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Joseph Martin Kraus: Violin Concerto in C major VB 151 (c. 1777/78)

344 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Bernet.strahm
What is striking: Joseph Martin Kraus has almost the same life data as Mozart, he was almost the same age and also died young, only one year later than Mozart, of tuberculosis. Born in Miltenberg am Main, he studied law in Mainz and Ehrfurt, but was also already intensively involved with music. Thanks to a student friend, he came to Sweden. He wrote a polemic entitled "Something of and about music: for the year 1777" a music-aesthetic treatise in the sense of the aesthetics of Sturm und Drang. After a hard time in Sweden, he had the good fortune to become second court conductor at the Swedish court. There he composed string quartets, symphonies and even operas in Swedish. Like Mozart, he was one of the most talented composers at the end of the 18th century, even at a young age. Joseph Haydn said of him: "I possess one of his symphonies, which I keep in memory of one of the greatest geniuses I have known. I have only this single work by him, but I know that he wrote other excellent things"[1]. Even though Haydn, after a visit by Kraus to Esterhazy, judged Kraus's music to be "music of astonishing perfection" and called Kraus one of the two geniuses of his time (Mozart was also meant), Kraus's work was completely forgotten until the 20th century. Even today, individual symphonies by him are only known in musical circles. His only violin concerto is also worth listening to again, as it is close to Mozart's violin concertos, but the violin part is more demanding.

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