Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Dryades Consort deliver Caspar Othmayr's Gifts

Caspar Othmayr was a theologian and composer of the early Protestant church. His 1549 Tricinia in pias offers a selection of musical virtues that address eight vices. The Dryades Consort uses this for a program celebrating both the vices and virtues. 

While Othmayr's music provides the foundation, the consort pulls from other contemporary sources. There's a significant amount of music from Othmayr's friend and colleague Goerg Forster.

 Also represented is Johannes Ott, Hieronymus Formschneyder, Heinrich Isaac, and some anomymous composers.

It's an effective program and beautifully performed. Countertenor Franz Vitztheum sings with a honeyed tone. His pure delivery is almost entirely free of vibrato (appropriate to the era). It gives the music an ethereal serenity. And it's in character with the lofty intellectual ideals of the texts.

The Dryades Consort, led by Silvia Tecardi has but four players. They play a variety of stringed instruments. This changes the ensemble sound from track to track.

I found this album quite soothing to listen to. If my German was a little stronger, I may have gotten more out of it. But as it was, hearing the music and letting it wash over me was enough.

If you enjoy early music at all, give this release a listen. The Dryades Consort focussed on a very specific aspect of Renaissance music. And the resulting program shows how successful their realization of that music was. 

Caspar Othmayr: Gift & Gegengift
Virtues and Vices in Renaissance Songs
Franz Vitztheum, countertenor
Dryades Consort; Silvia Tecardi, director
Christophorus CHR 77455

Monday, November 29, 2021

Kölner Akademie continues excellent Telemann Christmas series

This volume features two Advent and two Christmas cantatas by Georg Philipp Telemann. The difference between these liturgical seasons has blurred over time. 

But in the 1700s there was a clear difference. Advent was the season anticipated the birth of Christ -- hopeful, but waiting. Christmas marked the arrival of Christ, and the twelve days after it was a time of celebration. 

The Advent cantatas presented here are true to that tradition. "Was für ein jauchzendes Gedränge" translates as "What a joyous throng surrounds the King of all the world as he makes his entrance!" As the title suggests, this is indeed a pretty upbeat cantata. 

In cantatas of this period the choir usually sang verses of a familiar hymn. These verses often framed the recitatives and arias of the soloist. The hymn Telemann used for "Was für ein jauchzendes Gedränge" is still sung today. It's the hymn "How Brightly Shown the Morning Star." 

"Eilt zu, ruft laut, ihr längst verlangten Boten, ruft Zion" (Make haste, ye long awaited messengers, cries Zion) is another upbeat Advent cantata. Here the chorus is given a bouncy melody, extorting action. 

The two Christmas cantatas are music of praise. The final selection, "Da die Zeit erfüllet war" (But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son) is both celebratory and heroic. And this was just for the second day of Christmas!

The Kölner Akademie has a clean, clear sound. The soloists are all very good, and they have a nice vocal blend. 

Bach's Christmas cantatas get plenty of airplay. But these deserve a listen as well. Telemann was quite adept at setting text and using the music to convey the music's emotion. A welcome addition to the catalog of Baroque seasonal recordings.

Georg Philipp Telemann: Christmas Cantatas III
Hanna Herfurtner, soprano; Carola Günther, alto; Mirko Ludwig, Fabian Strotmann, tenors; Peter Kooij, bass
Kölner Akademie; Michael Alexander Willens, conductor
CPO 555 396-2

Friday, November 26, 2021

#ClassicsaDay #November11 Weeks 4 & 5

 November is the eleventh month. And so the Classics a Day team opted to make eleven the month's then. The challenge is to post works that are numbered 11 in some fashion, either an opus number, a series number, or even a suite number.

It turns out that there's a lot of great music associated with elevens. By the time most composers publish their eleventh opus, symphony, string quartet, or sonata,  they've mastered their art. As I quickly discovered.

Here are my posts for the fourth and final week of #ClassicsaDay #November11

11/22/21 Gerald Finzi - Romance in E-flat major, Op. 11

Finzi wrote this piece in 1928 but continually revised it. He finally allowed publication in 1951.

