Thursday, November 24, 2016

Westerhoff, Christian. (1763-1806) Orchestral works.

From my collection.
Bought in February 2014.
First listen: 23-2-2014.
Second listen: 24-11-2016.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: May 2010.
Recording venue: Stadthalle Osnabrück. Germany.
Recording engineer: Stephan Reh.
Running time: 63:14.
Classical relevance: Well worth acquiring.

Works.

Clarinet Concerto No. 5.
Concerto for Clarinet and Bassoon & Orchestra.
Symphony in E flat major.

Performers.

Sebastian Manz, Clarinet.
Albrecht Holder, Bassoon.
Symphonieorchester Osnabruck, Hermann Baumer.

I must admit, I never knew about this composer, let alone that I ever heard music by him. This CD was priced down, and so I thought I could take a chance with it. Its typical music of its time, nothing to get over excited about, but the music has some noteworthy issues. The parts written for Clarinet are highly virtuosic, and I mean really virtuosic, sort of Paganini, but then on the Clarinet. The orchestra follows a conventional pattern, but still there are some things that surprised me in the scoring. Clearly this fellow had some creative ideas in his sleeve.  The Symphony has some inventive scoring, but it did not rock my boat that much, nice music, that's all. He did not live long but has quite a substantial oeuvre, of which little is performed today. Is it worth your attention? Certainly!  The recording is good, especially in the solo concertos. The Symphony sounds good too, but I think that the timpani started to be a little boomy. A detail that I did not expect from engineer Stephan Reh, but maybe it's an acoustical issue. The rest of the orchestral parts sounded extremely good.  The performance from the soloists as well of the orchestra are exemplary, and the booklet gives much info about time and composer. Little is known of him and he died really young.





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