WORKS: Symphony in E flat; Symphony in C; Symphony in C minor; Olympie Overture
PERFORMER: Swedish CO/Petter Sundkvist
CATALOGUE NO: 8.553734
Many regard Joseph Martin Kraus as one of Mozart’s finest contemporaries, and Haydn said of the C minor symphony here that it ‘will be regarded as a masterpiece for centuries to come; believe me, there are few people who can compose something like that’. Haydn conducted the first performance at Eszterháza in 1783.
On this new CD we are given excellent performances and a lucid recording of three superb symphonies (of which that in C minor is hauntingly beautiful) and a fiercely dramatic overture. Petter Sundkvist has obviously rehearsed the Swedish CO thoroughly – it plays with genuine fire and finesse. There is a rival recording of four symphonies (two identical with those on this CD) by Concerto Köln on Capriccio which is starkly dramatic and well-recorded. But the new Naxos CD is extremely good and your choice will probably depend on your preference for period or modern instruments. HC Robbins Landon