Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Draeseke, Felix. (1835-1913) Orchestral Works. Top recommendation.

From my collection.
Bought in 2010.
First listen: 12-2-2014.
Second listen: 16-4-2014.
Third listen: 11-4-2017.
Label: CPO 999.581 2.
Recording dates: December 1997 and September 1998.
Recording venue: Großer Sendesaal des Landesfunkhauses Niedersachsen des NDR, Hannover.
Recording engineer: Manfred Kietzke.
Running time: 54:58.
Classical relevance to me: Essential.
Reference performance.
State of the Art sound.


1) Symphony No. 3, opus 40 in C.
2) Funeral March opus 79 in E minor. ( In Memory of the German soldiers who fell in battle in Africa.)


Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR, Jorg Peter Weigle.

The third symphony is a magnificent work, plain and simple, a masterwork forgotten. Romantic in its core, with some leanings towards the late romantic, this is a powerful exclamation of a unjustly forgotten composer. The work is so tightly written, that not a note in this work of 46 minutes could be taken out, without serious consequences. The harmony and balance Draeseke achieves is quite remarkable. Everything is at its right place, and in its concept this is a perfectly written symphony. I really enjoyed this one enormously. This recording is an important milestone and one of the most successful and most powerful accomplishments of the Symphonic German literature, and a thoroughly innovative one. As simple as that!  He is a slumbering giant amongst forgotten composers. And a fascinating man as well. 

The funeral March really goes beyond the mere title of the work. It escapes all conventional forms, and is lifted into the realms of ethereal sounds, that convey and strengthen one's resolve to remember. It's a well written piece, beautifully crafted. The recording is one of the best I heard in my life, its remarkable in its bloom and detail, it simply feels right in all departments. The orchestra plays like Gods, assembled from a realm beyond our grasp. Divine I would say. Recommended.

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...