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Krommer: Three Flute Quartets
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Krommer: Three Flute Quartets

1 janvier 1987 | Format : MP3

EUR 9,99 (TVA incluse le cas échéant)
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HASH(0x976ebf9c) étoiles sur 5 Bowing to Public Demand 18 avril 2014
Par bejart7092 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD Achat vérifié
Trained as a violinist, Moravian born Franz Krommer (1759-1831) took advantage of prevailing tastes to write dozens of mixed quartets, winds combined with strings. Such was the demand by the Viennese public for this type of chamber music that many compositions originally composed as string quartets were adapted by substituting a flute for the 1st violin. Even Haydn's work was not spared, and Krommer's Op.92, included in this recording was published in 1816 as a string quartet.

His earliest work on this disc is the F Major, Op. 17, which dates from 1799. Resembling the French `Quatour brilliant', the flute assumes the predominant melodic lines with sparkling virtuosity while the strings are relegated to an accompanimental role. The 2nd movement `Minuetto' begins with a charming duet between the violin and the flute, with the stringed instrument offering a discreet counterpoint. The contrasting trio is a genial country dance, brimming with warmth and good humor.

The pastoral theme continues in the following `Andante'. Softly undulating lower strings provide support for the swaying flute lines. When the violin steps forward for a lifting solo, and then a playful exchange with the wind instrument, it creates a welcome textural contrast. Using dotted rhythms to propel the final `Presto', Krommer gives the flute bursts of pyrotechnical flurries amid the rocking action while the cello supplies much of the counterpoint.

From the opening bars of the `Allegro' of the G Major quartet, Op.93, it is clear while the flute remains the featured voice, the strings are more central to the composition. The counter melodies are more complex, the interweaving of the strings are more intricate, and the harmonic developments are more advanced - in short, this is a more mature and appealing work, no surprise since it was written at least 20 years later.

Unlike the earlier quartet, the 2nd movement is an angelic `Adagio' while the `Minuetto' is placed 3rd. Soaring flute lines reach toward the heavens while elegiac strings keep the section grounded before drifting to gentle close. Exquisite passage work from all four voices and overlapping series of scurrying runs mark the beginning section of the `Minuetto'. A swaying trio offers a lovely respite before the scuttling returns to end the piece.

A frenetic `Presto' continues the high speed pace, seeming to accelerate into the hair pin turns Krommer writes. The members of the Carmina String Trio are given ample opportunity to exhibit their considerable technique as they race toward the final notes.

Written in G Major, the Op.92 quartet finds the flute accepting more of a supplemental role, likely a direct result of the composition being originally conceived as a string quartet. More balance exists among the 4 voices with the interplay particularly well-crafted in the opening `Allegro'. A mournful violin begins the following `Adagio' with the flute embellishing the minor keyed melody. As the cello remains silent, the viola takes center stage and presents his version of the theme.

Busy scampering triplets populate the `Minuetto', always underfoot like so many surprised mice. All 4 instruments contribute intersecting phrases that suddenly coalesce into a single unison statement, powerful in its simplicity and unexpected arrival to close the work. Rhythmic dislocations mark the final `Allegro'. When coupled with sharp dynamic contrasts, it creates an edge of the seat experience and a fitting conclusion to this CD.

Recorded in 1986 by Claves, the engineering is fine. While the Carmina String Trio supplies skillful support and shines appropriately when in the spotlight, the real focus is the terrific flute of Peter-Lukas Graf.

During his lifetime, Franz Krommer enjoyed a sterling reputation as a composer and rivaled Beethoven in popularity. An excellent introduction to Krommer's chamber music, this engaging CD goes a long way to show why.
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