£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


BRAHMS Complete Edition
58CD £95.22


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

 

Joseph Martin KRAUS (1756-1792)
Violin Concerto in C major VB 151 (1783) [30:11]
Olympie - incidental music VB 33 (1791) [20:58]
Azire - ballet music VB 18 (1779) [7:27]
Takako Nishizaki (violin)
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Uwe Grodd
rec. Town Hall, Wellington, New Zealand, 4-6 September 2006
Booklet notes in English and German
NAXOS 8.570334 [58:36]
Experience Classicsonline

Joseph Martin Kraus was almost an exact contemporary of Mozart born only five months after Mozart on 20 June 1756. He died a year and ten days after Mozart on 15 December 1792.

Like Haydn in Eszterháza, Kraus’s isolation from mainstream Europe caused him to develop along an original musical path. Some of his earlier music sounds a little like Stürm und Drang Haydn, while some of the last music has a Romantic style that makes one wish he had lived into the nineteenth century. Then we might have seen some fireworks! Kraus had a wonderful lyrical gift. Some of his melodies rival Mozart’s in their seeming endlessness – something one hears several times in the aforementioned symphonies.
 
The symphony discs reveal much of Kraus’s most serious and daring music while another of ballet music – Fiskarena and two early Pantomimes – suggest that at least some of Kraus’s stage efforts were in a somewhat lighter vein. I was very curious, then, to see what this disc had to offer this die-hard Kraus fan.
 
This is the first disc in the series not to be recorded by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Petter Sundqvist, who also recorded the Olympie Overture which is on this CD. Here we have a chamber-sized New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under a conductor well known to collectors of various of Naxos’s Classical-period recordings, Uwe Grodd.
 
I listened to the Violin Concerto of 1783 several times wanting to like it more than I did. It’s a big work – the first movement is over 400 bars long and lasts more than fifteen minutes. Something about it made it outstay its welcome for me. I’m not sure the thematic material and its treatment is strong enough for so monumental a structure. The Adagio fared rather better to my ears but still did not display that wonderful soaring lyrical magic that Kraus sometimes shows us in the symphonies. The third movement is a Rondo Minuet. This replaces Kraus’s original fast-paced scherzo for reasons no one seems to be able to ascertain. It’s an attractive enough movement but I could have done with a few more fireworks after nearly half an hour.
 
There was something unsatisfactory to my ears about the sound of soloist Takako Nishizaki. The violin sounded too close and thin to my ears and I wonder if the finger might be pointed at the engineer/producer for that? Also, her intonation and tone were not always to my liking. These factors, I am sure, affected my overall enjoyment of the Violin Concerto which, in the end, was something of a disappointment for me.
 
I was looking forward to the incidental music to Olympie. An absolutely splendid rendition of the overture was on my first Kraus disc (8.553734) and I was anxious to hear the rest of the score written by Kraus for the 1792 production at the Stockholm Royal Dramatic Theatre of the adaptation of Voltaire’s play. Certainly there’s nothing much to choose between this performance and the one by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra on the earlier Naxos disc and the following short wind Marcia is delightfully pointed by the New Zealand forces. The Entr’actes are mostly short and engaging pieces and the raw drama of the Overture is never  recaptured until the haunting Postlude. However, this is attractive and colourful music that certainly rewarded my repeated listening.
 
The ballet music to Azire is all that remains from Kraus’s first opera for the Royal Court in Stockholm in 1779. It would seem that the emotionally charged music of the stage work is not reflected in these five very short numbers which are mere interludes in what seems to have been a very dramatic opera.
 
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra plays with apparent relish and the sound is warm and full. However, I missed that last degree of refinement and transparency that I always felt with the Örebro recordings on the earlier Swedish Chamber Orchestra discs.
 
My slight disappointment with this disc in no way diminishes my hunger for further Kraus releases on Naxos and I look forward eagerly to further issues.
 
Derek Warby

see also reviews by Tim Perry and Jonathan Woolf


 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.