11/23/21 George Enescu - Romanian Rhapsody No. 1, Op. 11

Enescu wrote the first of his two Romanian Rhapsodies at age 19. It draws heavily from lăutărească music (Romani folks music) and quotes several traditional dance tunes.

11/24/21 Clara Schumann - Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 11

These pieces were written for virtuoso violinist Joseph Joachim. He often performed them with Johannes Brahms at the piano.

11/25/21 Sergei Prokofiev - Toccata, Op. 11

Prokofiev wrote this work in 1912, when he was 21. He premiered the piece four years later in Petrograd.

11/26/21 Paul Hindemith - Sonata for Viola and Piano in F major, Op. 11 No. 4

Hindemith completed his five Op. 11 sonatas in 1919. The first two are for violin, the third for cello, and the last two are for viola.

11/29/21 Richard Strauss Concerto for French Horn and Orchestra

Strauss composed two versions of his 1882 concerto - one for piano accompaniemtn, the other for orchestra. Strauss was 18 years old when he wrote the work.

11/30/21 Felix Mendelssohn - Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 11

Mendelssohn completed his first sympjhony at age 15. It received its public premiere three years later, and was published four years after that in 1831.

11/31/21 Norburt Burgmuller Symphony No. 2 in D major

When Burgmuller died at age 26, he had completed the first two movements of his second symphony and sketched out the third movement. After his death, Robert Schumann completed the movement and arranged for the work's publication.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Franz Lachner well served by Evergreen Symphony Orchestra

The Evergreen Symphony Orchestra (ESO) is a 70-piece Taiwanese ensemble. They've recorded eight albums for the CPO label. Although "evergreen" is in their name, none of the music they record would earn that title. 

But that's not due to the quality of the music, just the stature of the composers. Franz Lachner was a respected 19th Century composer and conductor. He conducted the Theater am Kärntnertor and was a friend of Franz Schubert. Lachner's style shows traces of both Beethoven and Schubert. 

His Symphony No. 6 in D major was published in 1837. It followed on the heels of his successful fifth symphony. That work won a composition contest and helped establish Lachner's reputation. Symphony No. 6 has a lighter touch, hewing closer to Schubert's symphonic aesthetic. 

Lachner's more disciplined than his friend, though. The lyrical melodies charm and engage. But the form is also clearly delineated. There's a feeling of high spirits throughout the work. Some of that may be the performances Gernot Schmalfuss and the ESO gives these pieces. There's some enthusiastic music-making going on with these young performers! 

The Concertino for Bassoon and Orchestra was completed in 1824. Lachner seems inspired by Beethoven, especially with his use of motives. The dotted rhythmic figures tie the piece together even as they expand and develop.

Chia-Hua Hsu is the principal bassoonist for the ESO. Hsu's interpretation sounded fluid and improvisational, but never out of control. His performance was simply first-rate. 

These may not be evergreen pieces, but in the ESO's care, they sound pretty fresh to me.

Franz Lachner: Symphony No. 6 Op. 56 in D major
Concertino for Bassoon and Orchestra in E-flat major
Chia-Hua Hsu, bassoon
Evergreen Symphony Orchestra; Gernot Schmalfuss, conductor
CPO 555-210-2

Monday, November 22, 2021

Newberry Consort enlivens Mexican Christmas

This is a live recording of a December concert given by the Newberry Consort. The program blends two strains of 17th Century Mexican music. 

One is the European-inspired sacred music of the church. The second is the folk-inspired music of the streets. This recording captures the raw energy and exquisite beauty of the performances.

The Newberry Consort performs the music of the church. Most Mexican Baroque composers, such as Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla and Gaspar Fernandes, emigrated from Europe.  They brought their European traditions with them and wrote in a conservative style. 

Although their polyphony was inspired by Palestrina, they weren't immune to native culture. There are some Mexican folk rhythms in their compositions (suitably muted, of course). 

As always, the Consort sings with a warm, blended sound and purity of tone. Their performances nicely balance the European and Mexican influences of these sacred compositions. 

