Friday, March 31, 2017

Klughardt, August. (1847-1902) Symphony No. 4 & Violin Concerto.

From my collection.
Bought in 2012.
First listen: 27-10-2012.
Second listen: 2-11-2012.
Third listen: 31-3-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: March 2009.
Recording venue: Anhaltisches Theater, Dessau, Germany.
Recording engineer: Jürgen Rothe.
Running time: 77:51.
Classical relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Violin concerto, opus 68 in D major.
Symphony No. 3, opus 37, in D major.

Performed by:
Anhaltisches Philharmonie, Dessau, Golo Berg.

I am a staunch admirer of Klughardt's music, and this disc only affirms my alliance to him. There are influences from Schubert, Schumann, and even Beethoven in his music, but primarily he is much his own man. The Violin concerto was premiered in October 1895, and was a huge success. It received many performances in Europe, with ecstatic accolades from public and critics alike. The solo and orchestral parts are closely and skillfully woven together throughout the concerto, without one of the two playing its way into the foreground. Longer orchestral passages are lacking, and there is no expansive solo cadenza as usual.  Klughardt's design in this violin concerto is a very independent one, and stands well amongst other concertos in his time. Romantic in nature, elegant, almost like a tone poem, it paints with soft colours the contours of a pastoral scene, peaceful, and emitting a love for life. Every movement carries the word moderato, and so it is. There is no stress, just an invitation to listen and feel happy. This is how it feels. It is well written, and performed in a symbiotic agreement between soloist and orchestra. Mirjam Tschopp is a fine violinist, with a sensitive bowing technique, who captures all the finer nuances of the concerto. Well accompanied by an orchestra that knows his aim and integrates fully. 
Actually one could say the same of the Symphony too. He wrote the work in 1879 and was premiered already in the same year. It was again received with so much enthusiasm and applauded after every movement for a long time, that Klughardt must have felt overwhelmed. It was liked like the Violin concerto by public and critics alike. Nothing but praise. It was kept in the repertoire for a long time.
He pursued in this third symphony a new orientation in expression and stylistics. It's a cheerful work, radiating with zest for life. Animated,, lively, graceful, and powerful in a way. For a starter the symphony opens with an extensive sonata movement, which is the messenger of much promise. All the things above are brought vividly to the foreground. Quite a success actually.
However like many composers of his time, he was more or less totally forgotten, until the label Sterling and CPO picked his music up again, for which I am very grateful.
The recording is very good, has much detail, a tight bass line, and good sound stage.
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...