Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Joseph Joachim Raff, Samuel Friedmann, Rheinland-Pfalz Philharmonic Orchestra|
Raff: Symphony 1: To the Fatherland
Listen to Samples
D. Held | New York, NY | 03/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The relatively unknown Raff was an associate of Franz Liszt though this piece is more melodic, less stridently dramatic than some of Lizst's music. Don't be fooled by the title: This is non-programmatic, melodic, congenial music somewhat akin to Schubert and Mendelsohn. The symphony unfolds in that classic sonata-allegro format used by the great classical composers. Again, Schubert comes to mind; particularly his ninth which this symphony resembles in scope, but not in thematic excellence. In the end things are pleasant enough, but perhaps just a little too pedestrian. I don't want to give the impression that the music is not worthy; at almost 1 hour with lots of variety (Raff orchestration is notably excellent), and at a bargain price, it's definitely worth a look over.
Raff is not the most scintillating composer, nor is the music particularly innovative as say Berlioz, but he does have a certain way with tunes and this recording has an amiability that makes his music hard to resist. Another tour de force from Naxos!"
One of the Greatest 1st's Ever
Robert Thomas | Los Angeles, CA | 04/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After a lifetime of listening to Brahms, Liszt and Wagner (All contemporaries of Raff), I find the music of Raff to be a wondrous revelation in every respect. Gorgeous melodies, top notch orchestration, and a staggering technical ablility when it comes to musical development.
Joachim Raff is probably the most extreme example of neglected genius in the history of music. During his lifetime, this prolific composer enjoyed great acclaim and his name was often spoken of in the same breath as the leaders of the two great opposing musical schools of the day, Brahms and Wagner. Unfortunately, he did not fit into either of those camps, which made him unpopular with fellow musicians. Upon his death, when he most needed someone to champion his music, his musical brethren turned their collective backs on him, thus allowing his genius to slide into oblivion.
Personally, I find Raff to be more compelling than Mendelssohn, Schubert, or Wagner, and there are moments of greatness in his work that reach emotional heights equalled only by Brahms himself.
This 1st symphony is the perfect starting point for one interested in discovering Raff's music. It is not only one of the best symphonies of it's day, but one of the most memorable 1st symphonies in history, along with those of Mahler, Kalinnikov, Balakirev and Elgar, to name a few.
There are moments of rapture in the first two movements alone that are worth catapulting Raff into the history books.
It pains me, it truly does, that a composer of this caliber has been resigned to a footnote within a footnote, and you owe it to yourself to discover his genius.
Another neglected composer from this period you might want to check out is Carl Reinecke, who also wrote an absolutely wonderful 1st symphony. One of the best.
WARNING: Neglecting this music could be damaging to your soul."
A good introduction to Raff's music
Carlos Quintero | Caracas, Venezuela | 10/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
This is for sure a very interesting work and a good way to introduce
in Raff's music. This is romantic music, although not a great work. This
recording is done very well by those performers, so it's a safe recommendation
to explore unknown composers from that period."