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Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, January 2017

For fans of the incomparable Amadeus, this is a fine airing of material culled from the composer’s early period. Violinist Henning Kraggerud elevates all three concertos with emotive phrasing and dispassionate technique, investing the pieces with the sort of precise pathos one might expect from such a worldclass musician. © 2017 Scene Magazine Read complete review



James A. Altena
Fanfare, November 2016

[Kraggerud] is simply an amazing violinist, …[he] has an extraordinarily beautiful, silken tone that repeatedly calls Nathan Milstein to mind, although a shade lighter. He has a similarly liquid legato; his upper register is gloriously sweet; his intonation spot on; and his bowing and fingerwork astonishingly facile. His use of ornamentation and embellishment is restrained and tasteful, without significant departure from Mozart’s scores. …Kraggerud has written his own cadenzas for the first two movements of each concerto; they are intelligently conceived and harmoniously integrated with Mozart’s own material. These performances also suggest that he has some talent as a conductor. The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra is as tightly knit an ensemble as one can hope to find anywhere; it plays here with great exactitude, fluency, and finesse, and is completely responsive to Kraggerud’s fairly frequent and sometimes saltational tempo shifts in the rondo finales. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review




Norbert Hornig
Fono Forum, October 2016

To listen to this Norwegian violinist, who was the teacher of Vilde Frang, by the way, is a pleasure. We hear Mozart-playing of the highest delicacy, playful and light, very musical and sensitive from the first until the last note. …The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra is a partner on the same level and so the artistic end result reaches reference level. © 2016 Fono Forum




Guy Weatherall
Classical Music, September 2016

Kraggerud’s zestful love of these works shines from every bar. He directs the ensemble with as much panache as he brings to the solo part. Tempi are brisk but never rushed, while phrasing is the slow movements is beautifully judged. His tone is beautiful but never ‘pretty’, sweet but never saccharine. At the Naxos price, this is an indispensable bargain—roll on vol 2. © 2016 Classical Music




Antony Hodgson
Classicalsource.com, September 2016

The clear-cut shaping of these works is so impressive that one almost forgets that immaculate accuracy and unblemished intonation that is necessary from all to achieve such vivid results. © 2016 Classicalsource.com Read complete review



Martin Cotton
BBC Music Magazine, September 2016

In the Fourth Concerto, there’s a lovely singing character to the central Andante, Kraggerud producing a variety of tone which matches the changing intensity of the line. Here, as in all the concertos, he plays his own cadenzas, which are stylish in the best sense, and show off his technique… © 2016 BBC Music Magazine




Julian Haylock
The Strad, August 2016

Even in an age when technical cleanliness and accuracy can be taken virtually for granted, Kraggerud’s buoyant, mellifluous spontaneity and spotless intonation are in a class apart. Although tempos are free-flowing, such is Kraggerud’s infectiously smiling way with these delightful scores that there isn’t the slightest hint of breathlessness. A triumph for all concerned, guaranteed to blow away any musical cobwebs. © 2016 The Strad Read complete review



David Threasher
Gramophone, August 2016

The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra has something of a reputation for working harmoniously with guest soloist-directors, not least among them Leif Ove Andsnes in concertos by Mozart and Haydn. Their strength lies in the collaborative approach dictated by their modest dimensions and conductorless set-up. Those discs with Andsnes were conspicuously successful, both artistically and critically, and this new project with Henning Kraggerud is no less winning. While these are brisk, no-nonsense performances after the contemporary fashion, the thinking that underpins their shaping right from the very beginning makes these readings of the Third, Fourth and Fifth concertos worth returning to. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, August 2016

Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud once again shows us the quick responsiveness, the flair, and the pronounced feeling for a cantabile passage that he displayed several years ago in an a program of Grieg sonatas-turned-into-concertos. This time, there’s even more opportunity for that flair I just mentioned because the subject is Mozart. © 2016 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review




Franziska v. Busse
Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR.de), July 2016

The Norwegian Henning Kraggerud plays both Violin and Viola. He knows Mozart from several perspectives. If one wishes to understand Mozart’s Violin Concertos—so thinks Kraggerud—one must keep certain aspects in mind: …For example that Mozart had been taught with strict rules by his father and that the composer himself must have had a beautiful tone: light, clear and sweet. This tone Kraggerud also has. And he is very intelligent in using it. © 2016 Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR.de)




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, July 2016

A fresh wind blows through Mozart’s Violin Concertos Nos. 3, 4 and 5 in these colorful performances by Henning Kraggerud and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra…stylish and elegant. © 2016 Pizzicato



Andrew McGregor
BBC Radio 3, July 2016

Henning Kraggerud is directing the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, as well as supplying his own cadenzas…it’s so alive with such engaging articulation and really crisp exchanges with the orchestra…the slow movements in all three concertos flow beautifully, played with a very light, sweet, singing tone and the recording places Kraggerud just in front of the ensemble…not too close, really intelligently balanced. Kraggerud’s cadenzas work very well… © 2016 BBC Radio 3 Listen to complete review



Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), June 2016

Mozart wrote his Violin Concertos in 1775 while still living in Salzburg. He had already toured internationally and found his home town restricting. But, as ever, Mozart rose above circumstances to create sublime and thrillingly unconventional masterpieces filled with wit and elegant charm. Violinist Henning Kraggerud leads the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and plays his own cadenzas. © 2016 WFMT (Chicago)




Erica Jeal
The Guardian, June 2016

Here’s a Naxos recording of standard classical repertoire that would make any full-price label proud. The performances are light and energetic. Kraggerud’s tone is eloquent and beautiful, marrying richness in the low notes with sweetness at the top, and he plays his own long, sparky cadenzas. © 2016 The Guardian Read complete review



Hazard Chase, June 2016

Henning Kraggerud has “developed an ideal classical sound with substance, warmth and beauty at the very core …It is a delight to hear this CD and Kraggerud’s superior interaction with his instrument …there is a sense of natural ease in his playing. At the same time, there is something imaginative and inventive in even the predictable moments, and much of this is due to his timbre and sound.” © 2016 Hazard Chase Read complete review




John Suchet
Classic FM, June 2016

Kraggerud serves up all of the necessary vivacity and fizz in the outside movements while sustaining the soaring tunes of their slow centres. Throughout, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra provide solid and sympathetic support. © 2016 Classic FM Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2016

It is twenty-five years ago since Naxos last offered a recording of the Mozart violin concertos, and I hope these performance will form the first part of a complete cycle. They have no aspirations of following in the present vogue for so-called ‘period instruments’, the soloist, Henning Kraggerud, making clear in his programme notes that these masterpieces can be interpreted in many ways while keeping within the composer’s wishes. He has supplied his own cadenzas to all three concertos using thematic material from that movement, yet retaining a desire to create music that is wonderfully fresh and vibrant. Technically he is outstanding, the most mercurial passages played with a crispness and light elegance, his intonation impeccably clean, while his balance with the orchestra is ideal. Above all he makes you smile as he imparts so much happiness, the finale of the Fourth imbued with a mischief he uses to tease the listener. His slow movements have grace and elegance; his dynamics throughout are never exaggerated, though he does allow the horns ample weight at the appropriate moments. Also directing the orchestra, he brings instrumental colour to every bar. It would be rash in such a crowded market to name a recommended version, but this one will delight the purchaser. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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