From my collection.
Bought: April 2010.
First listen: 23-4-2010.
Second listen: 13-5-2015.
Third listen: 9-5-2017.
Recording dates: August 2006 & June 2007.
Recording venue: Casino Basel, Musiksaal.
Recording engineer: Andreas Werner, Jakob Handel.
Running timer: 57:30.
Relevance to me: Essential.
Fruhling ( Spring), Symphonic Poem, opus 80.
Symphony No 6, opus 74 in B minor, "La Tragica".
Sinfonieorchester Basel, Marko Letonja.
If I say that Felix Weingartner is one of the greatest 20th century composer, it would be an understatement, for praise cannot go far enough for this man. One keeps wondering why such a composer who wrote so many wonderful works, could be so utterly forgotten. If it were not for producer Burkhard Schilgun from CPO, he would still be an unknown artist to most. So great was his believe in Weingartner that he recorded all of his Symphonies, String Quartets and other chamber music, and for this I for one am eternally grateful. For me he is easily in my top 5 of favourite composers.
I have all what is recorded by CPO, and am happy that I reacquainted myself with his music. The above disc is one of great beauty, starting with the Symphonic Poem "Fruhling" which does not start on a happy note, because it's dark and brooding, wild and uncontrollable, barren, violent, and altogether he creates dramatic scenes, taken literally from Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights". After some time into this work an inkling of the Spring arrives, born out of the darkness of winter, by the call of the cuckoo, not unlike in Mahler's first symphony. Still a melancholia sweeps over the happy notes of nature's call. The sky opens up, but not after a furious fight. Absolutely amazing work.
On the wall of shame for forgetting such a composer we can add another notch in it, for ignoring this symphony. This work defies any description, such is its greatness, that one stands in awe, when the music pours out of the speakers. The Adagio movement is as heavenly as any Bruckner movement. Remnants of Schubert, Schumann and Beethoven can be heard, cleverly woven into the score, throughout the symphony. His music is engaging, characterful, has passion in abundance, pinpoint precision in achieving effect, a strong forward propulsive, and is rhythmically animated in profound gestures. This intensity, reflection and power opens for me a plethora of harmonies.
Recording is State of the Art, and the performance could not be better.
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Unfortunately Volume I of Graupner is missing in that list. It is OOP. The prices paid on Amazon are ridiculous.
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