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Ovs & Sym Poems

Gaevle So , Sakari , Berwald Audio CD

Price: CDN$ 10.21 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details


1. Reminiscence Of The Norwegian Mountains; Symphonic Poem For Large Orchestra
2. Konzertstuck For Bassoon And Orchestra
3. Wettlauf (Foot-Race); Etude For String Orchestra
4. Ernste Und Heitere Grillen (Serious And Joyful Fancies); Fantasiestruck For Orchestra
5. Overture To Drottningen Av Golconda (The Queen Of Golconda)
6. Elfenspiel (Play Of The Elves)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A LOST CLASSIC Aug. 10 2005
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
When I was starting to know the symphonic repertory in my early teens, symphony concerts consisted of overture, concerto, interval and symphony. From the good second-rate provincial orchestra (it is neither second-rate nor provincial these days) that I used to hear the range of overtures was the familiar 3 by Weber, a few by Rossini, Coriolan and Egmont, and the Midsummer Night's Dream. I think that even then I would have been pleased to hear Berwald's Queen of Golconda overture by way of variety and relief.

That overture is probably the most conventional and least interesting piece in this recital, but the standard of comparison is a high one. With Berwald we are dealing with a composer not of the rank of Hummel or Spohr, but of Weber or Schumann. He seems to have enjoyed slightly mixed fortunes as a creative artist during his lifetime, and I'm not sure even yet just how much his name conveys to the average concert-goer and record-collector. My own collection of his work is still wofully small, but my enthusiasm for it grows with everything new by him that I acquire. This particular offering is a very pleasant mixed bag. Don't take the collective title `tone poems' too literally - this is not Strauss or Bax. One item, as I've already said, is an operatic overture, and another is a small-scale concerto for bassoon, with Patrik Hakansson as the accomplished soloist, supplementing Mozart's little masterpiece for the same agreeable instrument and bringing my collection of such works up to a new total of two. Apart from these there are four other orchestral pieces going by various descriptions or by none, and all lasting under ten minutes. I don't know whether there is actually a strings-only version of the `etude' Foot-Race as the list of works on the back of the box seems to suggest, but if so it's not the version given here.

I am very pleased to report that the liner note provides information on the orchestra and on the conductor, both of them previously unfamiliar to me for one and both thoroughly impressive. Its author Richard Whitehouse also has a good sense for the level of information that is best offered in relation to this music and the likely public for the disc. Credits are also given to the recording specialists in this excellent production from 2000, and the accomplished and sympathetic orchestral playing comes across most engagingly. In every way this is a disc that I would like to recommend, and if I am thought to be a little repetitious in expressing my appreciation to Naxos for what they are doing in promoting unfamiliar music at a moderate cost that is a charge to which I shall plead guilty with pleasure.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Interesting Works By a Largely Unknown Composer Jan. 7 2006
By Timothy Kearney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Franz Berwald, a composer of the Romantic Era had what at best could be called tepid success in his lifetime. Some composers who are under recognized in their day do gain notoriety after their death, but this seems to have escaped Berwald too. There are a scattering of recordings available, including this released by Naxos.

The six pieces included in this collection show a variety to Berwald's work, but listeners will discover enjoyable music that sounds a bit like the works of other composers. When I first heard the collection Weber first came to mind and when I heard the overture from THE QUEEN OF GOLCONDA, it sounded a bit like Lehar, at least to me. This is not a condemnation of the music itself as much as a note of how Berwald followed the example of other composers of his day. Perhaps the most original piece on the recording is his tone poem REMINISCENCE OF THE NORWEGIAN MOUNTAINS. The KONZERTSTUK for Bassoon and Orchestra is enjoyable as well. The music itself is performed by Sweden's Galve Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Patrik Hakansson who seems at home with the works of Berwald.

