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Kreisler: Russian & Slavonic Miniatures / Koeckert, Et Al


Release Date: 08/16/2005 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557388   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-KorsakovAntonín DvorákPeter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Nicholas KoeckertMilana Chernyavska
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Fritz Kreisler poured forth a steady stream of transcriptions of popular songs, like The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise, of those that would sometime become popular songs, like Dawes’s Melody, as well as of tunes that entered the public consciousness without ever quite achieving popular status. All these are in addition to his soon-to-become beloved original compositions, like the “Lanner waltzes” Liebesleid, Liebesfreud, and Schön Rosmarin. Nicolas Koeckert and Milana Chernyavska have collected Transcriptions of the Third Kind with Slavic flavoring in an anthology of almost popular (at least, recognizable) favorites by Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, and Dvo?ák. These he plays with a combination of tonal warmth and technical Read more alertness that wins him a place among violinists who play Kreisler’s works, if not quite as Kreisler himself did, at least as convincing in their own way. The number of violinists in this category will, of course, vary from listener to listener. Surely, Elman must belong there, although he sounds nothing like Kreisler, and so does Francescatti, whose dashing style and biting clarity hardly recall Kreisler’s Gemütlichkeit. Yet, since even so aristocratic and individual a violinist as Milstein can fail to make his point in some of these works, it’s clear that a strong personality and redoubtable technique don’t suffice. While Koeckert glories in the rich tonal possibilities of such pieces as Rimsky-Korsakov’s Hymn to the Sun, he never becomes smarmy, taking, for example, a brisk tempo where he might bog down in Dvo?ák’s Humoresque. Hearing Kreisler’s recordings for the first time may offer a jolting surprise to those who had experienced his pieces only in performances by other violinists. (The number of such listeners may be greater than anyone might estimate: I once encountered a recent master’s degree recipient from a well-known music school—in violin performance, no less—who mused about how wonderful it would be if we could actually hear the way Kreisler played his own pieces. O tempora, O mores!) Kreisler’s playing sounds vibrant yet expressive, and, of course, authoritative and convincing. But it’s not sentimental in the popular sense. Even in Ethelbert Nevin’s songs, The Rosary and Mighty lak’ a Rose (both of which he recorded twice, the latter for its first time with Geraldine Farrar in 1915), he never wallowed. He may have addressed his audiences in the vernacular, but he refused to condescend. Koeckert also walks this fine line, although his chosen material doesn’t bring him so close to the abyss. And he sparkles with the required brilliance in pieces like Tchaikovsky’s Humoresque. Whatever composer Kreisler transcribed always emerged from the process sounding a bit like Kreisler, or at least, Viennese, like Kreisler himself (think of his reworking of Paganini’s First Violin Concerto). He infused some of this personal element into his piano parts, which, like Heifetz’s, give the distinct, if not distracting, impression of being well crafted. And Milana Chernyavska plays them that way. These pieces would be hard to come by, at least in one place, outside RCA’s 10-CD Kreisler collection, 19:4. All the more, then, do they deserve an enthusiastic welcome in Koeckert’s idiomatic and ingratiating collection, in reverberant yet revealing recorded sound that Kreisler himself could only have envied. Recommended.

FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

1.
Golden Cockerel: Hymn to the sun by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906-1907; Russia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
2.
Scheherazade, Op. 35: 3rd movement, The young prince and princess - Oriental dance by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
3.
Zigeunermelodien (7), Op. 55: no 4, Als die alte Mutter by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Bohemia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
4.
Souvenir de Hapsal, Op. 2: no 2, Scherzo in F major by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
5.
Scheherazade, Op. 35: 3rd movement, The young prince and princess - Arabian song by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
6.
Morceaux (2) for Piano, Op. 10: no 2, Humoresque by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Russia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
7.
Slavonic Dances (8) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 72/B 145: Excerpt(s) by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Bohemia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
8.
Souvenir de Hapsal, Op. 2: no 3, Chant sans paroles by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
9.
Humoresques (8) for Piano, Op. 101/B 187: no 7 in G flat major by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Bohemia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
10.
Slavonic Fantaisie by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Bohemia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
11.
Symphony no 9 in E minor, Op. 95/B 178 "From the New World": 2nd movement, Largo by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; USA 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
12.
Sadko: no 4, Song of the Indian Guest by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Milana Chernyavska (Piano), Nicholas Koeckert (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1896; Russia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
13.
Slavonic Dances (8) for Orchestra, Op. 46/B 83: no 2 in E minor, Dumka by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Bohemia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
14.
Slavonic Dances (8) for Orchestra, Op. 72/B 147: Excerpt(s) by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886-1887; Bohemia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
15.
Sonatina for Violin and Piano in G major, Op. 100/B 183: Larghetto by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; USA 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 
16.
Quartet for Strings no 1 in D major, Op. 11: 2nd movement, Andante cantabile by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Nicholas Koeckert (Violin), Milana Chernyavska (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler.
Composition written: Russia (1871).
Composition revised: Russia (1888). 
17.
Fantasy on 2 Russian Themes for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 33 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Milana Chernyavska (Piano), Nicholas Koeckert (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886-1887; Russia 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler. 

Sound Samples

The Golden Cockerel (arr. F. Kreisler): Le Coq d'Or (The Golden Cockerel), Act II: Hymn to the Sun (arr. F. Kreisler)
Scheherazade, Op. 35 (arr. F. Kreisler): Scheherazade, Op. 35: II. The Kalender Prince, "Oriental Dance" (arr. F. Kreisler)
Zigeunermelodien (Gypsy Songs), Op. 55, B. 104 (arr. F. Kreisler): Zigeunermelodien (Gypsy Melodies), Op. 55: IV. Songs My Mother Taught Me
Souvenir de Hapsal, Op. 20 (arr. F. Kreisler): Souvenir de Hapsal, Op. 2: II. Scherzo (arr. F. Kreisler)
Scheherazade, Op. 35 (arr. F. Kreisler): Scheherazade, Op. 35: III. The Young Prince and Princess, "Arab Song" (arr. F. Kreisler)
12 morceaux, Op. 10 (arr. F. Kreisler): 2 Morceaux, Op. 10: No. 2 in E minor, Humoresque (arr. F. Kreisler)
16 Slavonic Dances, Op. 72 (arr. F. Kreisler): Slavonic Dance No. 10 in E minor, Op. 72/2 (arr. F. Kreisler)
Souvenir de Hapsal, Op. 20 (arr. F. Kreisler): Souvenir de Hapsal, Op. 2: III. Chant sans paroles (arr. F. Kreisler)
8 Humoresques, Op. 101 (arr. F. Kreisler): 8 Humoresques, Op. 101: No. 7 in G flat major (arr. F. Kreisler)
Slavonic Fantasy
Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, "From the New World" (arr. F. Kreisler): Symphony No. 9, Op. 95, "From the New World": II. Largo (arr. F. Kreisler)
Sadko (arr. F. Kreisler): Sadko: Song of the Indian Guest (Chant hindou) (arr. F. Kreisler)
16 Slavonic Dances, Op. 46 (arr. F. Kreisler): Slavonic Dance No. 2 in E minor, Op. 46/2 (arr. F. Kreisler)
16 Slavonic Dances, Op. 72 (arr. F. Kreisler): Slavonic Dance No. 16 in A flat major, Op. 72/8 (arr. F. Kreisler)
Violin Sonatina in G major, Op. 100 (arr. F. Kreisler): Sonatina in G major, Op. 100: II. Larghetto, "Indian Lament" (arr. F. Kreisler)
String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11: II. Andante cantabile (arr. F. Kreisler)
Fantasy

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