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Kreisler: Works / James Ehnes


Release Date: 09/23/2003 
Label:  Analekta   Catalog #: 23159   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Fritz KreislerSergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  James EhnesEduard Laurel
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Canadian violinist James Ehnes is a marvel. You won't find a better Kreisler recital this side of, well, Kreisler. This disc already has garnered considerable acclaim in Europe, and it's a mystery why it's had to wait so long to appear on these shores. Ehnes plays these little gems with the richest, warmest tone imaginable, unflagging virtuosity, and where required (in the Liebeslied, Schön Rosmarin, or the delicious Caprice viennois) just a touch of schmaltz. Time and again you come away with a sense of just what a good composer Kreisler really was, and how effectively these charming bon-bons have held up over the years.


The principal item, though, is Kreisler's
Read more arrangement of Tartini's Devil's Trill Sonata, here played about as well as it can be (and I frankly prefer this arrangement to the original anyway, heretical as that may sound). Ehnes also rips into the second movement of the Recitativo and Scherzo for solo violin with spine-tingling aplomb, and Francois Francoeur may not be a household name anymore but if Kreisler's Sicilienne and Rigaudon are truly in "his" style, then (at least as played by Ehnes) he's due for a comeback. So although Kreisler's scale may be small, comparing the adorable Tambourin chinois to the Corelli Variations in the style of Tartini, or the Praeludium and Allegro in the style of Gaetano Pugnani reveals him as a musical historian (or curio collector) of the first rank, and within his self-imposed limitations, a composer of surprisingly wide range.


All of these amusing and intriguing reflections owe their origins to Ehnes' irresistibly spontaneous joy in this music, and to his gutsy, "golden age" timbre and technique. He even takes a turn at the keyboard in the Petite Valse for solo piano, and it's no disparagement of Eduard Laurel's excellent accompaniments to observe that the focus remains squarely on Ehnes, who clearly belongs among today's giants of the violin. It's his show, and Analekta has recorded him in state-of-the-art sound too. Marvelous! [9/20/2003]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Praeludium and Allegro in the style of Pugnani by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  James Ehnes (Violin), Eduard Laurel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
2.
Caprice viennois, Op. 2 by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  James Ehnes (Violin), Eduard Laurel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
3.
Transcription of Kreisler's "Liebesfreud" for piano by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  James Ehnes (Violin), Eduard Laurel (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1921; Austria 
4.
Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Eduard Laurel (Piano), James Ehnes (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
5.
Schön Rosmarin by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Eduard Laurel (Piano), James Ehnes (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
6.
Tambourin chinois, Op. 3 by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Eduard Laurel (Piano), James Ehnes (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
7.
Petite valse by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Eduard Laurel (Piano), James Ehnes (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
8.
Variations on a theme of Corelli by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  James Ehnes (Violin), Eduard Laurel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
9.
Cadenza for Tartini's "Devil's Trill" Sonata by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Eduard Laurel (Piano), James Ehnes (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
10.
La Précieuse in the style of Couperin by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  James Ehnes (Violin), Eduard Laurel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
11.
Apple Blossoms: Syncopation by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Eduard Laurel (Piano), James Ehnes (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1919; Austria 
12.
Polchinelle by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Eduard Laurel (Piano), James Ehnes (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
13.
Siciliano and Rigaudon in the style of Francoeur by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  James Ehnes (Violin), Eduard Laurel (Piano)
14.
March of the Toy Soldiers by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Eduard Laurel (Piano), James Ehnes (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
15.
Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice for Violin solo, Op. 6 by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  James Ehnes (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911; Austria 

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