This is one of two
Kremer volumes in the Aulos catalogue.
They document Kremer’s early recorded
career in the Soviet Union. Volume two
charts two sessions five years apart
but this one neatly bisects them in
time - made in 1973 and with Kremer
is an esteemed colleague, Oleg Maisenberg.
The repertoire is heavier of weight
as well, in comparison with the morceaux
and fingerbusting selection available
elsewhere and separately reviewed on
this site. Still, there is the thorny
matter of Kremer’s endemically slow
vibrato and pinched tone.
This does matter in
Schubert though arguably less so than
it does in Brahms. He gets around his
own arrangement of the Variations with
practised authority and dextrous ability.
He responds to the work’s lightly harmonic
diversity with acumen but the sound
he makes is still unwarmed and it tends
toward the monochromatic. There is,
to be frank, something chilly and removed
about his Schubert playing that becomes
more pressingly exemplified in the Sonata
where all thoughts of Kreisler-Rachmaninov
can be rapidly expunged from the imagination.
It’s not so much the lack of any sensuous
tonal warmth so much as the lack of
ostensible affection for the work.
There are other things
here too – notably that meretricious
piece of gymnastics, Ernst’s arrangement
for solo violin of Erlkönig.
This is a piece that, quite rightly,
hardly anyone has felt the need to record
but now, alas, we can hear Kremer expend
ingenuity and dexterity on it. The Geminiani
is another example of his interest in
the baroque and in solo violin works
– he’s not as keen to propagate the
solo violin repertoire as, say, Ricci,
but he’s not far behind.
Excellent DSD (Direct
Stream Digital) remastering of the LP
originals brings focus to this disc.
Notes are skimpy but all relevant recording
track details are present.