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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A most enjoyable excursion into 'Kremerland'July 23 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
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.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
MOZART'S MUSIC OF THE HEART - SINFONIA CONCERTANTE (+ other enjoyable works)Nov. 8 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
Gidon Kremer is somewhat younger than I am, which means we are both older men (wiser, too, perhaps). I have followed his career since its beginnings, and honestly he has never given a poor, or false, or lazy performance. His commitment to music and his devotion to composers are the ne plus ultra of classical music. This is the level of musicianship that will save classical music from being overwhelmed by the sheer riot of competing music. And I would add only because of this excellence of the performers making such an eloquent case for it does classical music deserve to survive. Enough said. Now to the music. For me the essential work on this generous recording is the Sinfonia Concertante, K. 364, written about the time of his breakthrough opera, IDOMENEO. This double concerto is Mozart at his most graceful, inventive, beguiling and, yes, profound. This strikes me as music that derives from the Heart Chakra, and goes directly into the listener's. If you are a decent human being, not a saint or a hero, just a good person, this music will reward you by lifting your spirit, cleansing your soul, delighting your mind and making the rest of the day celebratory. Yes, this is all true. Music that comes from the Heart Chakra of which Mozart was a master has this spiritual effect. You only have to open your ears, concentrate on the waves of gorgeous sounds, receive the music and you are the best possible self you are capable of being. How long will this blessed condition last? I cannot presume to predict something so variable and personal. So - when this is finished, listen to Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 or Symphony No. 40 or - well, you get my drift. Maestro Kremer, let the music take over!