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The Classical Explorer

The Brothers Kreisler

OK Mozart 692863136929

Fritz Kreisler

String Quartet in A minor
Transcriptions & Arrangements for Quartet & Piano Trio

OK Mozart Chamber Music Ensemble
OK Mozart ISBN 692863136929

Fritz Kreisler, the legendary Austrian violinist, was also a great arranger. His virtuoso transcriptions, often still played as encores, are well known to lovers of violin music. And Kreisler's original works for violin in the styles of other composers were sophisticated enough to fool experts (he was also a phenomenal imitator). However his chamber music, much of it conceived as vehicles for him to perform with his cellist-brother Hugo, is less often played.

The highlight here is the substantial string quartet (28min) composed in 1919, just prior to the relaunch of Kreisler's solo career in the U.S. following World War I. One might expect this to be a virtuoso showpiece for the first violin, but that is not the case. Kreisler's quartet is a fully integrated and balanced work, with complex interplay between the parts. Though his violin technique was progressive, his compositional language is firmly rooted in the Viennese romantic tradition.

These are live recordings from the OK MOZART Festival in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 2001 and feature outstanding chamber music performances by talented musicians including Nai-Yuan Hu (violin), Ani Kavafian (violin), Paul Neubauer (viola), Ronald Thomas (cello), Anne-Marie McDermott (piano).

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[ Sheet music by Kreisler: Sheet Music Plus - ]