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Stephen Wright
American Record Guide, September 2017

The symphonies of Bohemian composer Leopold Koželuch (1747–1818), each about 20 minutes long, are Haydnesque and rustic, sometimes evoking the bourdon, but with a dash of Mozartean suavity and polish. He’s at his best in the sonata-form first and last movements, his thematic groups neat and clear-cut, inviting vigorous development. The minuets are inventive, and just one succumbs to Haydn’s “Are you the O’Reilly who owns this hotel?” rhythmic pattern. The others elide the basic minuet pulse with syncopations and off-the-beat melodic entries; they’re rarely formulaic.

The chamber orchestra has 38 players, uses no vibrato, and plays with spirit and commitment… © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, September 2017

Performances by Marek Štilec and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, Pardubice, are bright, alert, buoyant, and stylish. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



David Threasher
Gramophone, June 2017

[Koželuch] was clearly a competent and imaginative composer, fully in control of structure and with a personal approach to harmony.

…projects such as this…are worthwhile for filling in our knowledge of the milieu in which the greats worked, the music they heard and the influences they shared. There are 11 symphonies according to The New Grove and thus we can look forward to a couple more discs of the vivid, well-argued and colourful music of Leopold Koželuch. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, May 2017

For this inaugural volume we hear the Sinfonias PosK 3, 5, 6, and 7. They are jaunty and pleasurable, thanks in part to the spirited performances of the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice under Marek Štilec.

Koželuch from this evidence was an inspired craftsman. These are not some kind of game-changing examples from the era, but neither are they inconsequential fluff. Anyone with a penchant for the pre-romantic classical-period symphony will find this an enchanting listen. © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, April 2017

The four works here are nicely varied. The Symphony in C major (No. 6) includes trumpets and timpani. That in G minor has three movements; all of the others have four. Two works, the D major and C major symphonies, begin with impressive slow introductions. Development sections are fully worked out, and the slow movements really sing. Marek Štilec leads lively, smartly paced performances, and gets fine playing from the ensemble. © 2017 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Robert Benson
ClassicalCDReview.com, April 2017

Czech composer Leopold Kozeluch (1747–1818) was a virtuoso pianist who wrote a wide variety of music including operas, ballets, concertos, vocal, chamber music and many works for the piano. He was quite popular during his time, respected by his peers. Quite a bit of his music has been recorded and now we have this fine next CD of four of his charming symphonies. Three have four movements, one has but three, and all end with a vivacious presto. Recordings were made February 2016 in the Czech Republic’s Pardubice House of Music. The Czech orchestra is superb under Marek Stilec’s assured direction. Excellent defined audio. © 2017 ClassicalCDReview.com



David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2017

Among the vast collection of works written by Leopold Koželuch were listed around thirty symphonies, the present quartet written towards the end of the 19th century. Not pretending to be an authority on the composer, I think they represent works I have previously known as ‘op.22, nos. 1 & 3 and op.24, nos. 1 & 2’, and used that nomenclature when offered by the composer in 1784 through his publishing house, Musikalisches Magazin. By that time he had become one of the most admired composers in Vienna, his style owing so much to Haydn, that his symphonies could well be mistaken for having come from the young Haydn. Three are in the conventional four movements, with the third movement in the shape of a Minuet, and closing with a fast and happy presto, the third of opus 22 then dispensing with the Minuet. None overstay their welcome at around twenty minutes, and are scored for a conventional chamber orchestra of the period, a pair of horns and tympani added to strings and woodwind. That I have so enjoyed the disc is largely due to the excellence of the Pardubice orchestra, where everything is so neat, tidy and crisp, Marek Štilec keeping tempos pushing forward without ever rushing. The sound quality is equally unfussy, with a fine inner clarity, and the strings offered a warm acoustic. Very well worth exploring, and I beg of you not to be put off Koželuch if you have only heard his keyboard works. © 2017 David’s Review Corner



Records International, March 2017

This promises to be an interesting series for Classical symphony collectors. Koželuch’s best works reveal an impressive command of the musical language of Viennese classicism and at times a lyricism that seems to foreshadow the youthful works of Schubert. This recording draws on original sources and corrects a number of mistakes encountered in previously published versions. © 2017 Records International



Dean Frey
Music for Several Instruments, February 2017

Leopold Koželuch is comfortably in the second rank of composers who look up—a fair way to be sure—to Mozart and Haydn. He rubs shoulders with Gluck, Michael Haydn, Rossetti and Kraus. He wrote a great deal of serious and accessible music, characterized by some melodic charm and honest craftsmanship. Occasionally lightning strikes and Koželuch produces something really memorable. I’ve been following Kemp English’s complete piano music series for Grand Piano, and am more and more impressed as he gets to Koželuch’s later sonatas. The composer’s forays into Sturm und Drang are fascinating; Koželuch seemed to have his finger on the pulse of musical trends in Europe. © 2017 Music for Several Instruments Read complete review





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