Thursday, November 10, 2016

Graener, Paul. (1872-1944) Orchestral Works, Volume 2.

From my collection.
Bought in September 2015.
First listen: 8-10-2015.
Second listen: 10-11-2016.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: January 2011.
Recording venue: Grosser Sendesaal, NDR Hannover.
Recording engineer: Martin Lohmann.
Running time: 64:21.
Classical relevance: Well worth having, but sample first.

Works performed:

Symphony, opus 39 in D major, "Sorrow of the Blacksmith".
Aus dem Reiche des Pan, opus 22.
Prinz Eugen, der Edle Ritter, Variationen, opus 108.

Performed by:

NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Werner Andreas Albert.

Paul Graener is another one of those composers that have gone wrong for a while when the Nazi's were applying their horror over Germany and the rest of the world. His involvement into this regime went quite far, although in the end he distanced himself from it, when his Jewish friends were deported. Still it is a black mark on this composer and that is why he is forgotten. Nobody had any urge to get this very talented composer out of the darkness of a time we want to forget, still it is a courageous effort on behalf of CPO that they recognized this composer and his huge potential, for in musical terms he is not minor but a major composer. Having already some knowledge of his music out of the first volume of this series I knew it would only get better and in this I was not disappointed. Expect to hear remnants of the luxurious composer of large scale brass and thundering violins, why Bruckner of course, expect Debussy and even a tad of Dukas, and then expect Graener's unique insight of combining it with his artistry. The man had a British pass also, and lived in England for quite a while. You will hear many elements of the musical inheritance of England especially in the way he orchestrates for large orchestra. The music oozes power in a very controlled way, nothing over the top, but dynamics that are governed by well written parts for the brass and violins.

Opus 22 is a fantasy world of Debussy and Dukas combined but presented in a unique way by Graener, very impressive as a tone painting and for the atmosphere he creates. Wonderful.
Opus 108 was composed in 1939, and was much to the liking of Joseph Goebbels and his band of murderers and a ticket into the party for Graener, but he saw the error of his ways in time.
It's in all respects a beautiful work and draws it's inspiration from folk melodies.
The sound is good, maybe no as much depth as I would have wished, and not all detail is audible, but it is better as many a recording I heard.




Riisager, Knudåge. (1897-1974) The Symphonic Edition, Volume I.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: November 2017. First listen: 21--11-2017. Label: Dacapo. Recording dates: September 2010 & Februa...