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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.

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Franz KROMMER (1759-1831)
Partitas for Wind Ensemble, Opp. 69, 76 and 79

Michael Thompson Wind Ensemble
Recorded at St.Paulís Church, Rustall, Kent, England 18-19 November 1996.
NAXOS 8.224226 [64.49]


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Krommer left his native Czechoslovakia and settled in Vienna in 1795, where he became Ballett-Kapellmeister in the Imperial Court Theatre. His works included symphonies, concertos string quartets and a few sacred pieces which were moderately successful with the Viennese public. He was a contemporary of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven, so it is perhaps not surprising that his reputation is that of a relatively minor composer.

The wind Partitas could be considered typical Viennese salon music were it not that they were probably intended for outdoor performance. They might sound pleasant enough floating across the lawns of an Austrian spa. but played (so to speak) end-to-end as on this disc their naïveté quickly begins to pall. The players lack neither the technical nor the interpretative skills needed to make the most out of the music, but after a while I found it difficult to believe that there was much of value to discover in the first place. Krommer was clearly influenced by Haydn and Mozart but, unlike them, no genius. Buy it for your next garden party.

Roy Brewer


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