This disc contains works with a Mozartian theme and contains items recorded at Salzburg in 2002. It also features Kremer's own orchestra which he created as a celebration of his 50th birthday and which consists of a group of young and fine eastern European players known as Kremerata Baltica. The booklet has an article entitled `Moz-Art: a carnival evening in Kremerland'. This basically sets the scene for this rather unusual but very enjoyable disc.
Kremer himself has a reputation both as a fine virtuoso violinist and also as a bit of a maverick. This is in the sense that he delights in stretching some of the boundaries. Examples might be the use of an unusual cadenza, such as we have here, or an extension into unusual repertoire, which we also have here. There is frequently the feeling that there is a sense of humour at work as well as an investigative mind - hence `Kremerland'. All of these aspects can be experienced on this disc.
The disc starts with a fine and lively performance of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola. Kremer is joined in this performance by Ola Ulijona who matches Kremer very well in what is essentially a straightforward performance. This is followed by the Serenata Notturna which strays off the straight and narrow with some diverting musical asides and unusual mini-cadenzas for double bass and also for timpani (played with the wooden handles to give an appropriately crisp and military sound). I found this very entertaining.
The encore for that concert features a totally amusing parody by Teddy Bor and entitled `McMozart's Eine kliene bricht Moonlicht Nicht Musik' where various Scottish items are skilfully interwoven with original Mozart. This short piece is the perfect encore and greatly amused the audience.
The remaining two items come from another concert and are quite different - very serious. The Arvo Part composition' Mozart-Adagio' is a reworking of a piano sonata slow movement with extended dissonances and was written in memory of a recently deceased friend. I personally found it an effective composition and successful on its own terms. The remaining piece by Schnittke, `Moz-Art a la Haydn', was not so successful for me. This starts with an improvisory section played by the musicians in complete darkness and which continues when the lights come on again in a sound world that I simply do not inhabit. This is a personal opinion and will therefore not affect the final rating.
The whole disc is well recorded with crisp imaging in good colour and with involving camera work which captures the changing moods of the two occasions. The sound is clearly recorded and is presented in DD 5.1, DTS 5.1 and stereo.
This, in my opinion, is a most enjoyable collection of pieces and should appeal to anyone who is prepared to go with Kremer and his orchestra and explore a bit off the main pathways. For me, I feel that it fully justifies a 5 star rating on those terms.
Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:
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Thank you (UK review)
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