- Danse Espagnole for violin & piano (transcription of Granados's Andaluza, Op. 37/5)
Fritz Kreisler was one of the most beloved violinists of the 20th century, universally known for his "Liebesfreud" and "Liebesleid," and a quantity of other popular encore pieces. Yet Kreisler was also an industrious arranger and clever pasticheur, who sometimes composed attractive works in the styles of Baroque and Classical composers and gave them false attributions, though more out of a wish to amuse than to deceive. The Kreisler repertoire, which includes his own compositions and arrangements of classics, is paid due diligence in this double-disc from Deutsche Grammophon, featuring performances by such renowned violinists as Ruggiero Ricci, Jascha Heifetz, David Oistrakh, Christian Ferras, Shlomo Mintz, Gidon Kremer, and Anne-Sophie Mutter, as well as six historic recordings Kreisler made in his prime, between 1910 and 1912. This encomium captures much of his playful spirit and delight in colorful display, and whether the mood is serious or light, the performances overflow with personality. The violinists all share an affinity with Kreisler's virtuosity and buoyant style of playing, and even though the scratchiness of Kreisler's recordings partly obscures his tone, his expression comes through adequately and practically invites the listener to compare the later interpretations. Because dates vary considerably, along with the respective technologies, the set includes mono and stereo recordings, as well as analog and digital reproduction, so listeners should be attentive to the volume control.