Certainly one of the hidden treasures
Joshua Kaufman | Cincinnati, OH | 01/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know why, but for whatever reason Franz Krommer is a pretty unknown composer. However, he is surely one of the better composers of his time, which lasted from three years after Mozart's birth to four after Beethoven's death. And his clarinet concerti are some of the finest work of his that I've heard.
His Concerto in Eb Op. 36 is probably his most well known work, and it's not hard to see why. This rivals Mozart and Weber in sheer tunefulness and great passage work. His melodies are very hummable and memorable. The third movement especially seems to look toward Weber's Concertino, and is simply a joy.
No less good are the two concerti for two clarinets. Even more than the solo concerto, these show just how good a concerto writer he was and how well seems to know the strengths of the clarinet. The constant interplay between the two soloists works greatly, and the lead never seems to outshine the 2nd; Especially the rondo of the Op. 35 concerto, where the two clarinets seem to form a musical dialoge as good as any.
As is usual for "lesser" composers on Naxos, the playing is very good, both by soloists and ensemble, with great sound. At this price this is one CD that anyone who enjoy fine classical style, fine clarinet music, or simply good music shouldn't hesitate to pick up."
Op.36 is standard repertoire
L. Ku | New York | 01/23/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Though the works of Franz Krommer are not frequently mentioned by non-clarinetists, those who do play the clarinet know that the Op. 36 concerto is a standard concerto. This work is considered right up there along the ranks of Krommer's contempories who wrote for clarinet including the Stamitz's, Crussell, and Mozart.The first movement stands out the most. Krommer turns simple increasing intervals into a catchy melody that becomes the theme from which the movement revolves around.Though this recording is by no means a benchmark (I prefer Paul Meyer's effort with Jean Pierre Rampal and the Frank Liszt Orchestra), for this price you get another astounding value from Naxos. Classical music fans will get a good introduction to this work, but clarinet students studying the piece should look to the Meyer/Rampal rendition."