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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Unknown GoldNov. 6 2012
J. R. Trtek
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Wilms, a German-born composer who spent most of his life in the Netherlands, has become a bit of a musical find in recent years, principally on the strength of his symphonies, most of which have now been recorded. This disc adds to that legacy -- I believe it's the only one currently available containing his Symphony No. 1 and Overture in D major. The Symphony No. 4, meanwhile, is available elsewhere as part of a two-disc set conducted by Anthony Halstead on the Challenge label. The Symphony No. 1 is very Haydnesque; indeed, one could almost imagine Franz Joseph actually wrote it. The Overture in D major begins its run of just under ten minutes in a Classical vein as well, but by the end there are some Beethoven-like touches. When we reach the Symphony No. 4, we're clearly in the early Romantic era. Though the work sounds at the outset more like darker Mozart than genial Haydn, we quickly get more nods toward Beethoven and a dash of Schubert now and then. The works on this disc all show a high degree of skill in composition --the orchestration is distinctive, and the music actually goes somewhere. The performances are excellent throughout, and I highly recommend purchase of this release, as well as the Halstead recording mentioned earlier. Wilms' symphonic music has personality that lifts it far above that of other lesser known composers of the period, such as Ries and Spohr, and at times, he comes close to rivaling the big guns as well.