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Posted January 17, 2011
This recording consists of the final three violin concertos (Nos. 17, 18, and 19) written by Rodolphe Kreutzer. I was previously unfamiliar with these works, but am delighted to add this music to my library! Concerto No. 17 in G major has a spritely and joyful feel to it, partially owing to the music itself but principally owing to the sheer sense of glee that Axel Strauss (violin) and the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra (under Andrew Mogrelia) give to the color and energy of the performance. The ideas develop in a somewhat Haydnesque way, and all three movements are just a treat for the ears.
Concerto No. 18 in E minor has a rather Beethovenian air to it from start to finish, beginning with a large serious sound, but giving way rather quickly to energetic and cheerfully focused music for the violin. The second movement (Adagio) is a more solitary opportunity for the soloist to demonstrate the tone and color of his instrument, and Mr. Strauss definitely shows us what his J.F. Pressenda (Turin 1845) can do - and it is sweet. The third movement brings the piece to a close with some reflective music as well as a sampling of virtuosity from Mr. Strauss.
Concerto No. 19 begins, like No. 18, with a Beethovenian flavor, but quickly becomes more Paganinni-esque, which gives the soloist the chance to again show off his technique. But in addition to being more than up to the challenge, Mr. Strauss also displays a sensitivity throughout the entire concerto that made this listener stop what he was doing and just listen. Great music, wonderfully performed. I highly recommend this disc.