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I looked at the TSCH man page, which said "Either output-file or error-file may be '/dev/tty' to send output to the terminal." So if I can redirect to two different locations, that would work. But calling, say,

(make foo > /dev/tty) > error.txt leaves me with an empty error.txt. As does make foo | tee error.txt.

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You need to do:

 (command > stdout) >& stderr

E.g.:

 (make foo > /dev/tty) >& error.txt

The first > redirects the stdout to the tty, then the >& redirects whatever's left into error.txt.

In your case, it'd go like this:

~> (make foo > /dev/tty) >& error.txt
~> cat error.txt
make: *** No rule to make target `foo'.  Stop.

If you want to both display it, and write it to a file, |& is analogous to >&, i.e.:

~> ( python err.py > /dev/tty ) |& tee error.txt
This is stdout
This is stderr
~> cat error.txt
This is stderr

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