WORYSCH: Suphony No. 3, Op. 70. Dre Böcklin-Phantasien,
HOVHANESS: Prelude and Quadruple Fugue, Op. 128. Concerto for
Soprano Saxophone and Strings, Op. 34. Symphony No. 48, Op. 244 "Visions
MAHLER: Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection."
SCHOEK: Sommernach (Pastorale Interlude for String Orchestra). Sonata
for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra. Penthesilea (Suite for Large Orchestra).
B esuch in Urach.
GRAENER: Piano Cncerto Op 72. Sinfonietta, Op. 27. Three Swedish Dances,
Op. 78. Divertimento, Op. 67.
German composer Felix Woysrch (1860-1944) is another relatively unknown being resurrected by the enterprising CPO lable. They already have issued two disks of several of his symphonic works including Symphony No. 2. Now we have his fine disk of Symphony No. 3 (he composed 7), along with his three orchestral works inspired by paining's of Alexander Böcklin, played by Oldenburgisches Staatsorchester conduced by Thomas Dorsch, Woyrsch had a respectable but unexceptional career as organist. conductor and composer, his music influenced by Brahms and sometimes Liszt and Wagner. Apparently he was instrumental in formation of what would later become the Hamburg Philharmonic. His Symphony No. 3, is long (34:16) and in four movements. No question that Worysch knew his craft, but in spite of its often colorful orchestration, there is little here to attract major orchestras and conductors—and audiences. . However, there is interest in the three fantaisies based on paintings by grapc artist and sculptor Arnold Böckln (1827 - 1901). The three are The Isle of the Dead, the Hermit, and Play of the Waves. These were written around 1910, and one cannot ihelp but wonder if he had heard Rachmannoff's symphonic poem bsed on the same painting. Worysch's work is much more concise than Rachmaninoff's (less than 9 minutes), but quite effective in recreating the dismal scene. In addition we have the two other "fantasies," intriguing listing indeed. Max Reger also wrote tone poems with Backlin's poems as the subject, All of these are far more interesting than the mundane symphony. Performances are excellent, and the CPO engineers hove done their work well.
Alan Hovhaness (1911-2001) is a favorite composer of Gerard Schwarz, who alreadyhas recorded numerous works of the American composerincluding eight symphonies. Here now is a new disk with new repertory, the Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Strings written in 19980, and one of his more interesting symphonies, No. 48 subtitled Visions of Andromeda, Hovhaness at his best in depicting images the wonders of the galaxy Written in 1982, it here receives its world premiere recording. We also have the conductor's second recording of Prelude and Quadruple Figure, Op. 124, probably included as it was on the concert given during the Eastern Music Festival in Dana Auditorium in Guilford College, Greensboro, North Carolina, in July 2013. The saxophone concerto is a fluid, melodic delight. Dedicated performances of all, beautifully played ad recorded with Naxos' usual sonic expertise.
Gerard Schwarz has now completed his Mahler symphony cycle with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Here he completes the series with the mighty Resurrection, a performance recorded live in Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall recently but on an unspecified date. This performance has stiff composition from major orchestras and conductors. The two disks sell for the price of one, but this performance is far removed from preferred versions.
This site enthusiastically greeted an SACD issue of Othmar Schoeck's Elegie,
Op 36, a large-scale work for baritone and chamber orchestra (REVIEW).
Now we have another surround sound disk, this one offering a wide variety
of music by this Swiss composer
whose rich orchestral textures are reminiscence of Straus. Described
as, "the most modern, radical work on this recording," the
sonata for bass
clarinet and orchestra, composed 1927-28, originally was written with
piano accompaniment but is heard here in an orchestration by Willy Honegger.
It short (13:11) a pleasant diversion often displaying humor, and the
brilliant performance by Werner Reinhart, recorded close-up gives the
listener an almost surreal picture of the instrument's low register.
We also have a 17-minute suite of music from his opera Penthesilea.
The disk opens with his most famous work, the pastor ale intermezzo Sommernacht.
amid ends with a treasure, Besuch In Urach, a setting of 12
verses of a poem by Edouard Mörike about love and innocence. It
is a memorable addition to the catalog: (this is its first recording).
And the performance
is glorious. Swiss soprano Rachael Harnish obviously is a singer to watch.
She already has recorded with Abbado. Her's is an exciting voice indeed.
The complete text is provided. Audio is superb throughout and well-baanced,
except that, there are, at several points in Besch In Urach there
are some non-musical
thumps, particularly at 11:00. I still would not want to be without this
R.E.B. (May 2015)