WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

A Tribute To Fritz Kreisler


Release Date: 01/17/2012 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001637702  
Composer:  Fritz KreislerSergei RachmaninovPeter Ilyich TchaikovskyChristoph W. Gluck,   ... 
Performer:  Ruggiero RicciBrooks SmithFritz KreislerHaddon Squire,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



A TRIBUTE TO FRITZ KREISLER Ruggiero Ricci, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, David Oistrakh, Christian Ferras, Shlomo Mintz, Gidon Kremer, Anne-Sophie Mutter (vn); Brooks Smith, Haddon Squire, George Falkenstein, Emanuel Bay, Vladimir Yampolsky, Jean-Claude Ambrosini, Clifford Benson, Oleg Maisenberg, Lambert Orkis, André Previn (pn) DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 289 477 9942 (2 CDs: 130:56)


Selections by KREISLER, TCHAIKOVSKY, GLUCK, RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, DVO?ÁK, CHAMINADE, FALLA, Read more ALBÉNIZ, WEBER, WIENIAWSKI, GLAZUNOV, GRANADOS, MENDELSSOHN


Deutsche Grammophon’s tribute to Fritz Kreisler on the 50th anniversary of his death (only several days away as I write) begins with a program recorded by Ruggiero Ricci and Brooks Smith in 1961. Kreisler himself never recorded his Praeludium and Allegro, often mentioned as his best piece (Carl Flesch suggested that the composer didn’t take the Allegro too fast—only at about MM = 120). Ricci’s reading sounds very much like Zino Francescatti’s, not only in taking the Praeludium’s quarter notes quickly but in the Allegro as well. Not everybody played Kreisler well, but Francescatti did, and his recording of short pieces might have added illuminatingly to this whole. Nathan Milstein played Kreisler well, too, but he didn’t make a better impression in the Sicilienne and Rigaudon than does Ricci (Ricci also played Eugène Ysaÿe’s solo sonatas with special insight). The first segment continues with Ricci’s warmly genial (yes, genial, not only for swashbuckling Ricci but for anyone) readings of the Chanson Louis XIII and Pavane and of the Rondino on a Theme of Beethoven. (Francescatti’s seems pointed and arch by comparison—but might the piece not have been intended that way?) The Variations on a Theme of Corelli combines stylish authority with virtuosity (although the last variation, chordal, betrays some of Ricci’s characteristic roughness—as do the double-stops in the Scherzo-Caprice and in Liebesfreud ). And if he seems to press Schön Rosmarin and La Chasse (the latter beyond the limits of his ability to control the double-stops’ intonation) too hard, the same approach makes La Gitana sizzle.


Kreisler’s own recordings come from 1910–12, years in which it could hardly be said that Kreisler wasn’t yet Kreisler but well before he had ceased to be Kreisler (arguably the best concerto recordings would come in the 1920s, and the Beethoven sonatas with Franz Rupp in the mid 1930s). His contribution to the program includes the three “Lanner” waltzes, Liebesfreud, Liebesleid , and Schön Rosmarin , in the first of which he takes the middle section with more decision than do many who followed him, and in the second of which he introduces unashamed slides into the corresponding section. Unlike Ricci’s, Kreisler’s own version of Schön Rosmarin (from 1912) certainly doesn’t press too hard, and his Tambourin Chinois sounds more atmospheric than virtuosic (I remember an old recording made by future longtime Philadelphia concertmaster Norman Carol, on LP, RCA Camden 419, that sounded very similar). Kreisler’s reading of the Andantino gives occasion to reflect whether a first-time listener to Kreisler’s own recordings might not consider his playing simply old-fashioned rather than quintessentially charming. Tully Potter suggests in the notes that few modern teachers play old recordings for their students, and that recalls a conversation I had a generation ago with a recipient of a graduate degree in performance from a major Midwestern conservatory, who gushed, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could actually hear recordings of Kreisler playing his own music?”


There’s certainly nothing old-fashioned about Jascha Heifetz’s playing of Gluck’s Mélodie (in a recording made with Emanuel Bay in New York’s World Broadcasting Studio in 1945). In contrast to the way Kreisler himself beguiled listeners, Heifetz pierced them with so many sonic lasers. Yet there’s no lack of subtlety; Heifetz also played Kreisler well, despite their differences. And Heifetz achieves a similar effect in Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Hymn to the Sun. David Oistrakh sounds similarly intense, although with a somewhat softer edge, in his recording of La Gitana , from 1949 with Vladimir Yampolsky (Kreisler reputedly admired Oistrakh’s playing).


Christian Ferras plays the next set of pieces, including a warmly sinuous if slightly spotty reading of Humoresque , and a richly characterized one of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Hindu Song. Despite the high temperature of his rendition of Manuel de Falla’s Danza española , however, the accentuation may seem to some listeners too strong for the musical message to bear.


Violinist Shlomo Mintz contributes nine pieces, which he plays with amiable subtlety with Clifford Benson (from 1980), including particularly genial ones of Polichinelle and Isaac Albéniz’s Tango, to the latter of which Arthur Grumiaux brought special poignancy. Mintz’s tone exhibits a slight edge (perhaps more than an effect of the recorded sound) that makes it resemble Francescatti’s, although his manner may seem light-years removed. The manner, too, seems tart and technically alert, as in the Gypsy Caprice , and he spits the pizzicatos in Henri Wieniawski’s Caprice. His reading of Alexander Glazunov’s Sérénade espagnole , despite its energy, doesn’t press forward with such élan as does Kreisler’s own with Michael Raucheisen from 1930.


Gidon Kremer plays the Syncopation with a ingratiatingly quirky lilt (in his recording with Oleg Maisenberg from 1995), a quality that also characterizes his reading of Marche miniature viennois . The program concludes with selections by Anne-Sophie Mutter, including blockbusters like Schön Rosmarin, Caprice viennois , and Liebesleid , as well as Felix Mendelssohn’s Frühlingslied . The sequence of tracks highlights the difference between Mutter’s more straightforward (although hardly prosaic) manner and Kremer’s kinkiness. Still, Mutter in 2002 (the first three pieces) already displayed signs of an eccentricity that, unlike Kremer’s, may not strike all listeners as adding an extra dollop of stylishness or insight to the performances. If Kreisler sounds occasionally old-fashioned, he never sounds simply willful, as Mutter may seem to many to be in Liebesleid.


Those who revere Fritz Kreisler and don’t already possess all the recordings included in the set can’t go wrong. Urgently recommended.


FANFARE: Robert Maxham
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Variations on a theme of Corelli by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
2.
The Old Refrain by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
3.
Tambourin chinois, Op. 3 by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
4.
Siciliano and Rigaudon in the style of Francoeur by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
5.
Schön Rosmarin by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
6.
Rondino on a theme by Beethoven by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
7.
Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice for Violin solo, Op. 6 by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911; Austria 
8.
Praeludium and Allegro in the style of Pugnani by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
9.
Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
10.
Transcription of Kreisler's "Liebesfreud" for piano by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1921; Austria 
11.
La Gitana by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
12.
La chasse in the style of Cartier by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
13.
Chanson Louis XIII in the style of Couperin by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
14.
Caprice viennois, Op. 2 by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
15.
Tambourin chinois, Op. 3 by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Fritz Kreisler (Violin), Haddon Squire (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
16.
Schön Rosmarin by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Fritz Kreisler (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
17.
Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Fritz Kreisler (Violin), Haddon Squire (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
18.
Transcription of Kreisler's "Liebesfreud" for piano by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Fritz Kreisler (Violin), Haddon Squire (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1921; Austria 
19.
Andantino in the style of Martini by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Fritz Kreisler (Violin), Haddon Squire (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
20.
Souvenir de Hapsal, Op. 2: no 3, Chant sans paroles by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Fritz Kreisler (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Notes: Arranged: Fritz Kreisler 
21.
Orfeo ed Euridice: Dance of the Blessed Spirits by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin), Emanuel Bay (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1762/1774; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranged: Fritz Kreisler 
22.
Golden Cockerel: Hymn to the sun by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin), Emanuel Bay (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906-1907; Russia 
Notes: Arranged: Fritz Kreisler 
23.
La Gitana by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  David Oistrakh (Violin), Vladimir Yampolsky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
24.
Humoresques (8) for Piano, Op. 101/B 187: no 7 in G flat major by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Christian Ferras (Violin), Jean-Claude Ambrosini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Bohemia 
Notes: Arranged: Fritz Kreisler 
25.
Sérénade espagnole for Piano, Op. 150 by Cécile Louise Chaminade
Performer:  Christian Ferras (Violin), Jean-Claude Ambrosini (Piano)
Notes: Arranged: Fritz Kreisler 
26.
Sadko: no 4, Song of the Indian Guest by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Christian Ferras (Violin), Jean-Claude Ambrosini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1896; Russia 
Notes:  Arranged: Fritz Kreisler  
27.
La vida breve: Spanish Dance by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Christian Ferras (Violin), Jean-Claude Ambrosini (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904-1905; Spain 
Notes:  Arranged: Fritz Kreisler  
28.
Polchinelle by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Shlomo Mintz (Violin), Clifford Benson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
29.
Hojas de album (6), Op. 165 "España": no 2, Tango by Isaac Albeniz
Performer:  Shlomo Mintz (Violin), Clifford Benson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; London, England 
Notes:  Arranged: Fritz Kreisler  
30.
Sonates progressives (6) for Violin and Piano: no 1 in F major, J 99/Op. 10 no 1 - Larghetto by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Shlomo Mintz (Violin), Clifford Benson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1810; Germany 
Notes:  Arranged: Fritz Kreisler  
31.
Gypsy Caprice by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Shlomo Mintz (Violin), Clifford Benson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
32.
L'école moderne, Op. 10: no 5 in E flat major "Caprice alla Saltarella" by Henri Wieniawski
Performer:  Shlomo Mintz (Violin), Clifford Benson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854 
Notes:  Arranged: Fritz Kreisler  
33.
Slavonic Dances (8) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 46/B 78: no 2 in E minor, Dumka by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Shlomo Mintz (Violin), Clifford Benson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Bohemia 
Notes:  Arranged: Fritz Kreisler  
34.
Pieces (2) for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 20: no 2, Sérénade espagnole by Alexander Glazunov
Performer:  Shlomo Mintz (Violin), Clifford Benson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1888; Russia 
Notes:  Arranged: Fritz Kreisler  
35.
Danzas (12) españolas for Piano, Op. 37: no 5, Andaluza by Enrique Granados
Performer:  Shlomo Mintz (Violin), Clifford Benson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892-1900; Spain 
Notes:  Arranged: Fritz Kreisler  
36.
La Précieuse in the style of Couperin by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Shlomo Mintz (Violin), Clifford Benson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
37.
Schön Rosmarin by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter (Violin), Lambert Orkis (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
38.
Apple Blossoms: Syncopation by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin), Oleg Maisenberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1919; Austria 
39.
Apple Blossoms: Miniature Viennese March by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin), Oleg Maisenberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
40.
Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter (Violin), Lambert Orkis (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
41.
Caprice viennois, Op. 2 by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter (Violin), Lambert Orkis (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
42.
Songs without words, vol 5, Op. 62: no 6, Andante grazioso in A major "Spring Song" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter (Violin), André Previn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Notes:  Arranged: Fritz Kreisler  

Sound Samples

Praeludium And Allegro In The Style Of Pugnani
Siciliano And Rigaudon In The Style Of Francoeur
Chanson Louis XIII and Pavane
Rondino on a Theme by Beethoven: Allegretto grazioso
Variations on a Theme by Corelli
Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice, Op.6
Caprice viennois op.2
Tambourin chinois
Liebesfreud
Liebesleid
Schön Rosmarin
La Gitana
The Old Refrain - arranged by Fritz Kreisler
La Chasse (in the style of Cartier)
Liebesfreud
Liebesleid
Schön Rosmarin
Tambourin chinois
Andantino in the style of Padre Martini
Chant sans paroles, Op.2, No.3 - Song without Words, Op.2,3 - arranged by Fritz Kreisler: Song without Words, Op.2,3 - arranged by Fritz Kreisler
Melodie from "Orfeo ed Euridice" (Dance of the Blessed Spirits) - Arranged by Fritz Kreisler: Melodie from "Orfeo ed Euridice" (Dance of the Blessed Spirits) - arranged by Fritz Kreisler
The Golden Cockerel - arr. Fritz Kreisler: Hymn to the Sun
La Gitana
Humoresque, Op.101, No.7 - arr. Fritz Kreisler
Serenade Espagnole - Arr. Fritz Kreisler
Sadko - Arr. by Fritz Kreisler: Hindoo Song (Song of India)
La vida breve - Arr. by Fritz Kreisler / Act 2: Spanish Dance
Polichinelle (Sérénade): Allegro giocoso e ritmico
Tango, Op.165, No.2 - Arr. Fritz Kreisler: Andantino
Larghetto - Arr. Fritz Kreisler: Andante con moto
Gipsy Caprice: Allegretto, molto ritmico
Caprice in E flat - Arr. Fritz Kreisler: Alla Saltarella: Allegretto scherzando
8 Slavonic Dances, Op.72 - arr. Fritz Kreisler: No. 2 in E minor (Allegretto grazioso)
Spanish Serenade, Op.70 - Arr. Fritz Kreisler: Allegretto
Spanish dance - Arr. Fritz Kreisler: Andantino quasi Allegretto - Andante - Tempo I
La Precieuse - Arr. Fritz Kreisler: Allegretto con spirito
Syncopation
Marche miniature viennoise
Schön Rosmarin
Caprice viennois op.2
Liebesleid
Lieder ohne Worte, Op.62 - Arr. Fritz Kreisler: 6. Frühlingslied

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