- Composer: Friedrich Gernsheim
- Audio CD (July 15 1999)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Import
- Label: Arte Nova
- ASIN: B000023ZLY
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
Gernsheim: Symphonies Nos. 1 - 4 Import
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|1. Symphony No. 1 in G minor ('Seiner theueren Mutter'), Op. 32: Allegro moderato|
|2. Symphony No. 1 in G minor ('Seiner theueren Mutter'), Op. 32: Larghetto|
|3. Symphony No. 1 in G minor ('Seiner theueren Mutter'), Op. 32: Scherzo. Vivace|
|4. Symphony No. 1 in G minor ('Seiner theueren Mutter'), Op. 32: Allegro moderato assai|
|5. Symphony No. 2 in E flat major ('Der philharmonischen Gesellschaft in Hamburg'), Op. 46: Allegro tranquillo|
|6. Symphony No. 2 in E flat major ('Der philharmonischen Gesellschaft in Hamburg'), Op. 46: Tarantella. Molto allegro e con fuoco|
|7. Symphony No. 2 in E flat major ('Der philharmonischen Gesellschaft in Hamburg'), Op. 46: Notturno. Andante|
|8. Symphony No. 2 in E flat major ('Der philharmonischen Gesellschaft in Hamburg'), Op. 46: Finale. Poco animato e sempre più - Allegro|
|1. Symphony No. 3 in C minor ('Mirjam'), Op. 54: Allegro ma non troppo ('In der Knechtschaft')|
|2. Symphony No. 3 in C minor ('Mirjam'), Op. 54: Molto adagio ('Mirjams Gesang')|
|3. Symphony No. 3 in C minor ('Mirjam'), Op. 54: Molto vivace ('Die Flucht')|
|4. Symphony No. 3 in C minor ('Mirjam'), Op. 54: Allegro con brio ('Freiheit; Sieges- und Freudengesänge')|
|5. Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 62: Allegro|
|6. Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 62: Andante sostenuto|
|7. Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 62: Vivace scherzando e con grazia|
|8. Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 62: Allegro con spirito e giocoso|
Ddd. Lost in the Imposing Shadow of his Great Contemporary and Friend, Johannes Brahms, Friedrich Gernsheim Deserves an Appropriate Role in Musichistory and his Most Important Works Ought to Be Revived. This is a Recording of his Four Symphonies Conducted by Siegfried Kohler.
Top Customer Reviews
Gernsheim was a friend and champion of Brahms while being aquainted with Lalo, Saint-Saens and Rossini. Among his students was Humperdinck. His 4 symphonies were written between 1875 and 1895 and are in the late Romantic style of the time. If Bruch, Brahms, Dvorak or Schumann appeal to you then you will find much to enjoy in these symphonies. He has a fine gift for melody (just listen to the fine melody for clarinet in the "Notturno" of the 2nd Symphony)and a firm grasp of the late 19th century's ever evolving styles of orchestration. They may not be as over powering as those of his friend Brahm's but they are solid works on their own that are well worth the listen.
The performances by Köhler and the Rhineland-Pfalz State Philharmonic are all that one could ask for and Arte Nova's recording captures it all quite nicely. If you are interested in the music of the late 19th Century Romantic composers then these symphonies should not be missed.
This is not just great music, it is testimony to an inspired, inventive and incredibly talented composer whose neglect should end here and now. Gernsheims acquiantance with Brahms and their different musical fates are recalled in the (excellent) liner notes. Whilst Brahms supremacy is easily explained from historical reasons, the difference between his fame and Gernsheim's obscurity is altogether more difficult to fathom if you listen to the latter's work. All four of these symphonies are better than Brahms' third, and I would rate Gernsheim's second symphony above any of Brahms's (don't be fooled by its rather prosaic-sounding title).
Köhler and the Rheinland-Pfalz Orchestra play impeccably and do these complicated scores full justice.
The orchestra and Conductor deserve special thanks for their superb rendition of these truelly great works.
A MUST buy for any classical music lover.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com
The four symphonies fully deserve equal time with Brahms, and I hope to hear him occassionally in the concert hall in place of all those other musical chestnuts. (Incidentally, I was reading that Claudio Arrau used to play some piano pieces of Gernsheim's in his early touring days.) No major issues with this recording. Bottom line: if you like Brahms, Gernsheim deserves a place in your collection.
Its the clear, ringing yet rich and warm digital sound of these recordings that is perhaps what recommends them most to the intrepid listener. For those who delight in having their ears tickled by the late romantic orchestra, particularly in its Brahmsian guise, these symphonies, despite their limitations, are a treat. Kohler's interpretations are solid and free of eccentricities. So to sum up: good but not great music with attractive, occasional catchy tunes but little in the way of depth and nothing in the way of the grand symphonic epiphany that one finds in masters like Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms.
The first symphony, in g minor, dates from 1875. It opens contemplatively, and the evolution of the movement is on the poetic side. The Larghetto is very attractive, the Scherzo breezy and easy-going, and the finale a fine achievment leading to an enjoyable conclusion. It is perhaps not a great work, and there is certainly a tendency to meander; yet the themes are uniformly very appealing. Whereas Schumann and Mendelssohn loom over the first symphony, the second, in E flat (1882), is far more obviously inspired by Brahms. The first movement is bold and strong and the second a riveting Tarantella. The slow movement, Notturno, is beautiful - a little too prone to belabor the ideas, perhaps, but overall very convincing. The finale is extremely effective (as is the case with all his symphonies), and the second symphony is overall a work that would deserve an occasional chance in the concert hall.
The third symphony (1887) is similarly rather Brahmsian, though it was inspired by a performance of Handel's Israel in Egypt. The opening movement is based on a strong theme, though the development tends to meander a little. The slow movement, however, is beautiful and the Schumannesque scherzo movement very effective. The finale is buoyant and excellently constructed, and the symphony as a whole makes an overall pretty strong impact. The fourth symphony (1895) is overall delightful; although the thematic material is perhaps not the strongest of the cycle, it is more tautly and ingeniously developed. The first movement is swaggering and confident, the slow movement reflective and deep, the scherzo (again) delightfully buoyan, and the finale imaginative and brilliantly scored.
As for the performances, the Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra doesn't quite exhibit the ultimate ideal of refinement, but this is overall good playing - singing lines and many beautiful touches - under the confident and sympathetic direction of Siefgried Kohler. The recording is warm and smooth, but even if the dynamic range isn't ideally wide the details are clear and the sound is finely balanced. In sum, this is a valuable addition to the catalogue - it won't change anyone's life, but not all music has to do that, and I doubt that anyone will be disappointed by the acquaintance. Recommended.