Oscar Shumsky / Milton Kaye / William Wolfram

Kreisler: Violin Music

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Two names virtually synonymous with the violin in the twentieth century are Fritz Kreisler and Oscar Shumsky. The former was a notable performer in his own right, appearing as soloist in front of most of the world's most prominent orchestras. Today, however, Kreisler primarily lives on through his extensive compositional output, particularly that for the violin. This vast body of work can generally be categorized as being nationalistic, imitative of eighteenth century composers, or arrangements. Violinist Oscar Shumsky set out to record the complete violin works of Kreisler, but after realizing just how much music that encompassed decided on the program contained on this four-disc reissue on the Nimbus label. Given Shumsky's close professional relationship with Kreisler, there are few other violinists who would be as well suited for this project. Shumsky, in the same league with Stern, Heifetz, and Menuhin, was perhaps less celebrated in his own time as some of his fellow luminaries. We can now recognize, however, that Shumsky's playing was not only just as technically proficient, but maybe even a bit more personal and warmer. The warmth and intimacy of the tone transform the works of Kreisler -- which all too often can be dismissed as mere show pieces -- into satisfying, fulfilling works. From start to finish in this indispensible four-disc set, listeners are treated to exemplary sound quality, magnificent virtuosity, and wonderfully varied stylized playing. The liner notes, written in part by Shumsky, are nicely detailed and informative, making for an invaluable addition to this indispensible collection.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:54
2
3:50
3
3:23
4
3:48
5
1:56
6
8:17
7
5:49
8
3:33
9
4:06
10
2:01
11
3:39
12
4:18
13
3:44
14
3:22
15
3:22
16
4:59
17
4:43
18
4:24
19
4:43

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:50
2
5:58
3
2:51
4
3:09
5
3:58
6
4:33
7
2:42
8
3:53
9
3:21
10
3:17
11
4:05
12
2:19
13
2:31
14
3:57

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
5:28
2
1:58
3
1:57
4
2:19
5
3:19
6
3:07
7
7:12
8
4:02
9
4:30
10
2:57
11
3:52
12
2:14
13
3:53
14
3:24
blue highlight denotes track pick