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Kraus - Complete Piano Music

Catalogue numberBIS-1319 CD
Release date2006-03-28
Orig. sample rate44100Hz
Total time72:06

Josef Martin Kraus was the almost exact contemporary of Mozart, and as a matter of fact one of his last compositions was a song on the occasion of the great composer's death. Such parallels have led to Kraus being labelled 'the Swedish Mozart' (in spite of his German origins) but this is misleading: Kraus was a highly original composer in his own right, as shown by the large-scale Sonata in E major on this disc where remnants of the musical Sturm und Drang are combined with classical elements and early hints of the approaching Romantic era.
Indeed Haydn, who Kraus met in Vienna in 1782, remembered him much later as 'one of the greatest geniuses I have met', lamenting his demise as 'an irreplaceable loss to our art.' First and foremost a composer of operas and orchestral music - Haydn treasured a copy of his Symphony in C minor - Kraus wrote a small amount of works for the piano, all of which are included on the present disc. They range from incidental pieces such as the Swedish Dance, an idealized imitation of folk music, and the Two Curious Minuets (probably written as a musical dig at Johann Nikolaus Forkel, known to posterity mainly for his biography of J.S. Bach) to the two ambitious Sonatas.
The various facets of this intriguing composer are demonstrated here by Ronald Brautigam, whose recordings of the complete solo piano works by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven (an ongoing cycle) on the fortepiano has received high acclaim worldwide: 'Brautigam finds more colour in the fortepiano than any other player I have heard', 'one of the most discerning Haydn pianists around' and 'an artist fully in tune with the both the composer and his idiom' are only some of the comments made by reviewers.

Some press voices:

"It almost goes without saying that Brautigam revels in the effectiveness of this music on such a marvellous instrument. His effortless technique brings out all of the charm and, where necessary, the Sturm und Drang passion to Kraus’s sometimes remarkably adventurous piano writing. The recording is placed in a Church acoustic with a generous reverberation. This helps the atmosphere, without detracting from the all-important detail in this music. I congratulate Bis’s engineer Ingo Petry on the sound of this recording: one has the feeling one is being given a one-to-one private recital, seated a comfortable distance from the piano, but still able to see every bead of sweat on the player’s forehead. I find myself increasingly drawn to the fortepiano sound, and be warned - modern instruments can end up sounding quite flat and dull by comparison." Musicweb-International 05/2006
    File formats included in STUDIO QUALITY
    • FLAC 24-bit Stereo
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
$ 14.79
Extra material for download
  Composer: Kraus, Joseph Martin
  Sonata in E major (VB 196) 25:53
01 I. Vivace 06:55 $ 1.45 USD
02 II. Adagio 08:43 $ 1.83 USD
03 III. Andantino con variazioni 10:15 $ 2.15 USD
  Sonata in E flat major (VB 195) 22:19
04 I. Allegro moderato 06:57 $ 1.46 USD
05 II. Andante con variazioni 08:48 $ 1.85 USD
06 III. Allegro ma non troppo presto 06:34 $ 1.38 USD
07 Rondo in F major (VB 191) 07:17 $ 1.53 USD
08 Scherzo con variazioni (VB 193) 09:01 $ 1.89 USD
09 Swedish Dance (VB 192) 03:25 $ 0.72 USD
10 Zwey neue Kuriose Menuetten fürs Clavier (VB 190) 01:51 $ 0.39 USD
11 Larghetto (VB 194) 00:39 $ 0.14 USD
  Album total 72:06
FortepianoBrautigam, Ronald
ComposerKraus, Joseph Martin

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