Chandos CHAN 10791
D’Indy / Krenek / Schulhoff: Concerti Grossi – Soloists, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Sir Neville Marriner
The Concert by d’Indy was his last orchestral piece, written at the age of seventy-five. It combines lean scoring and strong, lucid instrumental lines with romantic harmonic colouring. The first movement is cheerful and energetic, while the second exudes some of the melancholy of old age, but without any regrets. The energetic final movement stands as a declaration of personal optimism and hope for the future of France.
Ernst Krenek has been described as a one-man compendium of twentieth-century music. He himself expressed a conviction that ‘it is perfectly legitimate for a composer to look for something different just because it’s new and different, and he should stop apologising for being curious’. This is the world premiere recording of his Concertino, which Krenek wrote before being forced, as a ‘degenerate’ artist, to leave Austria in 1938.
Erwin Schulhoff was another composer perpetually swept up by the newest musical currents. Many composers of the day took enthusiastically to jazz as a means of breaking with the nineteenth century and freeing themselves to explore more unconventional genres. In the Concerto doppio, Schulhoff was drawn to the neo-baroque concerto grosso at least partly because of its affinity with jazz.
Since the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, led by Sir Neville Marriner, secured its first recording contract in 1961 it has gone on to become the most recorded chamber orchestra in the world, with a discography of more than 500 entries. It is joined here by the flautist Karl-Heinz Schütz, violinist Christoph Koncz, and cellist Robert Nagy, not to mention the pianist Maria Prinz who in 2011 came up with the idea behind this disc.