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Michael Carter
Fanfare, November 2012

These are remarkably assured works for a composer in his early 20s. They exhibit above-average familiarity with the form itself as well as a complete understanding of orchestral technique and the technical capabilities of the viola. The orchestral forces are small (oboes or flutes and strings) but they are deployed and employed with confidence. The thematic material is worked through with a masterly hand…

Carpenter has no problem with these works, as he has technique to burn as well as a rich, round tone…Carpenter works his way through these concertos with enviable ease, applying a sensible combination of scholarship and musicianship and doing so in a way that earns him much respect from not only his colleagues but also his audiences.

The Tapiola Sinfonietta…is well drilled, its sound quite rich, and overall the ensemble is exceptionally clean…

This fine release is both a welcome addition to the 18th-century repertoire in general and the Kraus discography in particular. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

Frédéric Cardin
La Scena Musicale, November 2012

…we are fortunate that today, passionate musicians have dared to unearth these hidden treasures. Kraus’s viola concertos are well within the standards set by the work of his contemporaries and make for an important addition to the instrument’s limited repertoire. Memorable melodies and cheerful rhythms blend with a captivating and convincing interpretation from the young David Aaron Carpenter and the Tapiola Sinfonietta. Another fine discovery to add to your collection. © 2012 La Scena Musicale Read complete review

Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, September 2012

The E flat major Concert…has good thematic development and crisply delineated passagework. The slow movement…is vested with the deepest and most individual features. In this case it’s an almost operatic richness of expression. Kraus also insinuates little harmonic feints and detours in his finales; he adds some crunching orchestral unison passages and some wistful slowings, to create a good sense of atmosphere.

The last concerto is a putative Double Concerto…it’s a very well orchestrated work with fully written out cadenzas. Once more the slow movement is strikingly dramatic, indeed arresting. The cello here decorates around the viola. The butterfly element is strong in this work, and it’s quite engagingly done.

The performances and recording are both fine… © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Threasher
Gramophone, September 2012

These three concertos were thought to be the work of Roman Hoffstetter (the composer of ‘Haydn’s Serenade’) but, in 2010, the scholar Bertil van Boer located a new source that enabled an accurate attribution to Kraus, and now the honour of presenting them to the world has fallen to David Aaron Carpenter.

Like Mozart, Kraus was a violinist who enjoyed playing the viola. He must have been a most gifted player if these concertos are anything to go by, with the instrument’s whole range and variety of techniques exploited to the full. Carpenter is a sensitive and knowledgeable guide through these works, which he plays as if they’ve always been with him. Viola players will surely rejoice that their concerto repertoire now has three challenging and beautiful additions, and those who wish to hear what was going on in the European string concerto beyond Haydn and Mozart could hardly do better than start here © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Joseph Magil
American Record Guide, September 2012

The quality of the music is quite high. This is the first time I have heard David Aaron Carpenter, who is an excellent violist. Excellent sound as usual from Ondine. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, June 2012

…I was delighted to receive the latest CD by the marvellous young American violist David Aaron Carpenter…Carpenter’s playing is superb: warm and rich across the entire range, and wonderfully expressive. He also directs the Tapiola Sinfonietta, an orchestra which has the Viennese music of this period as part of its core repertoire as is clear from their perfectly-judged accompaniment. © 2012 The WholeNote Read complete review, May 2012

Carpenter plays the concertos with style and flair, but without swooping down on the music and making its virtuosic passages sound as if they were written in the 19th century. Indeed, the organization of these works plants them firmly in Mozart’s time, but the expectations of the soloist show Kraus reaching well beyond what composers expected from viola players in this age…Most interesting of all is the concerto for viola and cello. It is tempting to think of it as a precursor of Brahms’ Double Concerto, but of course Brahms did not know the Kraus work…What Kraus manages to do here is to meld the sounds of viola and cello while giving each an individualized role to play in the concerto, somewhat as Mozart did for violin and viola in his Sinfonia Concertante, K364. With fine playing by cellist Riitta Pesola complementing Carpenter’s on viola, this concerto makes one wonder what other Kraus gems, or other long-missing examples of 18th-century compositional skill, might remain to be discovered. © 2012 Read complete review

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