"Sisterhood is powerful. The Birringers project the radiant joy of the Grieg Sonata, shadowed by Liszt’s moving introspection, and a justly proportioned, elegantly standout performance of Franck’s evergreen Violin Sonata. [...] Chez the Birringer sisters one has the sensation of hearing it for the first time. Apart from a smiling sweetness in phrasing, a fluent alertness to melody, the Birringers share a certain punctilio, a keenness of touch—a crisp articulation—on the keyboard met by dead-center intonation on the violin making for a scintillance which eschews all slurring, smudging, or impatient approximations. These virtues loom up close and palpable in immediate, detailed sound, though the violin is, of course, primus inter pares. Here are performances satisfying, gratifying, to live with and enthusiastically recommended."
Fanfare Magazine, Issue July/August 2018
"With passionate temperament"
"The sisters from the Saarland interpret a well-balanced programme with passionate temperament and delicate musical harmony. In the Grieg Sonata, the juxtaposition of academic forms and folkloristic tones is assessed with precision and balance. In the exuberant fin-de-siècle romanticism of the Franck Sonata [...] the cyclical elements of form are elaborated with rare clarity. The ascetic sound world of the late Liszt is beautifully captured and forms an effective contrast between the two weighty main works."
Fono Forum, July 2018
"An intelligent program and fine performances make this ['Lifelines'; note from the author] an attractive proposition even in a highly competitive field. [...] Even in such a crowded field, with so many great performances of the Grieg and especially the Franck to choose from, the shrewdly programmed Liszt makes this album a keeper for me."
Audiophile Audition, 31 May 2018
"With elegance and dedication, the duo interpret a piece of Grieg’s, which we follow enthralled, as if hooked on a crime thriller. […] Even though the sisters have already delighted listeners with their recently released album Lifelines, live they now take their performance up a notch. In the Birringer family, romanticism doesn’t mean to radiate bliss, but to show what a piece is actually all about. Esther wonderfully lets off steam on the piano, while Lea seemingly casually unleashes fireworks on the violin. […] In any case, the audience are blown away."
O-Ton, 15 May 2018
"The sisters Lea Birringer, violin and Esther Birringer, piano, provided emphases that must be taken seriously. Lea Birringer possesses a powerful yet slender sound, as well the virtuosity required for Grieg’s striking and seldom-heard Violin Sonata No 1 in F major, op 8 and Wieniawski’s Polonaise de Concert D major."
Lübecker Nachrichten, 13 May 2018
"Terrific, engaging release"
"In Grieg’s F-major Violin Sonata no. 1, the duo’s exacting technical control is paired with a strong, collective poetic sensibility that gamely draws out the music’s sometimes halting, often
dissimilar personalities. Their playing is full of character, especially in the folk-like sections: the trio of the middle movement is full of vigor and the many Scandinavian fiddle gestures of
the finale hold nothing back.
The Franck Violin Sonata that closes the album is similarly all-in. This is an interpretation that’s fully attuned to the score’s turbulent passions – the middle movements, with their wild contrasts and shifts of mood, color, and textures, burn particularly hot – but one that always manages to keep a cool head about itself. Textures are clear (a big plus in this busy piece), the score’s transforming structure clearly delineated, tempos consistently well-judged, and the playing pulsing with rhythmic energy.
Overall, this is a terrific, engaging release that offers the excitement of a live performance with the perfection of execution and acoustic you only get from a studio recording; in other words, the best of both worlds. Don’t miss it."
The Arts Fuse, 26 April 2018
"Characterful, if idiosyncratic, artists"
"The Liszt pieces are not exactly over-recorded, and the pair (Lea and Esther Birringer) approach them with style and the full-blooded commitment they bring to the entire disc. They sound like instinctive, physical players, and they’re very evidently on the same wavelength as regards the music’s ebb and flow. There’s a winning freshness about the way they tackle the Grieg in particular, bending into the sweep of a melody. Violinist Lea has an enjoyably springy way with a dance rhythm."
