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Cat. No. CHSA 5097 Price: £11.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHSA 5097 - Wagner: Two Symphonies/Huldigungsmarsch
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Available From: 15 February 2012
Wagner: Two Symphonies/Huldigungsmarsch

Our series of works by Richard Wagner, performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Neeme Järvi, continues with an album of early symphonies, later marches, and the Overture to ‘Rienzi’. 
 
Early on in his career, Wagner composed two symphonies, both of which are included on this disc. The Symphony in C, which he wrote when he was just nineteen years old, is heavily influenced by Beethoven in its character, mood, and instrumentation. Written two years later, in 1834, the Symphony in E was left unfinished, Wagner completing only the first movement and thirty bars of the second. The completed version recorded here was prepared by the conductor Felix Mottl more than fifty years later at the request of Wagner’s widow, Cosima.
 
The two marches on this recording are the composer’s most obvious contributions to the genre of pomp and circumstance. The Huldigungsmarsch was written in 1864 for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The march-like rhythms and brassy colours complement sections in which the strings provide a continuously flowing movement, all leading to a jubilant conclusion. The Kaisermarsch (1871) was a commission from the publishing firm Peters, who requested from Wagner a heroic morale booster at a time when the German countries were at war with France. Having initially composed it for military band, Wagner soon rewrote it for symphony orchestra, the version recorded on this disc.
 
The Overture to Rienzi, Wagner’s third completed opera (1838 – 40), incorporates the melody of Rienzi’s prayer at the start of Act V, which became the opera’s best-known aria, and ends with a dazzling military march.

Reviews

"...All of the works on this disc, with the exception of the Rienzi overture, have relatively few recorded listings and, to my knowledge, this is their first in surround sound. If you are a Wagner fan, and your intererst in his music extends beyond his operas, I can think of no reason for you not to be thrilled by this release. Neeme Järvi, the Royal Scottish national orchestra, and Chandos have teamed up countless times over the years to bring us many truly outstanding recordings, and this is another of them."
Jerry Dubins - Fanfare - September/October 2012

"...The recording is up to Chandos’ usual high standards. The orchestral sound is caught in a large acoustic, adding warmth without any loss of clarity. The normal stereo sound layer is splendid, but the SACD brings an extra opulent richness that serves this music well. Greeted with enthusiasm."

David A. McConnell - Musicweb-international.com - 27 July 2012

"... Järvi draws some good, slid but characterful playing from the RSNO, with blazing Classical brass shining through the Fidelio-like passages of the C major Symphony and with plenty of tonal warmth for the mellower sections f the marches... The sound is warm and atmospherically balanced in both stereo and SACD output, and opens our spectactularly for the climaxes of the marches."
Matthew Rye - The Wagner Journal - Vol 6, No2 2012

                Recording of the Month
"...This is in short a most valuable release which enshrines excellent performances and recordings of some very rare music indeed. The orchestral playing and the splendid recording in the symphonies makes this a clear first choice for those two works, and the other items make a valuable bonus.
 
Paul Corfield Godfrey - www.musicweb-international.com - 19 April 2012

 

              Performance *****      Recording ***** 
“... a superbly played and recorded SACD.”
Michael Scott Rohan – BBC Music magazine – Awards Issue 2012

“This is stirring stuff and a reminder that Wagner had a life before becoming engrossed in opera. The C major Symphony, strongly played by the RSNO, is unrecognisable from mature Wagner...” ****
Geoffrey Norris – The Telegraph – 3 March 2012

 

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