German by birth and trained in Mannheim by Franz Xaver Richter, Joseph Martin Kraus is often referred to as the ‘Swedish Mozart’ both on the grounds of his undoubted musical genius and his employment at the brilliant court of Gustav III in Stockholm. Kraus’s career as a composer was relatively brief - probably little more than 15 years - but his mature works have a complexity expressive intensity which is quite unique. His death in 1792, like that of Mozart’s the previous year, must be accounted one of the great musical tragedies of the period.

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