Good buy for the money asked
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 08/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Brilliant Classics' twofer of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Wind soloists performing the octet-partitas of Franz Krommer is a good buy for the little money being asked. If you like wind music -- harmoniemusik, more exactly, since the wind group here is called the harmonie -- you probably have at least some exposure to Krommer, a Moravian peer to Beethoven that was at one time considered one of Europe's finest composers.
Certainly no one today considers him to be among the greats although he has a faithful following among wind music enthusiasts. Krommer's octet-partitas are his most popular medium even though his clarinet concertos tend to sell more recordings, largely because they appeal to a wider audience. Anyone investing the few dollars asked here will easily understand why Krommer was such a hit in the harmonie format and why his music continues to be played and recorded today.
The Rotterdam players are good but they are hardly the final word in Krommer playing. Anyone willing to spend more money than this can acquire the most magnficent account of these comopsitions played by La Gran Partita on the Swiss Tudor label. This group of modern instrument players makes more of the symphonic nature of these pieces than the Rotterdam players, whose execution is good but whose tempos tend to be a bit on the legato side. La Gran Partita is simply the greatest Krommer band there is and anyone investing in "La Gran Partita Vol. 2" (ASIN: B001UL3ZKK) won't be disapointed and will understand what these seeming trifles can become under expert hands.
It should be noted that, while the two recordings are not exact duplicates of each other, the La Gran Partita mixture gives you as much music on a single CD as the Brilliant version puts on two.