WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Kraus: Violin Concerto, Etc / Nishizaki, Grodd, Et Al


Release Date: 11/20/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570334   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Joseph Martin Kraus
Performer:  Takako Nishizaki
Conductor:  Uwe Grodd
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Restores some worthwhile and valuable music to public audition.

Naxos has been doing some extensive, exploratory and pioneering work on behalf of Joseph Martin Kraus, Mozart’s exact contemporary. Kraus also shared Mozart’s early demise, outliving him by only a year. He was born in Miltenburg am Main, educated in Mannheim and later Mainz and Göttingen. He moved to Sweden in 1778 where he became a Kapellmeister and was a greatly admired figure in Stockholm musical and literary circles.

The three works presented here are, it seems, receiving their first complete performances on disc. The Violin Concerto dates from 1783 and is discreetly and conventionally orchestrated for strings, two flutes and two
Read more horns. Nevertheless it’s a big work with a first movement lasting a full quarter of an hour, which includes a cadenza written by the author of the sleeve notes, Bertil van Boer. The demands on the soloist are clearly extensive but Kraus avoids the kind of showy virtuosity that excited, say, Viotti, and the result is a discreet kind of high-powered soloistic challenge allied to genial and enjoyable thematic material. The slow movement perhaps better shows what Kraus was made of – the rather lovely lyrical material moves into gravity once or twice, a smile alternating with a grimace and there’s a fine rondo finale with a delightful pay off ending; as nonchalant an envoi as anything by Mozart.

The incidental music to Olympie consists of the overture, a march, four entr’actes and a postlude. The overture is dramatically weighted and rich in Sturm und Drang – powerful contrasts course through its seven-minute length. The March is by direct contrast for a stately wind band alternating with – predominately – string textures. The entr’actes are elegant and well crafted; that between the fourth and fifth acts is especially strong and dramatic. And the postlude ends purposefully. The music is attractive, well crafted and enjoyable.

The ballet music from Azure (1779) is much briefer – seven and a half minutes in length. This is, as one might anticipate, much lighter in tone than the more obviously dynamic and dramatic Olympie. Kraus writes extremely well and evocatively for flutes [No.23 – track 12].

Naxos has here left the Swedish Chamber Orchestra for the heftier New Zealand Symphony. Soloist Takako Nishizaki plays with sensitive control though occasionally her intonation slips. Together they restore some worthwhile and valuable music to public audition.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin in C major, VB 151 by Joseph Martin Kraus
Performer:  Takako Nishizaki (Violin)
Conductor:  Uwe Grodd
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1777/1783; Sweden 
Notes: Takako Nishizaki performs cadenza by Bertil van Boer. 
2.
Olympie, VB 33 by Joseph Martin Kraus
Conductor:  Uwe Grodd
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1785; Sweden 
3.
Azire, VB 18 by Joseph Martin Kraus
Conductor:  Uwe Grodd
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Sweden 
Notes: This work exists in autograph fragments. 

Sound Samples

Violin Concerto in C major, VB 151: I. Allegro moderato
Violin Concerto in C major, VB 151: II. Adagio
Violin Concerto in C major, VB 151: III. Rondo
Olympie, VB 33: Overture
Olympie, VB 33: Marcia
Olympie, VB 33: Entr'acte between Acts I and II
Olympie, VB 33: Entr'acte between Acts II and III
Olympie, VB 33: Entr'acte between Acts III and IV
Olympie, VB 33: Entr'acte between Acts IV and V
Olympie, VB 33: Postlude
Azire: Ballet Music, VB 18: No. 22. Ballet
Azire: Ballet Music, VB 18: No. 23. Ballet
Azire: Ballet Music, VB 18: No. 26. Ballet
Azire: Ballet Music, VB 18: No. 25. Ballet
Azire: Ballet Music, VB 18: No. 24. Ballet

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In