Don't Expect to be Knocked Over.
John Austin | Kangaroo Ground, Australia | 10/12/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The great Austrian violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) did not undertake many concerto recordings. The two concertos featured on this CD he recorded twice however, firstly in Berlin in 1926 and again in London in the 1930s. Producer and restoration engineer Mark Obert-Thorn has worked his magic to provide us with the opportunity to listen with ease and full enjoyment to these ancient 1926 sets of 78s, comprising the two concertos and the two "encore" items that occupied their last sides. The Italian words "dolce" and "cantabile" are the best I can think of to describe Kreisler's playing and his approach to each concerto. Don't expect a performance of the Beethoven concerto that knocks you over by its boldness and punch. It's impact is aurally reduced further by the lamely conducted and distantly placed orchestra, suggesting a discretely orchestrated piano accompaniment. Kreisler, it should be remembered, provided the cadenzas always heard in this concerto nowadays. Naxos has made all this available at the lowest possible price, together with the usual objective and non-judgmental notes provided by their regular annotator Keith Anderson."