Skip to page content

Joseph Martin Kraus


About this Artist

Born: 1756, Miltenberg am Main, Palatinate (Germany)Died: 1792, Stockholm, Sweden Period: Classical

“Kraus was the first man of genius I ever knew… The Symphony in C minor, which he wrote here in Vienna especially for me, is a work which will be regarded as a masterpiece for all time…”     — Joseph Haydn Kraus was almost an exact contemporary of Mozart, but he made a name for himself in late 18th-century Europe as a court composer, not a freelance musician. Kraus worked for King Gustavus III of Sweden, a great patron of music. In Stockholm, Kraus was known for his operas, works that relied on the reforms of Gluck as the foundation for a Swedish national opera. His music is harmonically rich and derives its propulsive rhythms from the stormy character of central European Sturm und Drang. Of his 15 surviving symphonies, the C minor is among the best-known.

Further listening:

Complete Symphonies (3 volumes)Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Sundkvist (Naxos)

Soliman II (opera) Soloists, Royal Opera of Sweden, Brunelle (Virgin)