SCHREKER Orchestral and Choral Music. WDR Sinfonieorchester und Chor Koln / Peter Gulke. Brilliant Classics 2cds

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Schreker Orchestral And Choral Music Peter Gulke Brilliant Classics 2Cds

SCHREKER

Orchestral and Choral Music

CD 1

Symphony in A minor Op.1

1 I. Allegro non troppo

2 II. Presto

3 III. Andante

4 Das Weib des Intaphernes

5 Psalm 116 Op.6*

CD 2

1 Festwalzer und Walzerintermezzo

Ein Tanzspiel

2 I. Sarabande

3 II. Menuett

4 III. Madrigal

5 IV. Gavotte

5 Gesange

6 No.1. Ich frag’ nach dir jedwede Morgensonne

7 No.2. Dies aber kann mein Sehnen nimmer fassen

8 No.3. Die Dunkelheit sinkt schwer wie Blei

9 No.4. Sie sind so schon die milden, sonnenreichen

10 No.5. Einst gibt ein Tag mir alles Gluck zu eigen

11 Immer hatt’ich noch Gluck im Leben

12 Wollte ich hadern mit Gluck und Schicksal

13 Heimweh: Eichendorff Lieder (Wolf, arr. Schreker)

14 Fagea

15 Verschwiegene Liebe: Eichendorff Lieder (Wolf, arr. Schreker)

16 Die Sturmglocke

17 Schwanensang Op.11*

WDR Sinfonieorchester und Chor Koln / Peter Gulke

The music of late-romantic Viennese composer Franz Schreker was largely forgotten by the end of World War Two, but there has recently been a revival in interest in his work. Fundamentally a theatre composer, he is most famous for his operas, but he composed in other genres and this 2-CD set shows his fine capabilities in orchestral and vocal music.

His only symphony (Symphony in A minor) was written when he was a student at the Vienna Conservatory, and hints at the talent that would emerge in later years. The symphony was not performed until 1999, a hundred years after it was written, because the manuscript had long been lost. When it was rediscovered the last movement had disappeared and that is how it is now performed. The richly-textured choral/orchestral setting of Psalm 116 was Schreker’s graduation piece and shows the influence of Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem. Another early work is the romantic Schwanengesang Op.111 for mixed chorus and orchestra, to a text by his friend and regular librettist Dora Leen. The exotic monodrama Das Weib des Intasphernes, his last dramatic work, uses a text by Eduard Stucken based on a horrifying Persian fable. It demonstrates his ability to embody words with maximum harmonic and textural intensity, similar in many ways to the gifts of Hugo Wolf, and in fact Schreker orchestrated two of Wolf’s Eichendorff Leider. His ability with orchestral colour can be seen in the sensuous Funf Gesänge, set to five poems based on the Arabian Nights, with its imaginative use of harps, celesta and muted brass. The last two pieces are dances. Festwalzer und Walzerintermezzo is very reminiscent of Johann Strauss and is based on the Austrian National Hymn. Tanzspiel links his 20thcentury style with the graceful design of Baroque and Neoclassical forms.

The distinguished German conductor and musicologist Peter Gülke leads the Cologne Radio Orchestra and Chorus, with German mezzo-soprano Mechthild Georg. Peter Gülke has won awards for his recordings of Schreker’s music.

Brilliant Classics 2cds 94237

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