Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Etienne-Nicolas Mehul, Jorge Rotter, Rheinland-Pfalz Philharmonic|
Mehul: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2
Listen to Samples
If you love Beethoven, you'll love this
Jonathan P. Higgins | Madison, WI United States | 11/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Etienne-Nicolas Mehul is one of those contemporaries of Beethoven who is unfortunately lost in the latter's shadow. Mehul was greatly admired by Beethoven and the question musicologists ask is "who infulenced who". At the beginning of the 19th century there was a great expansion of the musical language of the classical style inherited from the masters Haydn, Mozart, Gluck and others. Beethoven is the composer most strongly associated with this, but other fine composers were involved with this revolutionary movement as well. Mehul was among the best of these, and from this recording you can discover just how good he was. These two symphonies are masterpieces by any standards. Catchy and rhythmic they recall on one hand Haydn's "London" symphonies, and Beethoven's earlier symphonies - especially the second. At other points you catch snippets that are reminiscent of Schubert. As much as Mehul sounds like other composers, he has his own distictive voice. His textures are more contrapuntal than Beethoven of the same period and his woodwind writing is more colorful. Overall, these are amazing works, not just curiosities.
The recording is bright and transparent which is a good thing. There are occasional intonation problems and a few flubs that got in the recording. There are also a few edits that are less that optimal. However, it sounds like Jorge Rotter is a pretty good conductor on these. His interpretations are exciting and energetic, similar to John Elliot Gardiner on similar material and the orchestra is very tight in energetic passages. While it would be cool to have a version recorded by Mr. Gardiner, this is not bad, and we have to thank the artists and Naxos for making these wonderful works available to us."