Search - Felix Mendelssohn, Richard Wagner, Carl Maria von Weber :: Chamber Works

Chamber Works
Felix Mendelssohn, Richard Wagner, Carl Maria von Weber
Chamber Works
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1


CD Details

All Artists: Felix Mendelssohn, Richard Wagner, Carl Maria von Weber, Hugo Wolf, Hartmut Haenchen, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra "Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach"
Title: Chamber Works
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Original Release Date: 1/1/1993
Re-Release Date: 4/20/1993
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074645310923

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CD Reviews

3.75 stars -- a delightful concert of romantic German music
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 10/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I bought this little no name CD from 1991 -- that doesn't appear in any of the major classical recording guides and may not have been reviewed by most of the big name classical music publications -- after hearing the Weber symphony on my public radion station. On first hearing it didn't seem much different than others I'd owned by Goodman and Suitner except for the coupling, which is unusual and not otherwise attached to the delightful Weber symphony. Repeated hearings at home revealed delightful turns of the orchestra, in the winds and brass, in particular, and conductorial subtleties I didn't hear in other recordings that made this a keeper. Haenchen uses tenuto and rubato more liberally and with greater affect than the other performances I'd heard of this symphony that made it more interesting while still being an enjoyable early romantic romp.

Born 1943 in Dresden, Hartmut Henchen is a conductor under the radar to most listeners. I've heard him doing Haydn and Schubert; Arkiv lists 69 recordings under his name, most in the Germanic repertory stretching from Corelli, Palestrina and the Bachs to Mahler and Richard Strauss. His style, by my reckoning, is modest yet enthusiastic, perhaps more kapellmeister than virtuoso. I liked what I previously heard from him and was looking for a better played and more middle of the road interpretation of the Weber, the reason I bought this CD.

For me, two other things attracted me to this CD. First was the unusual musical lineup of the Weber Symphony No. 1 in C major, Mendelssohn's early Sinfonia (String Symphony) No. 10 in B minor, Wolf's Italian Serenade, and the Wagner Siegfried Idyll, which the composer wrote for Cosima on Christmas day. While the brass and woodwinds were most exciting and interesting in the Weber, the CPE Bach orchestra's strings get to shine in these works, which range from youthful verve (Mendelssohn) to mature delight (Wolf) to sentimental favorite (Wagner).

The second attraction was an orchestra I'd neot previously experienced, the Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra. I read this about the group at their Web site: "Founded: 1969 (in) Berlin. During its first ten years it concentrated on contemporary works, introducing many of them to the public. When Hartmut Haenchen became musical director in 1980, the emphasis shifted to works of the pre-classical period. Using critical editions of old scores, it plays its repertoire on modern instruments but gives due consideration to new insights into authentic performing practice."

As is the case most of the time these days, this period band plays Romantic and Classical era music with modern instruments using insights from period practice princples. This recording sounded no different than the Suitner recording I owned, made behind the Iron Curtain, performed in the old style, and using modern instruments. It sounds far lovelier than the Goodman recording, whose orchestra uses ancient instruments that sound like period instruments. While Goodman's version has a certain zest and rapidity that can carry away the listener -- not to mention an all-Weber program over a pair of CDs that includes both symphonies and the famous overtures -- I think this recording better suits people that like the Weber Symphony No. 1 and will listen to it occasionally.

I like this little recording more and more as time goes on as a friendly interlude between the bigger and more monumental productions in my library. If this sounds interesting to you, I think you would probably like it too."