Kremerata Baltica

Kremerland

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Kremerland Review

by Blair Sanderson

Putting aside the conceit behind this album's title and the bizarre impression it might leave of its soloist and director, Gidon Kremer's 2004 album with the KREMERata BALTICA is a collection of short concertos and concert pieces, largely from the Baltic countries facetiously charted on the cover as "Kremerland." That Kremer has a fondness for the varied flavors and moods of music from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union should be evident from several previous discs with his hand-picked ensemble. Here, Kremer's selections are all over the musical map. Ranging from the turbulent Romanticism of Franz Liszt to the breezy jazz pastiches of Leonid Chizhik, and including a modernist tango by Alexander Vustin, a faltering rag by Giya Kancheli, and even circus music by Isaak Dunayevsky, this album is programmed according to Kremer's unabashedly eclectic tastes and his alone. Whether or not this collection makes sense depends on the listener's attitude toward Kremer's kitschy, pop concert proclivities. But the skill and musicality of his players cannot be questioned, and the fine production values reflect Deutsche Grammophon's usual high standards. So if it is taken in a spirit of fun, "Kremerland" may amuse for one or two hearings, but probably no more than that.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Concerto quasi una fantasia ("After reading Dante"), for violin & string orchestra (after Lizst)
1 Kremerata Baltica 01:50 Amazon
2 Kremerata Baltica 05:48 Amazon
3 Kremerata Baltica 04:34 Amazon
4 Kremerata Baltica 01:36 Amazon
5 Kremerata Baltica 03:47 Amazon
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart, for piano, strings & percussion
6 Kremerata Baltica 01:16 Amazon
7 Kremerata Baltica 00:47 Amazon
8 Kremerata Baltica 01:04 Amazon
9 Kremerata Baltica 00:48 Amazon
10 Kremerata Baltica 01:23 Amazon
11 Kremerata Baltica 01:57 Amazon
12 Kremerata Baltica 00:59 Amazon
13 Kremerata Baltica 02:53 Amazon
14 Kremerata Baltica 02:00 Amazon
15 Kremerata Baltica 05:08 Amazon
16 Kremerata Baltica 02:57 Amazon
17 Kremerata Baltica 04:01 Amazon
18 Kremerata Baltica 07:37 Amazon
19 Kremerata Baltica 04:57 Amazon
20 Kremerata Baltica 05:13 Amazon
21 Kremerata Baltica 10:15 Amazon
22 Kremerata Baltica 07:55 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick