53,454 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Recordings of the Month


Beethoven String Quartets

Produzioni Armoniche

Seven Symphonic Poems

Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons

Vivaldi Violin Concertos



Beethoven Piano Concertos

Stradal Transcriptions

LOSY Note d’oro

Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Violin Concertos from Darmstadt
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Concerto in D, TWV 53:D5 [12:34]
Johann Jakob KRESS (c1685-1728)
Concerto ā 5 in c, Op. 1 No. 2 [7:50]
Concerto ā 5 in C, Op. 1 No. 6 [10:30]
Johann Friedrich FASCH (1688-1758)
Concerto in D, FWV L:D4a [13:13]
Johann Samuel ENDLER (1694-1762)
Ouverture in D [23:48]
Darmstädtler Barocksolisten/Johannes Pramsohler (violin)
rec. 2017, Michaelskirche, Darmstadt
Premiere recordings except Telemann
AUDAX RECORDS ADX13716 [68:07]

Two new names for me here – Kress and Endler – together with one moderately well-known and one very prominent. The four works are linked by their presence in an extensive collection of violin concertos from the Baroque era in the archives of the Darmstadt court. The city was heavily bombed in World War II, so it is fortunate that the music survived. Kress was concertmaster for the orchestra in the early 18th century, and it is surmised that he may have been the soloist intended for some of these works. Endler was conductor of a Collegium Musicum in Leipzig before moving to Darmstadt, where he was concertmaster and Kapellmeister, following Kress and Graupner, respectively.

The Telemann is the only work previously recorded, and this new version compares favourably with Reinhold Goebel’s Archiv recording with Musica Antiqua Köln. Pramsohler and his band may not have quite the snap and verve of the older recording, but there is still plenty of energy, and for some, the smoother sound of the modern instruments may be a plus.

The four works new to the catalogue are likely to be the main reason Baroque aficionados will consider this release, and they won’t be disappointed. The C minor concerto of Kress has a stylistic similarity to Bach’s fifth Brandenburg Concerto; the notes propose the possibility that Bach may have known of Kress’ work and used some of it, but this doesn’t seem to be supported by actual evidence. Whatever the history, the two Kress concertos, being strings-only have a greater sense of seriousness than the other works which are more extroverted with the inclusion of brass and woodwind. The Fasch concerto, with the trumpets, timpani, oboes and bassoon, is a much richer, more showy work, though I still prefer those by Kress. Endler’s Ouverture is very much of its era, intended for courtly entertainment and featuring many virtuosic passages for the solo violinist.

Director and soloist Johannes Pramsohler has a number of recordings for Audax (his own label) under his belt, especially as part of Ensemble Diderot (review ~ review ~ review ~ review), all of which have been received well on this site. The Darmstädtler Barocksolisten seems to be a new collaboration. Formed in 2004 from players in the Darmstadt State Orchestra, they play on modern instruments, but with historically informed performance.

I find myself more in tune, if you’ll pardon the expression, with the orchestra than its leader, whose timbre is a little dry for my taste. I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with his playing, but I would have liked just a little more warmth, in keeping with that projected by the strings of the Darmstadters. I’d not encountered an Audax release before, and was most impressed by the presentation in a hardcover book. The notes are informative, especially considering the limited information available about Kress and Endler, and are provided in English, French, German and Japanese. Sound quality is good, and the engineers seem to have avoided any extraneous noises from the players.

David Barker

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger