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Serenades Nos. 1 and 2

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Product Details

  • Performer: Ludwig; Cologne Chamber Orchestra
  • Composer: Fuchs Robert
  • Audio CD (March 29 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ncl
  • ASIN: B004KDO2OS
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #69,895 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

After his death in 1927, Robert Fuchs all but vanished from public consciousness. Yet here is a composer whom Brahms held in the highest esteem, and who could count Mahler, Wolf and Sibelius among his many talented pupils. This selection of music for stri

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Amazon.com: HASH(0xa2983a8c) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa03ed84c) out of 5 stars Tuneful, Well-Crafted String Orchestra Pieces by Robert Fuchs March 29 2011
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Robert Fuchs (1847-1927) was a well-known Viennese composer in his day and a revered teacher of composition; among his students were Gustav Mahler, Jan Sibelius, George Enescu, Erich Maria Korngold, Franz Schmidt, Franz Schreker, Hugo Wolf and Alexander Zemlinsky. He had been a close friend of Johannes Brahms who often was the first to see and hear Fuchs's manuscripts. In German-speaking countries he was best-known for the two popular String Serenades heard on this disc; indeed, he was often jokingly referred to as 'Serenaden-Fuchs'.

The two String Serenades, Opp. 9 and 14, from 1874 and 1876 respectively, are entirely winning, tuneful, marvelously constructed works whose early popularity is easily understood. It is a bit mysterious as to why they fell from favor after Fuchs's death. Perhaps it is because the Viennese style of music had changed considerably with the advent of the post-romantic group of composers that included many of Fuchs's own students. And perhaps even in their own day they were a trifle old-fashioned, sounding more like Mendelssohn than more contemporary composers. Still, now at the distance of 125 years, their worth is clearly evident and it makes no difference that they were a bit out of fashion in the half-century after their composition.

The CD concludes with a performance of two pieces sharing the same opus number from 25 years later, the Andante Grazioso and Capriccio, Op. 63 (1900), lasting a total of about twenty minutes. They are clearly the work of the same composer but their harmonic language is a bit more chromatic and they express darker, more angst-ridden emotions.

The Cologne Chamber Orchestra was conducted by Helmut Müller-Brühl for 40+ years, from 1964 until 2008, and they made many recordings for the Naxos label. Among the notable ones are a series of Haydn symphonies Haydn: Symphonies, Vol. 24--Nos. 43, 46, & 47, Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 80, 81 & 99, et al., along with Bach harpsichord concerti Bach: Complete Orchestral Works (Box Set) and cantatas for alto J.S. Bach: Sacred Cantatas for Alto. The young conductor Christian Ludwig took over the post as Music Director upon Müller-Brühl's departure. He and the orchestra play these charming Fuchs works with grace and subtlety.

Scott Morrison
HASH(0xa04183e4) out of 5 stars Old-fashioned and beautiful Oct. 25 2015
By T. A. Ernst - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm so old-fashioned that I really like this kind of music. This is more akin to Brahms and Dvorak than anything modern, looking back rather than forward. Fine by me. It's all captivating, beautiful, sonorous, melodic, with merely a hint of the darkening and discord that would generally overtake music. The playing is top notch, and the recording is truly excellent.
HASH(0xa0408c24) out of 5 stars Five Stars July 21 2015
By Grace Liggett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase

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