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HK Gruber: Busking; Nebeelsteinmusik; Violin Concerto No. 1 / Hakan Hardenberger, Katarina Andreasson

Notes & Reviews:

International Record Review
These three concertos are very different from one another in character but they share strong sense of the capricious and fantastic and an infectious yet subversive good humour and rhythmic drive. Hardenberger (ably assisted by his streetwise co-soloists, though his is obviously the star part) is a dazzling soloist in Busking, and all three performances seem to be very near perfection.

Sunday Times
Gruber invests concerto form with the imaginative density associated with the symphony. Of his two violin concertos, the second, Nebelsteinmusik, is delightful, and the first is an undoubted masterpiece, fully the equal of those by Prokofiev or Walton...Busking, for trumpet, accordion, banjo and strings, Gruber's second concerto for Hakan Hardenberger, is a haunting study in outr sonority.

The Guardian
All of them are instantly identifiable as products of the same quizzically original mind. Each of the two violin concertos inhabits a rather Bergian world...Busking was composed for Hkan Hardenberger, and makes full use of his phenomenal virtuosity, weaving themes from Gruber's operas into a dazzling cross-cut fabric of competing rhythms, with the banjo and accordion adding a brittle, almost sardonic edge.

The Times
Behind the frivolities there's serious meat; beauty too, well brought out by Hkan Hardenberger in the drifting and smoky slow movement. Two violin concertos, nifty fusions of chromatic anguish, tonal simplicities, pop music and Alban Berg, fill out this enjoyable disc.


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