From my collection.
Bought in November 2009.
First listening date: 26-11-2009.
Second listen: 9-4-2015.
Third listen: 17-5-2017.
Recording dates: November 2001.
Recording venue: Grosser Sendesaal, Funkhaus, ORF, Austria.
Recording engineer: Andreas Karlberger.
Running time: 70:44.
Classical relevance: Essential.
Symphony No 4, opus 70. (Sinfonia Austriaca)
Symphony No 6, opus 95.
Symphony No 7, opus 102. (Contra torrentem)
Radio SO Wien, Gottfried Rabl.
Egon Wellesz is a formidable composer, and quite unjustly forgotten. At the same time he is not an easy composer to approach, far from it.
The common denominator, that what defines his music is, that his musicality can be very grim.
His tonal palette goes from tonal, to tonality stretched, right into the 12 tone technique, crossing the border to atonality, and his own musical input. He likes a frantic pace with little or no rest, or lingering on a theme. He is very much a composer that will use a large orchestra to full effect. Massive blocks of brass, fitted in a march like tempo, insistent it its arguments, aggressive interaction through all desks, sometimes in a very angry way, even quite brutal. Never slackens the pressure, not even in the slow movements. There is a logical determination that is almost oppressive. Sometimes, but very rarely, some light in the form of beautifully shaped tone clusters burst out of nothing, like in the third movement, of the Fourth Symphony, last 2 minutes. But blimey, the rich palette of moods and colours is fascinating and utterly convincing.
I admire the technical abilities of Wellesz, which are exceptional, I like the clear arguments he makes throughout his works, I admire the scoring for wind and brass, and the way he puts all together in a coherent way, that makes me like his music enormously.
From No 7 in a classical form, to No. 6 in which he starts experimenting, ending in a 12 tone technique with the seventh symphony. Quite a kaleidoscope of notes with a devastating expression. You are confronted with an irresistible force of power, which at times is very brash but also loud. Extreme registers and huge dynamic contrasts await you. Always extremely energetic but with an amazing transparency in the scores. These are radiant and well prepared performances in which this orchestra responds superbly well, to the many technical and expressive challenges, and the recording is faithfully registering it, with a wealth of details and the room for the punches that are delivered in quick succession. Recommended.
New acquisition. (2017) First listen: 18-20-4-2018 Label: Dynamic. CD 20-29 from 29. Recording dates: 2004/2005/2006/2007/2008.2009/2010...
A fine disc. This is my second rerun, and I stick to my first review, which was quite a positive one. First review of this disc. ...
From the 206 titles available in the BIS sale, there were not many of interest for me. A lot of new composers, but their modernity was a tad...
New acquisition. (2018) First listen: 14-4-2018. Second listen: 20-4-2018. Label: Crystal Classics. Recording dates: November 2008 &...
New acquisition. Purchase year: 2016. First listen: 26-3-2018 Label: Ligia digital. CD 3 from 19. Recording dates: January 1996. Recor...
The Strauss Family, Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss. Overtures/Waltzes/Polkas. CD 5 & 6.New acquisition. 2016. First listen: 9-4-2018. Label: EMI. CD 5 & 6 from 6. Recording dates: 1971-1986. Venues: Somewhere in Munich...
New acquisition. (2017) First listen: 11-4-2018 Label: Dynamic. CD 19 from 29. Recording dates: March 2004. Venue: Sovizzo, Chiesa di ...
New acquisition. (2016) First listen: 16-4-2018. Label: Hanssler. CD 18 from 20. Recording dates: September 1998. Venue: St. Katharinen...
New acquisition. (2016) First listen: 9-4-2018. Label: Hanssler. CD 14 & 15 from 20. Recording dates: October 1999. Venue: Nidaros ...
New acquisition. (2016) First listen: 6-4-2018. Label: Hanssler. CD 11 from 20. Recording dates: March 1999. Venue: Martinikerk in Gron...
New acquisition. (2016) First listen: 11-4-2018. Label: Hanssler. CD 16 from 20. Recording dates: January 1999. Venue: Garrison Church,...