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Posted August 6, 2012
David Aaron Carpenter has chops. Period. His viola playing is just simply marvelous, and in this disc of concertos by Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-1792) he shows that the viola does indeed deserve to be the featured instrument with orchestral accompaniment rather than being relegated to a supporting role in a symphony orchestra.
The first piece is a Concerto in E-flat Major for Viola and Orchestra, and it starts with some Mozartian sounding material…and though it isn’t Mozart, it is glorious just the same. The second movement consists of slower material, but exquisitely played by Mr. Carpenter, with the orchestra providing perfectly textured music as accompaniment. The third movement starts off with a strong toe-tapping rhythm and delightful guaranteed-to-put-a-smile-on-your-face performances from the soloist and the orchestra. Ahhhhhh…this is wonderful!
The second piece is also Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, this time in C Major and the first movement is fun, fun, fun. Mr. Carpenter’s Viola is playful and warm and frolicking. You can’t help but smile when listening to him play this movement. The second movement is slower, but sweetly played – I really wished this was a DVD so that I could watch him – it’s that good. And the 3rd movement is perfect, joyful and jaunty.
The last piece is a Concerto in G Major for Viola, Cello, and Orchestra, and again Mr. Carpenter’s wonderful tone is evident, as is the fact that the Tapiola Sinfonietta (under Janne Nisonen’s baton) is having a great time. This piece shines through and through.
This disc is fantastic from beginning to end. Very Highly Recommended!