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NX 0334
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NX 0334

KRAUS: Violin Concerto / Olympie / Azire

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2008

Originally recorded in 2008

Artists:

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra


Uwe Grodd



Takako Nishizaki

violin

Record Label
Naxos

Genre:

Classical




Total Time - 58:34
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JOSEPH MARTIN KRAUS

Select Complete Single Disc for
     
 

Violin Concerto in C major, VB 151

 
1 I. Allegro moderato 15:26
 Takako Nishizaki violin
2 II. Adagio 8:08
 Takako Nishizaki violin
3 III. Rondo 6:36
 Takako Nishizaki violin
     
 

Olympie: Incidental Music, VB 33

 
4 Overture 7:05
 
5 Marcia 0:52
 
6 Entr'acte between Acts I and II 1:20
 
7 Entr'acte between Acts II and III 2:15
 
8 Entr'acte between Acts III and IV 4:21
 
9 Entr'acte between Acts IV and V 3:01
 
10 Postlude 2:04
 
     
 

Azire: Ballet Music, VB 18

 
11 No. 22. Ballet 1:32
 
12 No. 23. Ballet 1:27
 
13 No. 26. Ballet 1:38
 
14 No. 25. Ballet 1:35
 
15 No. 24. Ballet 1:14
 
 Uwe Grodd
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*****
This has proved to be a delightful purchase. I became acquainted with Kraus some years ago through a disc of his piano music but the Violin Concerto has surprised me with its skill and virtuosity, though one should not really be surprised given Haydn's well known view of Kraus as a genius to be ranked with Mozart. The length of the first movement enables Kraus to provide a comprehensive development of the early thematic material, almost to the point of exceeding the usual framework of a violin concerto of the classical period. It is a challenging movement for the soloist but provides the listener with a very satisfying and attractive melodic play between the soloist and the orchestra. The pleasure has only just begun because Nishizaki positively revels in the cascading waterfalls of tunefulness which the score of the Adagio provides. The heights and depths of the composition challenge anything written by Mozart and the skill of Uwe Grodd's direction of the New Zealand Symphony do the work full justice. No falsely adopted Romantic Era exaggeration here, but rather, I suspect, the controlled complementary accompaniment which the composer wanted. Completion is provided with a delicate rendering of the dancing Rondo, short at six minutes in comparison with the first movement at over fifteen. The incidental music for Olympie is interesting and varied, beginning with a powerful overture which is rather surprising in its modernity (for the date of composition). The instrumentation is more adventurous in these pieces than in the concerto, adding to the general warmth of the experience. The delightful little Marcia from the wind instruments might even serve as a wedding march today in the right company! As always, ballet music without seeing the ballet must be immediately entertaining and captivating and this certainly is. Elegant and sprightly, it charms throughout. Some of the melody is so lovely that you wish you had the whole ballet on DVD to continue the experience. This disc is part of a series undertaken by Naxos of the music of Kraus and I will certainly be moving on to the remaining discs as finances permit. The recording is of a high quality with a very clear and spacious sound stage. The definition in all instruments is excellent and the soloist is satisfactorily balanced in the concerto. The equalisation is normal, meaning no need to compensate for any excessive bass or lack of treble! All in all, a pleasure! Brian
B Duffy