Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Klenau von, Paul. (1883-1946) Orchestral Works.

From my collection.
Bought in 2011.
First listen: 2-2-2011.
Second listen: 24-2-2011.
Third listen: 26-4-2017.
Label: Dacapo.
Recording dates: May 1999.
Recording venue: Odense Concert Hall.
Recording engineer: Knud Esmarch.
Running time: 69:08.
Classical relevance to me: Worthwhile having.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 1 in F minor. 1908.
Symphony No. 5, Triptikon. 1939.
Paolo und Francesca. Symphonic fantasy after Dante's Inferno Canto V.

Performed by:
Odense SO, Jan Wagner.

Paul von Klenau is another composer in a long list of Danish composers who was not much appreciated in his land of Birth, Danmark. Reasons are not given. He turned to Germany for his education and was well respected for his compositions and his aptitude as a conductor. So no wonder he remained for a long time in Germany to conduct and compose.
I like the music of Klenau, but some compositions more than others.
To start with this monumental first symphony, that carries in his bowels many references to Bruckner, especially the first three movements. He employs a large orchestra specifying eight French horns, four Tubas, two Harps, as well as a bass drum and other percussion. Also an Organ makes his way into the proceedings. Not that it gets in any way thunderous. All is integrated with much attention to the orchestral balance. As a whole the symphony is holding its ground. Sometimes there are episodes which are fascinating, but also stretches where boredom sets in. A romantic work, somewhat out of proportion.
What a difference if one reaches the fifth symphony. A clear headed lucid affair of great beauty. He sets out a goal and sticks to it, with an absolute stunning outcome. Modernism without stepping out of the romantic tradition or tonal palette. A short composition but very effective in keeping your attention, as is the symphony fantasy, that is composed in the same fashion. This is how I like Klenau, a romanticus that keeps ugly things away, and conjures a world of great musical beauty.
The recording could have been better. The lower frequencies are getting a bit boomy if the orchestra goes into a loud phase. Not enough air around the percussion, and so preventing the depth, which is the cause of this uneasy recording detail.  
As a performance I have no complaints, it's excellent.  The booklet gives almost no attention to the last two works on this disc, which I find strange to say the least.




Salvatore, Giovanni. (c.1610-1688) Works for Harpsichord and Organ, plus a Missa.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: November 2017. First listen: 22-11-2017. Label: Glossa. Recording dates: October 1998 & June 1999...