Gramophone, April 2018
"Luckily, sisters Lea and Esther Birringer do not count among those musicians who are exclusively fixated on flawless notes. They seek personal, human access to these three composers. The most jubilant is their encounter with Grieg’s youthfully passionate sonata, whose zest for life and joie de vivre are clear from the very first note. The opening sparkles like the first rays of sunshine of the day, and the leisurely buildup is completely natural and unforced. The middle movement is also magical […] Liszt sounds mature and reserved, but no less expressive and oppressive too."
The New Listener, 10 March 2018
"To describe them as a team sworn to each other would be an understatement. […] But what impresses is not just the harmony, but above all their musical and technical skill."
Saarbrücker Zeitung, 05 March 2018
"With the greatest degree of precision"
"Worthy of especial praise are their intimate manner of playing and the tonal beauty. And of course it goes without saying that the whole is sustained with the greatest degree of precision."
SWR2, 03 March 2018
"A musical force to be reckoned with"
"Anyone as good-looking as Lea and Esther Birringer might occasionally encounter reservations in the classical music scene, which is becoming increasingly focused on outward appearances. These reservations are wholly unjustified, of course, because the two beautiful sisters from Saarland are a musical force to be reckoned with. Both of them also perform as soloists, but it is precisely as a duo that they captivate audiences with their technical ability, profound musicality and – above all – perfect harmony. Atmospherically dense, they play the two rarely heard Liszt Elegies, which form the centrepiece of their new CD. And they also artfully make the other two pieces, Edvard Grieg’s First Sonata and César Franck’s famous Sonata in A Major, their own: Their Grieg is poetic and subtle, and their rendition of Franck shows a real fire burning within them."
Concerti, 26 February 2018
"Interpretational Moments of Bliss"
"On this CD, the sisters Lea and Esther Birringer show just how vivaciously, excitingly, spontaneously and at the same time delightfully, homogeneously and artistically chamber music can be performed. I have to admit that I have never heard Grieg’s First Violin Sonata rendered so beautifully, in such dialogue and so full of atmosphere as on this recording. Lea and Esther Birringer prove to be an ideal team, as first-rate musical partners.
Their dialogues flow with such wonderful naturalness and the virtuosity resulting from this naturalness is captivating, but never excessive. The two Elegies by Franz Liszt are also perfectly balanced and show the Birringers to be very clever and above all highly competent musicians.
The atmospheric density and simply wonderful playing make Franck’s Violin Sonata a real jewel. At each point, the listener has the feeling that the music just has to sound like this and that Lea and Esther Birringer’s rendition is the only possible interpretation. In addition to these interpretational moments of bliss, the two performers also display a breathtaking technique that makes listening a real pleasure, especially as the excellent recording technique presents Lea and Esther Birringer’s interpretations and musical talent in an optimal light. This musical adventure is an absolute must for any chamber music aficionado."
Pizzicato, 26 February 2018
"Without a hint of routine"
"The true musical stars of the evening were the Birringer sisters: [...] the ace up their sleeve was the intimate dialogue between violin and piano: an almost blind faith, fantastically expressive in their interaction, without a hint of routine."
Ostsee-Zeitung, 16 October 2017
"With plenty of attention to detail"
"Embedded among the 14 musicians, violin soloist Lea Birringer underscored this with plenty of tone and just as much self-confidence in the violin concerto in D minor by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Full of feeling and with plenty of attention to detail - in that the soloist gave every note her own interpretation - she played her instrument with the highest precision. The audience showed their appreciation with a long applause."
Hessische Niedersächsische Allgemeine, 19 September 2017
"Aural delight through and through"
"'Lifelines' gathers highly dramatic and deeply romantic pieces from Grieg, Liszt and Franck, and was also recorded at Saarländische Rundfunk. It is an aural delight through and through."