The EnsAmble Ad-Hoc performs the music of the masses. This villancico ensemble uses folk instruments, such as the Baroque guitar.  They also dance as they sing. It's a ragged, raucous sound that's electrifying. 

The ensemble also performs music of the Mexican Baroque composers. In their hands, though, these works are transformed. The folk elements, downplayed in the Newberry Consort performances, are celebrated. 

The Newberry Consort and EnsAmble Ad-Hoc present two sides of Mexican Baroque music. But they're not disconnected. That's the real genius of this program. The performance styles may be contrasting, but there are many similarities. 

This is one of the most imaginative and entertaining early music Christmas albums I've heard. Heck, make that most imaginative and entertaining album, period.

A Mexican Christmas
Newberry Consort; EnsAmble Ad-Hoc
Navona Records nv6375

Friday, November 19, 2021

#ClassicsaDay #November11 Week 3

 November is the eleventh month. And so the Classics a Day team opted to make eleven the month's then. The challenge is to post works that are numbered 11 in some fashion, either an opus number, a series number, or even a suite number.

It turns out that there's a lot of great music associated with elevens. By the time most composers publish their eleventh opus, symphony, string quartet, or sonata,  they've mastered their art. As I quickly discovered.

Here are my posts for the third week of #ClassicsaDay #November11

11/15/21 Ferdianand Ries - Piano Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 11, No. 1

Ries was a piano and composition student of Beethoven's. His Opus 11, published in 1809 contained two piano sonatas.

Amy Beach - Three Songs, Op. 11

When she married Dr. Henry Beach, Amy Cheney agreed to give up performing but was allowed to continue composing. These songs were written four years into her marriage.

11/17/21 Johannes Brahms - Serenade No. 1, Op. 11

Brahms' serenades were warm-ups for his symphonies. He used them as exercises for thinking of music orchestrally, instead of pianistically.

11/18/21 Fanny Mendelssohn Henzel - Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 11

Fanny composed this work as a birthday present for her sister. It wasn't published (and assigned an opus number) until three years after Fanny's death.

11/19/21 Josef Elsner - Symphony No. 1 in C major Op. 11

Elsner was one of the first Polish composers to incorporate folk music into his works. His first symphony was written in 1804, the same year as Beethoven's "Eroica."

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Laura Netzel Chamber Portrait worth admiring

Laura Netzel is one of those composers who should be better known. And that's what the artists on this release hope to do. Netzel (1839-1927) was from Finland, but her family moved to Sweden when she was an infant. 

Netzel showed musical talent early on. She studied voice, piano, and composition (the latter with Charles-Marie Widor). As a teenager, she performed with orchestras and chamber ensembles. 

Many of her works were published under the pseudonym "N. Lago," to avoid gender prejudice. And her music was quite popular, especially her piano miniatures.

Netzel was often compared with Edvard Grieg, as both were labeled Scandinavian composers. The comparisons were usually favorable. I did hear a certain similarity in style, especially in the pieces based on folk tunes.

This release provides an overview of Netzel's catalog. The 1914 Suite for Violin and Strings provides a taste of her orchestral works. It's a well-crafted piece, with engaging melodies and rich, complex harmonies. 

The release also includes her Three Salon Pieces from 1880. These do remind me a little of Grieg. But they also seem to anticipate Debussy. Innovative for sure!

Netzel knew how to write for the voice. The selection of songs on this release demonstrates that quite well. The melodies just seem to flow. 

Cudos to Malin Broman, Simon Crawford-Phillips, and Sabina Bisholt for their work on this album. Their performances are heartfelt and committed. And, at least with me, they succeed. I want to hear more of Netzel's music.

Laura Netzel: Chamber Portrait
Suite for Violin and Strings; Suite for Violin and Piano; Selected Songs and Piano Pieces
Marlin Broman, violin; Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano
Sabina Bisholt, soprano
Musica Vitae Chamber Orchestra
dB Productions

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Christoph Graupner Bassoon Cantatas - more than making do


When a composer is as prolific as Christoph Graupner, there are many ways to create a musical program. An album of bassoon cantatas may seem obscure. But with over 1,400 Graupner cantatas to choose from, there were plenty of choices.

A virtuoso bassoonist, Johann Christian Klotsch.. was hired for the Darmstadt court in 1736. Graupner immediately put him to use. In 1741 alone he wrote 16 cantatas with concertante bassoon parts. 

This album presents six cantatas written for Klotsch's talents, spanning a 12-year period. 

The timbre of the instrument gives these cantatas warmth and intimacy. Sergio Azzolini plays in a smooth lyrical manner. He mirrors the vocalists' delivery, bringing out the connections between the two parts. 

If you're familiar with the Baroque cantata genre, give these works a listen. Using the bassoon instead of the violin as the concertante instrument gives these cantatas a different character. 

And if you're not familiar with Baroque cantatas, check out this release anyway. Graupner was a skilled composer and these cantatas are just beautiful works to hear.

Christoph Graupner: Jaucjzet, ihr Himmel, freue dich, Erde
Bassoon Cantatas
Sergio Azzolini, Fagotto
Monika Mauch, soprano; Franz Vitzthum, alto; Georg Poplutz, tenor; Dominik Wörner, Bass
Kirchheimer BachConsort; Florian Heyerick, conductor
CPO 555 353
2 CD Set

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Anne-Marie McDermott continues superb Mozart series

Anne-Marie McDermott has a very distinctive playing style, especially with Mozart. It's delicate without being dainty. It's expressive while neither being too emotive nor overly reserved. 

McDermott's playing embodies what I like to think Mozart's intentions were. But it's playing that goes deeper than the notes. 

McDermott's own personality makes these oh-so-familiar works sound fresh and innovative. 

For volume three, McDermott performs two Mozart piano concertos. The Concerto no. 14 in E-flat major, K. 449 was written in 1784. It's considered the first of his mature concertos. 

The second concerto is his last, the Concerto No. 27 in B-flat, K. 595. The two works neatly bookend Mozart's mature period. Both upend audience expectations of the day. And yet these surprises sound both logical and inevitable. 

McDermott's performances are first-rate. Her phrasing, especially in the B-flat concerto is exquisite. In other words, this release matches the high standards set by the previous two.  

Highly recommended.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concertos, Vol. 3, K. 449, K. 595
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
Odense Symphoniorkester; Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor
Bridge Records 9538

Monday, November 15, 2021

Michael Praetorius Christmas music given exceptional performances

Quick. Name a Michael Praetorius Christmas carol. OK, now name another besides "Lo, How a Rose Er Blooming." There are several -- as this release shows. 

Praetorius was a major contributor of music to the early Lutheran church. He published nine volumes of Musae Sioniae, collections of Lutheran chorales.

And amongst this music were chorales for the Advent and Christmas seasons. Included are several melodies best-known through Praetorius. In addition to "Es ist ein Ros enstrpungen" there's "in Dulci Jubilo." And there's "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" (How Brightly Shines the Morning Star).

Also included is a setting of the Magnificat. The fledgling Protestant church wanted music with clarity. The words had to be clearly heard by the congregation. Praetorius managed that, while at the same time providing some gorgeous Gabrieli-inspired polyphony. 

Marcus Creed directs the SWR Vokalensemble in some beautiful performances. The ensemble has a smooth, blended sound that exudes warmth. This is how I imagine these works would have been sung in one of the larger churches in the early 1600s. 

This release isn't just for early music lovers. I recommend it to anyone who appreciates great choral singing. And also anyone who's ready for some exceptionally well-written seasonal music  

Michael Praetorius: In Dulci Jubilo
Christmas Music from Musae Sioniae   
SWR Vokalensemble; Miachel Creed, director
SWR Classics

Friday, November 12, 2021

#ClassicsaDay #November11 Week 2

 November is the eleventh month. And so the Classics a Day team opted to make eleven the month's then. The challenge is to post works that are numbered 11 in some fashion, either an opus number, a series number, or even a suite number.

It turns out that there's a lot of great music associated with elevens. By the time most composers publish their eleventh opus, symphony, string quartet, or sonata,  they've mastered their art. As I quickly discovered. 

Here are my posts for the second week of #ClassicsaDay #November11

11/08/21 Alexander Scriabin - Prelude No. 11 in B minor, Op. 11

Scriabin composed his set of 24 preludes over a span of 8 years. The 11th prelude was one of the last to be composed.

11/09/21 Frederic Chopin - Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11

Although numbered "1," this work was composed after the premiere of Chopin's second concerto. The numbers indicate the publication sequence.

11/10/21 Anatoly Lyadov - Prelude Op. 11, No. 1

Lyadov's Trois Morceaux was published in 1896. The prelude is the most performed (and arranged) of the three pieces.

11//11/21 Vitezslava Karpalova - Military Sinfonietta

This Czech composer, conductor, and violinist only lived to age 25. Still, she left an impressive catalog of ground-breaking music, like this 1937 sinfonietta.

11/12/21 Arnold Schoenberg - Drie Klaverstucke

These piano pieces are generally considered the first truly atonal composition of Schoenberg. He was simultaneously working on his Wagnereque cantata "Gurre-Lieder."

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Telemann Complete Violin Concertos Vol. 7 takes a side trip

In their liner notes, CPO assures us that this seventh volume of Telemann concertos is not the last. I suspect the program for this release prompted that hasty reassurance. One of the three concertos is by Telemann. The other two are doubtful -- and one of those almost definitely not by Telemann. 

Usually, when a recording series gets to doubtful and spurious works, it's the end. All the composer's legitimate music has been recorded, so only the odds and ends remain. CPO is right, though -- this is far from the end of the series. There are plenty more legit Telemann concertos left to record. 

So why present this program? I can only guess. Telemann was an incredibly prolific composer. But he was also a gifted one.  The quality of Telemann's music stands out when compared with these doubtful works 

That's not to say the other two works are awful. They're just not quite in the same league. Though one comes close. 

The legit work is the Concerto in G major TWV:51:G4. This is a standard three-movement concerto. Telemann places great demands on the soloist, and the music is tightly organized.

The Overture (Suite) in A major TWV 55:A8 is quite different. While most scholars attribute this to Telemann, there's still some doubt. If it is by Telemann, it's an early work. The concerts en ouverture was a transitional form, midway between suite and concerto. The short-winded movements make this a series of vignettes rather than cohesive work. 

The Overture (Suite) in A major TWV 55:A4 is most likely not by Telemann. But it may be by  Johann Gottfried Vogler. Vogler was a violinist and composer who worked with and admired Telemann. 

Vogler was a good composer, but not on Telemann's level. This particular work has that good-not-great quality to it. The tunes are pleasant, but not memorable.

Elizabeth Wallfisch and the Wallfisch Band approach all three works with the same seriousness of intent. Wallfisch performs with energy. Her phrasing keeps the music moving along. And the ensemble is right there with her.

Hearing authentic Telemann next to suspect Telemann was revealing. There seemed to be a definite quality to the G major concerto that was somehow missing in the suites. All three were enjoyable to listen to, but for me, the "real" Telemann stood out. 

An interesting program choice, for sure -- and one that worked for me.

Georg Philipp Telemann: Complete Violin Concertos, Vol. 7
Elizabeth Wallfisch; The Wallfisch Band

Monday, November 08, 2021

An Elizabethan Christmas - Fretwork's gift to all

Fretwork marks its 35th anniversary with this holiday release. Although "holiday release" hardly describes this album. 

The celebration of Christmas was quite different than it is today. In fact, it was quite different from the Victorian Christmas traditions that now define the holiday. 

Advent, the time leading up to Christmas, was a time for mediation, not celebration. The celebrations were for Christmastide (the 12 days of Christmas). There was plenty of music for these seasons in the Tudor era, and most of it was religious in nature. 

Fretwork and mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston present a first-rate program. It combines somber Advent music with joyful Christmas selections.

