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   Symphonies: August 2008 Archives

Tonal Fantasies

Schwann Musica Mundi 11618

Franz Schreker

Chamber Symphony for 23 Solo Instruments (1916) 1
Prelude to a Drama (1913) 1
Valse Lente for Orchestra (c1908) 2
Night Interlude (1903) 2

1 Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Michael Gielen
2 Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Karl Anton Rickenbacher

Koch Schwann Musica Mundi CD11618 58:32

There have been a number of recordings of Schreker's music in recent years, including operas and orchestral music. The chamber symphony immediately reminds one of Ravel's Rapsodie Espagnol but there are soon echoes of Richard Strauss, the predominant apparent influence on the other works on the CD, although you might find traces of Szymanowski or Mahler. Chandos has also released two CDs of other Schreker orchestral music, CHAN9751 and CHAN9797, in which his lush scoring is well demonstrated.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - ]

Symphony of the Son

CPO 999531

Siegfried Wagner

Symphony in C Major (1925)
Later version of the second movement (1927)
Eklogue (after Liszt)

Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Werner Andreas Albert
CPO 999531-2 59:08

Although written in 1925, the symphony is firmly late-Romantic in style and orchestration, sounding occasionally like such composers as Suk and with the odd nod to father Richard: it runs about 46 minutes. The Eklogue, an orchestration of #7 from Book 1 of the Années de Pèlerinage, is a short makeweight.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - ]

To The Memory of FDR

EMI 86101

Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Symphony in F Sharp Major, Op. 40 (1952)
Six Simple Songs

Barbara Hendricks, soprano
The Philadelphia Orchestra/Franz Welser -Möst
EMI Encore 86101

Dedicated to the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Korngold's Symphony Op. 40 is a link in a musical chain reaching from Richard Strauss and Mahler to the film music of John Williams.

In listening to Op. 40, the film buff might notice quotes from Korngold's scores to the films "Juarez", (second movement); "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex", "Captain Blood", "Anthony Adverse," (third movement); and in the fourth movement – themes from King's Row. The music is exciting and spacious, and the Philadelphia Orchestra is in top form.

The songs will greatly please people who enjoy the lieder of Mahler and R. Strauss. Barbara Hendricks has a clean, strong voice particularly well-suited to this beautiful material.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - ]