Notes and Editorial Reviews
A fun ensemble who communicate that through elevated musical playing.
The title is fairly self-explanatory and who better than Prima Carezza to expound the pleasures of the salon ensemble on disc. This one was recorded a good while ago but is still part of Tudor’s back catalogue and interested auditors may like to know that this group has an appealing list of CDs to its name. Off my own bat, years ago, I bought their
Comme-ci, comme-ça album devoted to the art of the Franco-Romanian Georges Boulanger – well, maybe Romanian-French is the better way of putting it [Tudor 766]. In any case it was a pleasurable disc, and their affinity with the fiddle-leader continues in
La Dolce Musica where there are
a quartet of pieces by that most eminent executant and composer. Note too, if your interest extends to Boulanger, that
Extase is another album that contains a fine selection of his music [Tudor 795].
It’s important that salon orchestras pay due homage to players such as Boulanger, one of the most brilliant and expressive players in the lighter style. Prima Carezza is versed in his style and plays
Gemüse,Gemüse, Gemüse – all titles are in German in this disc – with pert familiarity, catching his style with aplomb. Similarly they’re sparky in
Warum? and amusing in the waltz cousin he fashioned out of Kreisler’s
But whilst Boulanger takes a fair slice, he’s not alone. We hear some salty Magyrisms in Gustl Edelmann’s
Zigeunerblut and even more explicitly virtuosic fare, with cadential Sarasate-derived fireworks, in Leo Rodi’s
Am Schwarzen Meer. Delightful as well to encounter Nedbal’s profusely generous ballet music in this form. The melody of Vecsey’s
Valse Triste is given to the cello – the composer was a virtuoso Hungarian violinist – as is the Massenet
Elegie. So things are parcelled out amongst the strings; Milton J Kazinczy is primarius but Michaela Paetsch Neftel takes six violin solos throughout the set.
There’s a fine, subtle arrangement of David Wolfsthal’s
Zsa-Zsa. Was this the same David Wolfsthal who was a member of The Strolling Players, where he alternated with David McCallum - brilliant violinist father of the actor of the same name - and who also did bags of studio work (Sgt Pepper etc) over many years and was a scion of the London light and studio scene? Inevitably we have two of the most famous Brahms Hungarian Dances and some Kreisler too:
Liebesfreud is too slow, for my tastes. And there’s plenty of charm and wit too, not least Schmidseder’s delightful
The ensemble is a flexible one, with fiddles, cello, bass, piano, accordion and clarinet. With varied personnel listed I can’t work out who plays what, when, but I hardly think that much matters. They’re a fun ensemble and communicate that through elevated musical playing.
-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
Works on This Recording
Zigeunerblut by Gustl Edelmann
Valse triste by Franz von Vecsey
Period: 20th Century
Warum? by Georges Boulanger
Zsa-Zsa by David Wolfsthal
Schön Rosmarin by Fritz Kreisler
Tango Marina by Ludwig Schmidseder
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