Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Graener, Paul. (1872-1944) Orchestral Works III. TOP RECOMMENDATION.

New acquisition.
Bought in February 2017.
First listen: 22-2-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: April 2001-October 2012.
Recording venue: BR Studio 1, Munchen, Germany.
Recording engineers: Peter Urban & Winfried Messmer.
Running time: 63:43.
Classical relevance to me: Top recommendation.

Works performed: 

Klavierkonzert, opus 72.
Symphonietta, opus 27, für Streichinstrumente und Harfe. (Uta Jungwirth, Harfe.)
Drei Schwedische Tänze, opus 98.
Divertimento für kleines orchester, opus 67, dedicated to Clemens von Franckenstein.

Works performed by:

Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Alun Francis.
Oliver Triendl, Piano.

So far as I know I have collected all CPO recordings with the music by Paul Graener, a composer that belongs to my top 25 composers of all time. I have a good reason to put him there, although in retrospect he is not known to many, but the ones that know him keep Graener close to their hearts. I am one of them.
Graener's compositional work was deeply rooted in the tradition and adhered to the late romantic sound ideal, with input from some stylistic influences of more recent date. But few know that Jon Leifs from Iceland and Juozas Gruodis studied with Graener.
The piano concerto, opus 72 was composed in Leipzig and was printed in 1925, and premiered in 1925. The was dedicated to Ludwig Neubeck. He was dismissed from all his functions and imprisoned by the Nazis in 1933 and subsequently took his life during the same year. This is one of the best piano concertos I ever heard, without a shadow of a doubt. It is the creation of a master in composition. Just listen to the second movement "Adagio". If that does not break you heart, nothing will. It is such an emotionally laden work, in that it pours forth torrents of anguish and despair, and ultimately in the last movement a spiritual balance, that is as striking as it is amazing in it's concept. I was totally awestruck by this outpouring of Graener's genius. Such a beautiful piece of music.
The symphonietta was dedicated to his son Heinz who died in London at the age of eight. His dead had a profound impact on Graener, and it shows in this well written concert. It's emotional turmoil is devastatingly real and near, and grabs you immediately. There is so much sadness and being lost in limbo, that you are moved to the very core of your heart. A composer that is able to express all his grief in such effective and understandable music, is a miracle as such.
Opus 98, Drei Schwedische Tänze is a piece suffused with folk melodies, and although the structure of the music is kept simple, there is nothing simple in the writing. Al three movements have the names of Swedish provinces, and are a joy to listen to.
The Divertimento is a form of old which Graener revived again as some other composers did in his time, especially Paul Juon, amongst others. Five beautiful movements in a somewhat lighter vein as the other works on this disc.
A disc to sit in my display cabinet of most honored composers and music. A stunning experience, to be able to get to know Paul Graener,  and his music.
The recording is State of the Art. The performance does all honour to orchestra and conductor. Oliver Triendl is in his element in the piano concerto, and I am sure he got out of it what was in there, till the last drop.
Recommended!




Graupner, Christoph. (1683-1760) Partitas for Harpsichord. Volume I.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: July 2017. First listen: 26-7-2017. Label: Analekta. Recording dates: September 2001. Recording v...