Mechthild Karkow


Sorrows of the Maries: CD 'Dolente Partita'
Baroque violinist Mechthild Karkow and recorder player Claudius Kamp toss the phrases to each other in joyful interplay, shaping them with the full range of Baroque ornamentation.... This album leaves nothing to be desired for Baroque fans; through its emotional and personal interpretative skill, even the most hardened sceptic should be convinced that the musical language of the early Baroque can still thrill us, even four hundred years after Monteverdi.
SWR Kultur, 22.03.2024

Sounds to amaze and energise
The two violinists Mechthild Karkow and Rebecca Raimondi enchanted the audience with their playing, wonderfully musical and matched in every nuance; their lively performance of the 'Sonata a 3' by Lelio Colista was a particular musical highlight.
NWZ, 20.02.2023

Joyful playing prowess in a special atmosphere
Mechthild Karkow, in perfect dialogue with the recorder (Claudius Kamp), played the Baroque violin with a wonderfully supple tone. Both were compelling in the masterful joy they took in their playing, and in their richly-ornamented melodic lines. This was already evident in the lively opening movement by Biagio Marini, and in Tarquinio Merula's improvisatory 'Ciaconna'.
NWZ, 25.01.2022

CD: Francesco Venturini – Concerti

On its debut CD, the Hannover-based Baroque ensemble la festa musicale focuses entirely on Venturini - and brings his music to life with such imagination and vitality that one has to ask how it could have been overlooked up to now.
HAZ, 05.02.2021

The ensemble la festa musicale, under the direction of Anne Marie Harer and Mechthild Karkow, presents an exemplary performance of Venturini's music. A truly rewarding journey into music history.
OnlineMerker, 8.2.2021

The musicians of la festa musicale slip into the role of narrators, captivating us with their unusual and imaginative interpretations.
BR, 28.2.2021

The way the ensemble brings out these lively structures and all their colours is almost a cinematic experience. The sound is open, warm and round, but also really powerful and lush where needed. Strongly inspired by the French Baroque style at the court of Louis XIV, this music has an almost jazzy swing to it.
WDR3, 17.3.2021

Impressive musical experience for Passiontide
Mechthild Karkow gives a fascinating demonstration of the complex art of historically-informed violin playing: here in its purest form, a solo violin passacaglia by the violinist Biber, considered bold and inventive in his time. With unshakeable steadfastness Karkow maintains the fixed ground bass, around which Biber has woven a fretwork of virtuosic tendrils, figuratively rich and far from easy to master.
Südkurierer, 07.04.2019

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