I'm not sure if this release by Naxos, along with the label's release of his four symphonies, will begin a reevaluation of Berwald and his works, but I am willing to bet that people who purchase this recording will find as I did that Berwald's music does have something to offer, is an enjoyable listening experience, and at each subsequent playing, listeners will probably find something new or discover another nuance to the music.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and rewarding music in generally very good performances April 13 2010
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It may come as a surprise, given the relative ubiquity of his symphonies, that so few discs are devoted to Berwald's other orchestral works. The collection at hand makes a good case for them; the works are tuneful, suprisingly innovative for their dates of composition, filled with all the melodic and rhythmic quirks that make Berwald's music remarkably individual and recognizable and permeated with an unmistakable Nordic atmosphere. They are uniformly well scored and several of the numbers are quite memorable. But the collection also proves once and for all, I think, that Berwald was better with larger forms than with miniatures; none of the pieces here quite reach the level of interest and excellence consistently sustained in the symphonies, for instance.

The opening work, Reminiscences of the Norwegian Mountain, is a pastoral tone painting with a distinctly Norwegian profile to the melodies. The only mildly Mendelssohnian Elfenspiel does not have the immediately striking melodic profile of the Reminiscences, but is even more atmospheric. Wetlauf (Foot-Race) must count as the strangest work on the disc, an enjoyable quick-paced Etude that would not sound out of place if it were written a century later. However, Ernste und heitere Grillen and the overture to the Queen of Golconda are the two strongest works here; both are thematically memorable - to the extent that there is a serious danger of getting tunes lodged in one's brain for days - and well constructed, even though the overture is also probably the most conservative. The charming Konzertstück for bassoon and orchestra is a worthy companion to the Weber but no masterpiece.

The performances are overall very good, but one could have wished for slightly brisker tempos. On the other hand, the Gävle players offer both tonal sheen, liveliness and rhythmic freshness. They are also given very good sound. So to sum up, this is an eminently recommendable release if you already know the (superior) symphonies - but if you are yet unfamiliar with Berwald I would start there.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Part of a long overdue and continuing Berwald revival March 25 2013
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This enjoyable disc, well recorded on 2000, features a number of short works by Berwald and his delightful Konzertstuck for bassoon, also available within the excellent set of complete four symphonies conducted by Ehrling. Berwald belongs to that unfortunate group of people who. like prophets in their own land, are rarely listened to or valued until after their death. Sweden now ranks him as their most important composer but did not respond positively to him during his life. He had the same experiences in Berlin and then Vienna.

I first came across Berwald's music in the 1960's via an excellent but rare recording of two of the symphonies made by Ehrling and the LSO. It was love at first listening for me and I was captivated by all the things that failed to excite his first audiences. These were his love of tantalising listeners with fragments of tunes that seem to change direction, go down unexpected harmonic routes, be inventive rhythmically, be humorous and then all of a sudden and surprisingly, everything would be joined together at the conclusion of each movement. It was as if Berwald was playing games, dangling musical carrots before us before finally giving in with the real prize of a satisfying conclusion. A sense of humour in music making and really well and skilfully written for his forces from chamber to orchestral works.

All of these characteristics can be found in these works. The early Konzertstuck is the least wayward being simply a very melodic and joyful work, played well on this disc. The Overture is the most traditionally substantial work. The remaining four pieces are evocative tone poems. His amusingly titled 'Foot-Race' is listed as a string etude but is here played in full orchestral guise. The remaining three poems gives full rein to his imagination. The remaining descriptive titles - Reminiscence of the Norwegian Mountains; Serious and Joyful Fancies, and Play of the Elves give plenty of scope for his musical fantasy.

Berwald's music has increasingly become more popular with fine complete sets of the symphonies by Jarvi, Ehrling and Dausgard leading the way. There are others but these are the best. This set of short works will give pleasure to anyone who enjoys the symphonies.

I would therefore suggest that this disc fully deserves serious consideration by anyone who has warmed to the interesting and entertaining world of Berwald, a really individual, inventive and lyrical musical mind.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Franz Berwald: Tone Poems March 10 2013
By Bjorn Viberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Franz Berwald: Tone Poems is a 2000 Naxos recording under direction of Petri Sakari who leads Gävle Symphony Orchestra. One also gets to hear Bassoon player, Patrik Håkansson. Richard Whitehouse has written the music notes. Being a fellow Scandinavia, I was delighted to hear this amazing recording. Truly a magnificent performance. Highly recommended. 5/5.

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