HAUER: Apocalyptic Fantasy, Op. 5. Romantic Fantasy, Op. 37. VII.Suite, Op. 48. Violin Concerto, Op. 54.Twelve-tone Play for Orchestra (9.08.1957). Twelve-tone Play for Orchestra (22.09.1957).
Thomas Christian, violinist; Vienna Radio Symphony Orch/Gottfried Rabl, cond.
cpo SACD 777 154 (F) TT: 72:54
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BACH: Cantata BWV 148 "Herz und mund und tat und leben." Cantata BWV 82 "Ich habe genug." Cantata BWV 1 "Wie Schön leuchtet der morgenstern."
Monika Mauch, soprano; Matthew White, counter-tenor; Charles Daniels, tenor; Stephan Macleod, bass; Montréal Baroque/Eric Milnes, cond.
ATMA SACD SACD2 2402 TT: 71:36
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MARAIS: Sémélé (Overture and Dances)
Montréal Baroque/Wieland Kuijken, cond.
ATMA CLASSIQUE SACD SACD2 2527 TT: 54:19
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Viennese born Josef Matthias Hauer (1883-1959) received little recognition during his lifetime although several of his orchestral works were conducted by Otto Klemperer and Hermann Scherchen. This disk contains "milestones documented in Hauer's works for orchestra," most of which doubtless are premiere recordings—and probably the last as well.In 1919 Nauer abandoned tonality in his writing, turning to the twelve-one principle which he used exclusively thereafter. The result might have some appeal to academicians and musicologists, but most listners will find Hauer's music decidedly unpleasant. The violin concerto is particularly ungrateful for listeners as well as the soloist, Thomas Christian. Christian, born in Austria in 1951, studied with Heifetz, and over the years has enjoyed a commendable career as soloist. His talents are for naught in this 17-minute concerto. Conductor Gottfried Rebal, specializes in forgotten reperotory, and the fine orchestra, do what can be done for Hauer's music. This is a very odd choice to issue on SACD.

The ATMA SACD releases of Bach and Marais are outstanding, both featuring the extraordinary Montréal Baroque directed by Eric Milnes. . The four Bach cantatas are presented with a small chorus and four fine soloists. Sémélé, written in 1709, was the last opera by Marais. In 1991, Jérome de la Garce felt that this opera was a neglected masterpiece that would be recognized if the numerous orchestral interludes could be reconstructed which was accomplished by musicologist Gérard Geay. This is what is heard on this SACD—thirty mostly brief marches, arias, dances and even a mild French Baroque representation of an earthquake. Performances are perfection, the surround sound wonderfully transparent and immediate.

R.E.B. (June 2007)

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