Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

by Gidon Kremer


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Happy Birthday

Kremerata Baltica turned five in 2002, so if you missed the celebration, here's your party favor. And it's as delightful and quirky a treat as one might expect from such an intelligent musician as Gidon Kremer. Some of these pieces seem silly, like Peter Heidrich's "Happy Birthday" Variations (1994), in which each variation is a piece of stylistic trickery, treating the tune in the manner of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms, and also as a polka, a rag, a tango, and a czardas. (There's even a variation "in the style of film music"!) Other choices seem simply odd, like Joseph Ghys and François Servais' Variations on "God Save the King," a piece of 19th-century virtuoso fluff. And what is one to make of the lush, exotic, pop flavor of Vato Kakhidze's "Blitz" Fantasy (1999)? But, as it moves from the ridiculous -- Teddy Bor's McMozart's eine kleine bricht Moonlicht nicht Musik (1981) -- to the sublime -- Tchaikovky's Elegy -- the diverse program somehow hangs together. Of course, it helps that Kremer and his musicians approach each work with equal seriousness, for there's nothing worse than a comic who laughs at his own jokes. But even the silliest of these pieces is extremely well made, and in the end that makes this album worth hearing. And hearing again!

Product Details

Release Date: 01/28/2003
Label: Nonesuch
UPC: 0075597965728
catalogNumber: 79657


  1. Polka
  2. Happy Birthday Variations : Thelma
  3. Happy Birthday Variations:
  4. Happy Birthday Variations:
  5. Happy Birthday Variations:
  6. Happy Birthday Variations:
  7. Happy Birthday Variations:
  8. Happy Birthday Variations:
  9. Happy Birthday Variations: Polka/Valse
  10. Happy Birthday Variations: Variation Im Stil Von Filmmusik
  11. Happy Birthday Variations: Ragtime
  12. Happy Birthday Variations: Tango
  13. Happy Birthday Variations: Czardas
  14. Blitz Fantasy: Adagio
  15. Blitz Fantasy: Allegretto
  16. Blitz Fantasy: Ad Libitum
  17. Blitz Fantasy: Allegro. Presto
  18. Variations Brillantes et Concertantes Sur l'Air God Save the King, Op.
  19. Elegy
  20. McMozart's Eine Kleine Bricht Moonlight Night Musik
  21. Auld Lang Syne Variations: I. Eine Kleine Nichtmusik
  22. Auld Lang Syne Variations: II. Moonlight Concerto
  23. Auld Lang Syne Variations: III. Chaconne À Son Gout
  24. Auld Lang Syne Variations: IV. Hommage to Shostakofiev
  25. Souvenir

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