Although Kalliwoda discs are not always as enjoyable as his background as a court music director for more than 40 years would suggest, there are two works on this anthology that merit the serious attention of collectors of the retro Classical-Romantic style that the Prague musician embodied.
The centerpiece is a magnificent Introduction & Rondo, not otherwise in the catalog, for French horn and orchestra. Heroic fanfares and calls, dazzling virtuosity and melting lyricism are demanded and Radovan Vlatkovic meets and surpasses them at every opportunity.
Also of substantial interest is Kalliwoda’s 34-minute Third Symphony. While the first two movements take a while to get going, the last two have real fire and brimstone. Played beautifully, as is the whole program, by the Hamburg orchestra, the Symphony is a treat. The first two pieces on the CD, however, an Overture Op. 12 and a set of variations for clarinet, Op. 128, are nice but unmemorable.
The sound, recorded at the Friedrich-Ebert Hall in Hamburg-Harburg, is very good at higher volumes, where a sense of space develops and the drums have real impact. This is particularly true in the Introduction and Rondo where the horn seems to bloom in a positively Einsteinian, expansion of time-and-space way. The informative liner notes by László Strauss-Németh will touch the heart of all Kalliwoda fans.
— Laurence Vittes