Saarbrücker Zeitung, 19 September 2017
"Rapturous applause at the end of the season"
"In Franz Liszt’s two elegies, fragile lightness alternated with passionate, gloomy emotions. The piano often sounded as clear and vitreous as a harp. Lea Birringer played in a smoky-sonorous manner on her violin, then again bright, immaculate tones, which seemed to caress the piano."
Oberbayerisches Volksblatt, 12 September 2017
"Lea Birringer’s rendition of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's Violin Concerto op. 64 in E minor will have a lasting impression. The combination of her flawless virtuosity and balanced sound production, all the way into the highest registers, with that of the equally well-rounded orchestra was simply dreamlike. One could not have wished for more."
Thüringische Landeszeitung, 22 May 2017
"After the first two pieces [...] it was a violin soloist who was to enchant the audience at Bad Neustadt's brand new cultural centre.
"A sisterly tour de force"
"Supported by her sister Lea Birringer’s sweeping violin melodies, they created spirited moods that weren’t diluted by a soft, romantic tenderness, but were suitably transparent and dramatic.
Lea Birringer’s passionate, at times incredibly fast playing never drifted off into the virtuoso trap. Her keen sense for form and structure gave the fast-paced piece a consistent thread throughout.”
Fränkische Landeszeitung, 11 October 2016
"Courage, determination and stylistic competence"
"Their first CD shows how easy the Birringer duo are able to embark on something new: Szymanowski, Hindemith, Respighi – no run of the mill programme. Even in the first few bars of the Szymanowski Sonata, they demonstrate how well they harmonise. 'Patetico'. Rich chords at the beginning, then a purposeful violin lick and finally, a joint crescendo. Upon fading away, it starts up again, until eventually, a second, very lyrical theme pushes through. Esther and Lea stride through this beginning with great effortlessness; powerful and confident, with feeling and with sensitivity to tone. The recording is appropriately rounded off by closing with the 'Passacaglia' from Respighi’s Sonata from 1917: snarling dotted rhythms that do not deny their baroque origins, and which seamlessly capture the turmoil of the first world war. The Birringers succeed in performing this balancing act in impressive fashion. Their recording displays courage, determination and stylistic competence, combining cold midnight blues and the shimmering blazing heat of the sun."
Musik & Theater, Special Edition Davos Festival July 2016
“In their brilliance, the two Birringer sisters [...] are simply spectacular ‘musical sorceresses’. As they wove their musical spell, the audience palpably had the need to drop to their knees in awe as they listened to the ‘Russian fireworks’ [...] that featured in the programme.”
Kronen Zeitung, 22 May 2016
“Lea Birringer’s interpretation of Ravel’s ‘Tzigane’ resembled a somewhat dangerous firework: stunning elan paired with high conceptual standards.”
Saarbrücker Zeitung, 19 May 2016
“Ethereal beauty” and “fine contouring”
“The young musician’s musical dramaturgy followed a clear concept, avoiding the pampered Mozart and focusing on fine contouring with occasional gripping bowing. Birringer played the first movement with great self-confidence, before allowing the splendid melody of the adagio to flow from her precious instrument in all its ethereal beauty. In the glittering finale, the virtuoso violin notes were sprinkled over solid orchestral accompaniment.”
Eßlinger Zeitung, 29 September 2015
“Magnificent” – Lea & Esther Birringer at Musikfestspiele Saar
“With Lea and Esther Birringer, what you get is not surface gloss, but real emotion and depth of interpretation. [...]
But Lea Birringer’s magnificent songful violin sound must surely count as the real icing on the cake; so wonderfully warm and heartfelt (Adagio), but also fiery in the last movement.”
Saarbruecker Zeitung, 28 April 2015
“A firework display of Russian compositions”
“Even after the first few notes, the audience in the packed-out concert hall in the Spitalhof in Dinkelsbühl ascended into rapture and fascinated astonishment thanks to the highest possible level of dynamic, sensitive musicianship, the likes of which are so seldom heard.”
