Thursday, March 30, 2017

Krenek, Ernst. (1900-1991) Symphony No. 4,and Concerto Grosso, opus 25.2.

From my collection.
Bought in 2011.
First listen: 3-5-2011.
Second listen: 30-3-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: February/March 2006.
Recording venue: Grosser Sendesaal des NDR Landesfunkhaus, Niedersachsen, Germany.
Recording engineer: Helge Martensen.
Running time: 57:24.
State of the art recording. (Symphony No. 4)
Classical relevance to me: Interesting as a representative of free atonality.

Works performed:

Symphony No. 4, opus 113, (1947) World premiere recording.
Concerto Grosso, opus 25.2. (1924)

Performed by:

NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Alun Francis.

His Symphony is composed in free atonality, with some tonal elements of design. That pretty much sums up Krenek as a composer. Serialism, jazz influences, 12 tone technique, it's all there, be it in different strengths. I like what I hear, but more in a technical sense as really relating to it. I find that to be more the case with Hans Werner Henze, who more or less composes in the same way, but with a totally different outcome. I have more affinity with Henze's idiom. Now Krenek is as far I want to go in this style. His symphony pushes all the right buttons for me, but his Concerto Grosso bores me no end, apart from some really beautiful episodes, short as they are. Emotionally there is no gain. And that goes for both works. But this sometimes brutal and robust way of writing is appealing in a rudimentary way. I would not want it on my listening menu every week, but once in awhile I need this for my musical bearings.  This said my ears would be more attuned to Henze for this need. The symphony is recorded in demonstration class, the Concerto is a notch or two down that ladder. The performance is a concentrated one, in which Francis finds the right amount of intensity to keep things flowing without unnecessary interruptions. The changing of keys is done magnificently, and the tight grip on the orchestra keeps it away from chaos which is always lurking with free tonality.

My playlist for 25-4-2018.

If by any chance you might be interested in my thoughts or feelings about the recordings of today, please let me know, and I will provide ad...