Notes & Reviews:
These arrangements for string orchestra of works by Alban Berg take their cue from Berg himself: he arranged three of the six movements of the Lyric Suite for string orchestra; the Dutch composer Theo Verby arranged the other three. The CD includes an arrangement of Berg's Piano Sonata for strings by Wijnand van Klaveren. Ernst Kovacic arranged Berg's early works especially for this recording. The arrangements chart Berg's development as a composer, from prentice pieces composed under the tutelage of Schoenberg to the rich, mature style of one of his masterpieces, the Lyric Suite, written to express an impassioned and illicit love. Ernst Kovacic is one of Austria's best-known violinists as well as a conductor. Among the composers who have written works for him are Krenek, Holloway, Gruber and Schwertsik. Ernst Kovacic and the NRM Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra's previous Toccata release of music by Ernst Krenek (TOCC 0199), was received with universal enthusiasm, the reviewer for Fanfare writing: 'This Toccata Classics CD is a model of fine production values... (and) magisterial performances... an absolute must for Krenek fanciers'.
American Record Guide, March/April 2015
One must admit that Berg's hyper-emotional, endlessly chromatic themes do get gummy after nearly an hour. The arrangements accomplish a broad range of expressive tonecolor, with nearly every conceivable string effect on display. In the trickier parts where there are several extremely chromatic legato lines playing against one another, they play accurately and in tune. They'll be happy.
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