Chandos CHAN 5117
Raff: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 – Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Neeme Järvi
This download marks the beginning of a new series, dedicated to the engaging, albeit neglected, orchestral works of the Swiss-German composer Joachim Raff. The survey starts with Symphony No. 2 and the orchestral preludes to four plays by Shakespeare: The Tempest, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Othello, all idiomatically performed by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, conducted by its new Artistic and Music Director, Neeme Järvi.
Well crafted, with brilliant orchestration and strong melodies, the works of Raff were very highly regarded during his lifetime. In fact, he was one of the most widely performed and influential musicians of his day – some even ranked him with Wagner and Brahms. A highly prolific composer of close to 300 works, he wrote extensively in virtually all forms. Soon after his death, however, his reputation began its descent and his music came to languish in relative obscurity; today his works are largely forgotten.