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Berg: Violin Concerto; Three Orchestral Pieces / Kremer, Davis

Berg / Kremer / Davis / So Bayerischen Rundfunks
Release Date: 09/28/2010 
Label:  Newton Classics   Catalog #: 8802018   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alban Berg
Performer:  Gidon Kremer
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 47 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Aside from the rather short playing time, these are very good performances of two of Berg’s best orchestral works. At the time of recording (1984) Kremer’s tone hadn’t degenerated into the hoarseness that marred much of his later work, and he delivers an unflinchingly honest and emotionally intense account of the concerto’s solo part, particularly in the more harrowing passages of the second movement.

Davis accompanies with equal passion. The work’s concluding Adagio is very moving, and if some of the climaxes in the Three Pieces are a little bit congested (the concluding March, in spots), the fault has to be as much Berg’s as it is the players’ for scoring so heavily. It’s an exciting and gripping performance either way, full of
Read more atmosphere, from the spooky Prelude to the dance rhythms of Reigen, with the music’s nightmarish qualities very well captured in otherwise good sound. Not a first choice, perhaps, but recommended nonetheless.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

Kremer gives a beautifully tender account of the first movement of the Concerto, aided by a markedly slower opening tempo than usual and by a really hushed pianissimo at the outset. The result is that the change of mood and tempo when the music moves from andante to allegretto are immediately perceptible: the allegretto has not been pre-empted by earlier accelerations, as can easily happen. Any risk of sleepiness is averted by his firm rhythmic phrasing, and he is a very expressive player... The chorale is played with affecting restraint, the woodwind really hushed...

Kremer's performance...is worth considering as a gentler alternative to Perlman's marvellous account on DG (especially if you do not want his coupling—the Stravinsky Concerto). This is particularly true of the CD version, where the sensitive dynamic shadings are finely rendered and the internal balance is to a degree restored.

-- Gramophone

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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin by Alban Berg
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/1984 
Venue:  Munich 
Length: 11 Minutes 53 Secs. 
2.
Pieces (3) for Orchestra, Op. 6 by Alban Berg
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915/1929; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1983 
Venue:  Munich 
Length: 18 Minutes 2 Secs. 

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