, but also to a particular characteristic of Bach’s solo works. [...] A dialogue between two violins is heard, yet played on just one instrument. For example, the underlying melodic contours in the opening ‘Grave’ of the A minor Sonata BWV 1003 create a quasi-contrapuntal melody in the listener’s mind, like a row of arches in a cloister. Mechthild Karkow lends these bass notes a fundamental weight that makes the two-part writing really stand out for the listener.
Südwest-Presse, 15.03.2017 / J.S. Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin

Fragile and fervent
Mechthild Karkow knows how to master her bow in order to draw Biber’s visions out of the strings. There was the typical ‘sighing’ phrasing as well as dramatic, wild bow strokes in running staccato.
Münstersche Zeitung, 24.03.2016 / Music for Passiontide