Joseph Martin Kraus (1756 - 1792)
Symphonies vol. 1 + vol.2 - Concerto Köln, Capriccio
Vol. 1 (Date of Recording: 6/1991 )
Symphony in C minor, VB 142
Symphony in E flat major, VB 144
Symphony in C major, VB 139
Symphony in D major
Vol. 2 (Date of Recording: 3/1992)
Symphony in D major "Sinfonia da chiesa", VB 146
Symphony in C sharp minor, VB 140
Symphony in C major "Violin obligato", VB 138
Symphony in C minor "Symphonie funebre", VB 148
Review - www.allmusic.com
The first volume of the Concerto Köln two-volume collection of the mature symphonies of Joseph Martin Kraus opens with his Symphony in C minor from 1783, the work that caused Haydn to say of Kraus that he was "one of the greatest geniuses I have met." It's that good, and the other three symphonies on this disc are just as good: the bright and shining D major, the brilliant and charming D major, and the witty and sweet E flat major, with its tender flute and yearning Larghetto. The Concerto Köln plays with refinement and enthusiasm in the later three works and power and passion in the C minor. Capriccio's sound is dry, clear, and deep. Anyone who loves the symphonies of the 1780s of Mozart, Haydn, or C.P.E. Bach will love the symphonies of Kraus.
As good as the first volume of Kraus' mature symphonies by the Concerto Köln from 1991 was — and it was one of the finest discs of symphonies from the 1780s ever released — the second volume from 1992 is even better. This volume has the bright and brilliant three-movement C major with violin obbligato from 1780; the original four-movement Symphony in C sharp minor from 1781 in all its Sturm und Drang glory; the massive and monumental two-movement Symphony in D major from 1789 with its prelude and fugue structure; and the dark and dour Sinfonie funebre from 1792, with its four slow movements and its tone of deepest mourning. As on the first volume, the playing of the Concerto Köln is superb, stylish, and dedicated, and, as on the first volume, the recording by Capriccio is clear, clean, and detailed. Anyone who loves the symphonies of Haydn, Mozart, and C.P.E. Bach will love this disc.