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Holzbauer: Flute Concertos / Kaiser, La Stagione Frankfurt


Release Date: 03/31/2009 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777358-2   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ignaz Holzbauer
Performer:  Karl Kaiser
Conductor:  Karl Kaiser
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stagione Frankfurt
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



Holzbauer Flute Concertos: in D; in e; in A; in D Karl Kaiser (fl); dir; La Stagione Frankfurt (period instruments) cpo 777 358 (61:45)


I have reviewed CDs by Karl Kaiser in the past, a recording of trios by Matiegka (if I remember well, on that occasion I called Kaiser a master of his instrument, and I stand by my opinion), and a fabulous disc of Telemann wind concertos, featuring the same La Stagione Frankfurt. I have also had the pleasure of listening to some of his many excellent recordings. In all of Read more them he displays the qualities that are amply evident here: beautiful warm tone, impeccable tuning, flexible inflections, inspired phrasing, and great digital dexterity. Any flutist would be happy to cling to these gifts and tread the worn paths, recording more of the usual repertoire; another fine recording of Bach or Mozart would certainly find a ready public.


What sets Kaiser apart, besides being the stunning interpreter that he is, is exactly the fact that he is not afraid to dig where no man has dug before, and his recording projects always bring surprises to the listener. Sometimes, the works he unearths are not unquestionably great, but never mind, they deserve to be heard. And to all of these forgotten compositions Kaiser applies the same winning combination of polished skills and overflowing enthusiasm, establishing a new standard for this repertoire.


Take the present CD, featuring flute concertos by Ignaz Holzbauer (Kaiser’s second foray into the composer’s œuvre , the first being a Camerata Köln recording of Holzbauer’s chamber works). Granted, Holzbauer is not exactly a household name today, but while he was alive he achieved good positions, and was a respected name in Europe. The son of a Viennese leather merchant, Holzbauer was trained in singing, piano, violin, and cello, and was basically self-taught in composition. He traveled extensively, and worked in Ljubljana (for the Count Thurn-Valsassina of Laibach), in Moravia (at the court of Count Rottal of Holešov), in Vienna, in Stuttgart, and in Mannheim. In fact, he is one of the exponents of the famous Mannheim School.


His output is quite impressive and made up of good music, very finely crafted, not exactly staggeringly original, but rich, elegant, fresh—the kind of writing that is usually more fun to play than to listen to. Kaiser and La Stagione Frankfurt sink their teeth in these concertos, and make them sound bright, lively, melancholic, intense, soulful, and energetic, as the mood requires. In the passages where the flute has cadenzas, or at least some freedom from the orchestral texture, Kaiser infuses the lines with sensuality or virtuosic gestures, which bring the music closer to the Classical style, even though the Quantz flute he chose for this CD has a round “Baroque” tone—contrary to many “period” flutists, Kaiser is not afraid to sound admittedly woody, and does not try to emulate a modern flute. The ensemble provides the perfect counterpart for the soloist’s flights of fancy, with a large dynamic scope, supple rhythmic drive, and very crisp articulations. Overall, the sound is so luscious that it takes the mind a while to get around the idea that this is actually only a chamber group (10 musicians, that’s all!). The result of this felicitous combination is music that is permeated with color and flexibility, and which creates a vivid image, one that stays with the listener long after the tunes have faded.


FANFARE: Laura Rónai
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Flute in D major by Ignaz Holzbauer
Performer:  Karl Kaiser (Flute)
Conductor:  Karl Kaiser
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stagione Frankfurt
Period: Classical 
Written: Germany 
2.
Concerto for Flute in E minor by Ignaz Holzbauer
Performer:  Karl Kaiser (Flute)
Conductor:  Karl Kaiser
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stagione Frankfurt
Period: Classical 
3.
Concerto for Flute in A major by Ignaz Holzbauer
Performer:  Karl Kaiser (Flute)
Conductor:  Karl Kaiser
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stagione Frankfurt
Period: Classical 

Sound Samples

Flute Concerto in D major: I. Allegro molto
Flute Concerto in D major: II. Largo non troppo
Flute Concerto in D major: III. Allegro non presto
Flute Concerto in E minor: I. Allegro moderato
Flute Concerto in E minor: II. Largo
Flute Concerto in E minor: III. Allegro
Flute Concerto in A major: I. Allegro comodo
Flute Concerto in A major: II. Larghetto
Flute Concerto in A major: III. Allegro
Flute Concerto in D major: I. Vivace
Flute Concerto in D major: II. Andantino e grazioso assai
Flute Concerto in D major: III. Allegro, con molto spirito

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