Kreisler: Russian and Slavonic Miniatures

Kreisler: Russian and Slavonic Miniatures

by Nicolas Koeckert
     
 

Although his formal training ended at age 12, Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) was an international star around the turn of the last century. His vibrato-heavy but animated, nimble style would have been immediately recognizable to those among our great-grandparents who loved concert music, and he wrote a great deal of music for his own use. This disc showcases his skills at… See more details below

Overview

Although his formal training ended at age 12, Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) was an international star around the turn of the last century. His vibrato-heavy but animated, nimble style would have been immediately recognizable to those among our great-grandparents who loved concert music, and he wrote a great deal of music for his own use. This disc showcases his skills at arranging music by other composers for violin and piano, and along the way it reminds us how, for all the large-scale musical architecture involved, the music of the post-Romantics was often about a search for the perfect tune. All the music here is based on pieces by Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, and Dvorák -- a limited focus, but one that displays some gems. Kreisler's knitting of themes from various Dvorák works into a Slavonic Fantasy is adept, and his shaping of the allegedly African-American English horn theme from the slow movement of the "New World Symphony" is expertly lifted out of its surrounding web and transformed into an ecstatic flight quite different from its original incarnation. Fritz Kreisler: Russian and Slavonic Miniatures, then, is a useful contribution to the recorded literature for a composer and performer whom we still need to understand much better. Yet it could have been much more of a rip-roaring good time. The youthful German violinist Nicolas Koeckert gets the externals of Kreisler's style but not its sweeping, foot-tapping energy, and his collaboration with pianist Milana Chernyavska has the reserved quality one hears in conservatory doctoral recitals. That's all wrong for Fritz Kreisler! And Naxos' sound, always a crapshoot, is downright annoying here. It's boxy and muddy, and it picks up a great deal of the violinist's breath noise. That's defensible in intimate forms of chamber music but not a good idea in re-creating the music of a performer who would not have been face to face with his audience -- Kreisler worked in big halls that seemed silent even if they weren't perfectly so. The field is still open for a disc that visits the range of Kreisler's accomplishments in full, including serious works such the Elgar violin concerto, as well as crowd-pleasers. Joshua Bell may be the performer with the best chance at pulling it off.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/16/2005
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313238828
catalogNumber:
8557388
Rank:
369002

Tracks

  1. Le Coq d'Or (The Golden Cockerel; Zolotoy petushok), opera in 3 acts with a prologue & epilogue: Hymn to the Sun  - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  2. Scheherazade, symphonic suite for orchestra, Op. 35: Oriental Dance  - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  3. Gypsy Melodies (7) (Zigeunermelodien) for voice & piano, B. 104 (Op. 55): Songs my mother taught me  - Antonin Dvorák  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  4. Souvenir de Hapsal, for piano, Op. 2: Scherzo  - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  5. Scheherazade, symphonic suite for orchestra, Op. 35: Arab Song  - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  6. Morceaux (2) for piano (or piano & violin), Op. 10: Humoresque  - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  7. Slavonic Dance No. 10 for piano, 4 hands in E minor, B. 145/2 (Op. 72/2): Slavonic Dance No. 2  - Antonin Dvorák  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  8. Souvenir de Hapsal, for piano, Op. 2: Chant sans paroles  - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  9. Slavonic Dance No. 11 for piano, 4 hands in F major, B. 145/3 (Op. 72/3): Humoresque  - Antonin Dvorák  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  10. Slavonic Fantasie for violin & piano in B minor (arranged from themes by Dvorák)  - Fritz Kreisler  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  11. Symphony No. 9 in E minor ("From the New World"), B. 178 (Op. 95) (first published as No. 5): Largo (Negro Spiritual Melody)  - Antonin Dvorák  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  12. Sadko, opera in 3 (or 5) acts: Hindou Song  - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  13. Slavonic Dance No. 2 for piano, 4 hands in E minor, B. 78/2 (Op. 46/2): Slavonic Dance No. 3  - Antonin Dvorák  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  14. Slavonic Dance No. 16 for piano, 4 hands in A flat major, B. 145/8 (Op. 72/8): Slavonic Dance No. 3  - Antonin Dvorák  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  15. Sonatina for violin & piano in G major ("Indian Lament"), B. 183 (Op. 100): Larghetto (Indian Lament)  - Antonin Dvorák  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  16. String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11: Andante cantabile  - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert
  17. Fantasy on Two Russian Themes, for violin & piano (after Rimsky-Korsakov's, Op. 33)  - Fritz Kreisler  - Milana Chernyavska  - Nicolas Koeckert

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