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Classical - Released July 10, 2020 | CPO

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Symphonies - Released January 20, 2017 | CPO

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Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | CPO

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Born three years after Mozart, dead three years after Schubert, Franz Krommer lived for seventy-one years and had a magnificent career even if, after his death, his name somewhat fell into oblivion. What a shame… Because these last symphonies, written from 1820 after some fifteen years of symphonic silence (even if he kept on composing, among other things, quartets and quintets at every turn), display an absolutely breathtaking modernity. Schubert couldn’t be of any influence, and yet from where did Krommer find this strength of language? From within himself, quite simply, with some obvious leanings toward Beethoven but also Weber, the latest Haydn, but nowhere could it be said that he was a poor imitator. The Quatrième Symphonie (Fourth Symphony), from 1820, includes a thousand surprises, especially in the dazzling scherzo. The Cinquième (Fifth), written the following year, starts (and continues) on a high note with a thousand surprising ideas that Beethoven would admittedly never have rejected, even if he never had them… As for the Septième (Seventh) from 1824, which was never released when the composer was alive, unlike the previous ones, it leans toward a Romanticism that was already off to a good start—even if its architecture seems to borrow, in the blink of an eye, from the first classicism from Haydn, but this is here an obvious archaism for pleasure, somewhat like so many composers from the 20th century borrowed the Baroque forms. Because the language from the Septième, rather tragic, splits between dark, deep themes and (rather rare) lighter moments, and the last movement, an “old style” fugato, remains rather bleak—with some amusing Rossini reminiscences in the course of a few pages. It is a beautiful interpretation from the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana; we would like to hear this music in concert far more often… © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 1, 1986 | Claves Records

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Chamber Music - Released July 31, 2015 | Glossa

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Chamber Music - Released March 20, 1996 | Naxos

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Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Tudor

Viennese composer Franz Krommer was born in Bohemia and also used his birth name, Frantisek Kramar. He was younger than Haydn but slightly older than Beethoven, who at first regarded him as potential competition in the string quartet genre but then stopped worrying. That was because there is little expression in quartets like these; as Quartetto di Milano member Thomas Wicky-Borner put it in his notes, Krommer "hardly ever reveals himself to us in his compositions." Written in the late 1790s, these works belong with the Classical era and not the Romantic, and in the minuet form, where Haydn had said everything that could be said, they are not very interesting. That said, Krommer did absorb one major aspect of Beethoven's string quartet language: like Beethoven's, these are not quartets for amateurs. The first-violin parts require a serious player, and these three quartets in general abound with flashy contrasts in texture and in passages that are big without being quasi-orchestral. The last movement of the String Quartet in D major, Op. 18/1, is an example of a movement that follows Haydn's formal designs but gooses them with fancy fingerwork. The outer movements of all three of these quartets are exciting for the listener, with a vigor that sets them apart from Hummel's expansive structure, and they pose challenges to the players that the Quartetto di Milano surmounts for the most part. Sometimes the group lays on Beethovenian intensity where the music can't really support it, and sometimes when it really digs into the strings they are not perfectly in tune. For the most part, however, this is a good introduction to the string quartets of a nearly forgotten composer of the First Viennese School. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2003 | Tudor

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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Tudor

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Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Tudor

Switzerland's Tudor label has committed to disc a good deal of the chamber music of the prolific composer Franz Krommer (aka, Frantisek Kramár), who was active and esteemed in the Vienna of Beethoven's day but forgotten after subjective individual experience became the name of the game in the music of the nineteenth century. If you're confused by the various Krommer discs on the market and want to try one out, this group of clarinet chamber pieces makes a good one to pick. Krommer fused Haydn's humor (and the folk-ish quality of some of his musical materials) with Mozartian elegance, and he developed the mix in intriguing ways over the course of his career: he both boiled Classical structures down to their essentials and expanded the harmonic innovations of the elderly Haydn into new realms (he never sounds much like Beethoven). This disc offers examples of both trends. The 13 Pieces for two clarinets and viola, Op. 47, composed in 1804, are unique -- short, mostly tripartite structures that reduce Classical relationships among rhythm, thematic material, and form to minimal but distinctive combinations. Sample the Rondo (track 12), an ABCDA shape in which the music retains elements of the opening motive but lets it fade away and then gradually return -- all over the course of a minute and 29 seconds. The Quintet in B flat major for clarinet and strings, Op. 95, is surely a later work (although the date is not precisely known), and the outer movements offer consistently surprising ways of integrating third relationships and other features of Romantic harmony into Classical frameworks. Hear also the spectacular passage about five minutes into the opening movement, where the clarinet swirls around the strings in an intense developmental treatment of a single motive -- it's as formally unusual as anything in Beethoven, minus the emotion. The third work on the disc is another clarinet quintet that's less adventurous but never less than pleasant and well made. Veteran German clarinetist Eduard Brunner and the multinational Amati Quartet offer thorough competence, which is exactly what the music requires, and the result, for everyone from wind players to those seeking relaxing sounds for the commute home, is a delightful program. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released April 1, 1994 | Chandos

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Classical - Released December 21, 2012 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 1, 2008 | Accent

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released April 1, 2006 | Brilliant Classics

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Chamber Music - Released May 1, 2016 | VMS Musical Treasures