Fraenkische Landeszeitung, 26 January 2015
“Masterly interpretative achievement” – Duo Birringer win over audience and critics alike at the MDR Musiksommer
“As should become apparent later in an even more impressive manner, the two charming musicians delight one and all. Not only with their decidedly tight and precise interplay of the very highest level, which has developed over the course of many years, but not least with their sensual and spirited approach to those musical creations, which are virtually overloaded with technical finesse.” Thueringische Landeszeitung, 29 July 2014
“Heartfelt playing with the utmost precision” – Esther and Lea Birringer delight at the festival Weilburger Schlosskonzerte
“The way that the two of them stood on stage and […] illuminated the work’s wonderful duets, full of elegance and precision, appeared completely effortless. […] The soloists’ heartfelt playing, beautifully synchronised with such a sense of certainty, allowed a deep atmosphere of peace and beauty to develop for the duration.”
Weilburger Tageblatt, 22 July 2014
“A duo on course for success”
"The decision to venture to take unusual steps in the world of classical music is a prime example of the sisters’ approach to life. They have always accepted new challenges. […] Whoever has experienced the sisters live will have felt the passion with which they play their instruments. In no way do the musicians come across as stuffy, homespun or old fashioned. On the contrary: they exude charm, elegance and vitality. And if that isn’t contagious?!” more...
FORUM, 06 June 2014
"Outstanding in May/June: The sisters Lea and Esther Birringer are in worldwide demand – their debut CD has delighted the music critics"
“They are young, pretty and talented. Other artists build an international career upon those things, plus a nice selection of catchy and popular classical pieces. But the sisters Esther and Lea Birringer steer clear of those well-trodden paths.”
Opus Kulturmagazin, 05 May 2014
"A rare and courageous act"
"What is heard in this recording is worthy of attention and respect. Nothing popular, nothing populist, rather three violin sonatas from the 20th century, little known pieces that are rarely ever performed. To emerge as advocates of such compositions on a debut CD is a rare and courageous undertaking on the part of the Birringer sisters. And it is worth getting to know these pieces."
ORF, 25 April 2014
"Enthusiastic applause and inspired audience"
"Small gestures and almost imperceptible glances to indicate attacks and tempo changes, these are all signs of two people who know each other very well making music together. Modestly and with disarming humour, the Birringer sisters chat in between with moderator, Ludwig Hartmann, about life and their musical beginnings and success as well as the inevitable friction. At the end of a joyful evening concert: enthusiastic applause and an inspired audience."
NDR Kultur, 11 April 2014
"The name Birringer is one to remember"
"Lea and Esther Birringer [...] begin their CD with an exclamation mark. [...] A very bold debut by two already very independently accomplished artistic personalities. The name Birringer is one
WDR 3, 06 February 2014
"A big compliment for so much obstinacy"
"A truly exhilarating and audacious CD motif, the more so because Lea and Esther Birringer are impeccably accurate in their valiant, captivating and unbelievably sumptuous performance of the three sonatas, particularly with their perfect rendition of the dramatic and rousing tones.
Two sisters have the courage, curiosity and the musicianship to discover chamber music areas that you cannot hear in concert every day. A big compliment for so much obstinacy."
BR-Klassik, 25 January 2014
"From red-hot passion to a silvery
"Lea Birringer [...] is one of the outstanding violinists of the younger generation.
Lea Birringer can really make her instrument sing. [...] She expresses the all-pervasive melodies of the music and brings them to life with sensuality. [...] Her instrument's glorious tone allows her to access a broad spectrum of works, ranging from red-hot passion to a silvery glow."
NDR Kultur, 10 January 2014
"A new music star is on the rise"
"A bright rising star in the classical music scene takes a significant share in the success: [...] Lea Birringer introduces a style par excellence in playing Mozart - unaffected, completely perfect in its intonation but still maintaining all nuances of the subtleties of the 2nd Violin Concerto in D-Major by Mozart.
Birringer succeeds to maintain a perfect balance between maintaining the classical form, and a subtle romantic tendency. An absolute perfect technique, precise down to the most minor detail and an accomplished way of playing in its purest form, builds the basis for a truly animated performance. Birringer‘s interpretation of the subject is very lyrical, soft and smoothly contoured, but this sound still shines brilliantly and is of a playful elegance.
It is rare that one hears such widely spun and extremely quiet lines of the melody expressed like this and in such a meditative calm as can be heard in the Andante."
Die Rheinpfalz, 21 December 2013
Lea & Esther Birringer play for Germany's president
On October 4th, the Birringer sisters had the great opportunity to perform in the Bellevue Palace in Berlin in honor of Mariss Jansons' being
awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by President Joachim Gauck.
Saarbrücker Zeitung, 24 October 2013
Teatro del Maggio Fiorentino campaigns for its concert season 2013 with Lea Birringer
"Enchanting" - Lea Birringer plays Arvo Pärt's 'Fratres'
"Lea Birringer's play was enchanting, quite a few people wished it may never end."
Uckermark Anzeiger, 06 August 2013
"The mediative, from the Gregorian coming sounds of the "Fratres" for violin and orchestra were not less impressive. Lea Birringer mastered the solo part brilliantly."
Märkische Oderzeitung, 05 August 2013
Lea Birringer with Brahms Violin Concerto: "Magical"
"The stunning soloist accomplished a musically brilliant performance. She mastered Brahms with exquisite tone and overwhelming creative power. Her play, including a brilliant cadenza, was almost magical and fascinated the audience."
Main-Echo, 26 November 2012
Vadim Gluzman talks about Lea Birringer
"Vadim Gluzman pointed out that Lea Birringer was one of the young artists who always continues developing themselves. According to Vadim Guzman she knew what she wants to pass on and her performance was more that of a musician than a violinist."
DrehPunktKultur, 23 August 2012
"Neu-Isenburg's series of serenade concerts was continued with a genius combination in the 'Haus zum Löwen'. Not only the selected compositions [...] were genius but also the perfectly harmonizing siblings Lea Birringer (violin) and Esther Birringer (piano).
[...] After the break Lea and Esther Birringer thrilled the audience with Paul Hindemith's violin sonata in E-flat major, op.11, no.1. Especially the movement 'Im Zeitmaß eines langsamen feierlichen Tanzes' was performed accordingly to the composers intention. The siblings created an impressive highlight with Karol Szymanowski's Sonata op.9 in D minor."
Frankfurter Neue Presse, 09 February 2012
Please find the entire newspaper edition here:
"Breathtaking" New Years concert
"Lea Birringer opens the New Years concert with a caressing, smooth sound, Pagainini’s 'I Palpiti' op. 13 is just breathtaking. The audience is whispering 'the violin is wonderful', the warm sound of the violin, made by Gianbattista Ceruti from Cremona (around 1800) catches them from the first moment. The bow bounces like a bird across the strings. It lures and twitters and warbles. It glitters in all colors. It is almost magical. The violinist thrills the audience with her solo in Paganini’s Caprice No. 10. The incredibly fast dance across the strings seems almost too artificial, but the pure beauty of the sound and the colorfulness of Ottorino Respighi’s sonata in B minor shows off the violin’s warmth and softness. […] After rapturous applause the sisters finish the matinee with a prelude by Lena Auerbach a soulful praise of silence."
Schwaebische Zeitung, 4 January 2012
Lea Birringer gives an interview for the Strad Magazine
"Lea Birringer captured the audience"
"Lea Birringer’s violin technique and her ability to interpret captured the audience completely. Her play reflected seriousness and maturity. She crystal clearly formed Debussy’s fragile tonal structures and her play let a wide range of bright colors shimmer. On the other hand her interpretation of Grieg’s sonata aroused strong passion reflecting great excitement and bold mood changes."
Chiemgau-Zeitung, 9 June 2010