Charlston has a warm, rich tone that casts an ethereal beauty over the music. She's especially effective in the Advent selections. In William Byrd's "Out of the Orient Cyrstal Skies," for example, her long, sustained tones radiate calm and serenity.

Charlston's performances in the Christmas selections have a reserved energy to them. That's befitting, I think, for music performed at court. There's a certain elegance in her delivery that appealed to me. 

And of course, Fretwork performed to their usual high standards. This ensemble knows their business, and they know it well. The playing is expressive, yet precise.

If you plan to spend time this Christmas in a comfy chair with a hot drink, plan to get this release. Though the music is over four centuries old, it still has the power to soothe.

An Elizabethan Christmas
Byrd, Gibbons. Holborne, Peerson, Weelkes
Helen Charlston, mezzo-soprano
Signum Classics

Friday, November 05, 2021

#ClassicsaDay #November11 Week 1

 November is the eleventh month. And so the Classics a Day team opted to make eleven the month's then. The challenge is to post works that are numbered 11 in some fashion, either an opus number, a series number, or even a suite number.

It turns out that there's a lot of great music associated with elevens. By the time most composers publish their eleventh opus, symphony, string quartet, or sonata,  they've mastered their art. As I quickly discovered. 

Here are my posts for the first week of #ClassicsaDay #November11

11/02/21 Fredinand Kuchler - Violin Concerrto in G major, Op. 11

Kuchler was a violin pedagogue as well as a violinist. His Op. 11 chamber concerto was written for student violinists to play primarily in 1st position.

11/03/21 Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 11

Beethoven's trio has somewhat fluid instrumentation. The violin part is also for clarinet, and the cello part also for bassoon. So this work is often performed as a wind trio.

11/04/21 Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings, Op. 11

This was originally the slow movement of Barber's string quartet (also Op. 11). The orchestrated Adagio was premiered by Toscanini (who had memorized the score) in 1938.

11/05/21 Hakon Borresen - Violin Concerto in G major, Op. 11

Borresen was one of Denmark's most influential composers. He was president of the Danish Composers Union, and his music was entered in the 1932 Summer Olympics Art Competition.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Lady Viola succeeds on all levels


Violist Kristina Fialová outlines her mission with this release in the liner notes. 

1) Feature works for an under-represented solo instrument -- the viola. 

2) Select those works from an under-represented segment of composers -- females. 

3) Perform said works with an under-represented segment of classical instrumentalists -- females (again).

What makes this an exciting release for me is that Fialová does without compromise. The viola is as expressive an instrument as the violin. The listener needs make no allowances for the instrument.

The compositions are inventive and well-crafted. No one got a pass because of their gender. And the performances are committed and engaging. These are all first-rate artists.

Rebecca Clarke and Grazyna Bacewicz are the best-known of the six composers featured. Clarke is represented with two works. One is the Passacaglia for viola and piano.

The second is the Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale for viola and clarinet. The blend of these two instruments gives this work a warm, dark sound. Clarke studied with Ralph Vaughan Williams. This piece has some of RVW's English pastoral sound, I think.

Bacewitz's Polish Capriccio was originally for solo violin. This arrangement for solo viola works just as well. The viola's darker timbre, to me, enhanced the folk origins of the piece and gave it a different kind of beauty. 

The oldest work on the program is by Maria Theresia von Paradis. This blind concert pianist was a colleague of Haydn and Mozart, and her music shares their style. The viola's melody of her Sicilienne is both lyrical and wistful.

Every work on this release was a pleasure to listen to. Kristina Fialová is a talented artist, and her expressive performances drew me in.

And thanks to Lady Viola, I now have several more composers I want to seek out music by. Mission accomplished! 

Lady Viola
Bacewicz, Bodorová, Clarke, Fuchs, Paradis, Vorlová
Kristina Fialová, viola
Jitka Čechová, piano; Anna Paulová clarinet

Monday, November 01, 2021

Paul Wranitzky Orchestral Works 3 - More than just Pre-Beethoven

This release features all world premiere recordings. That's exciting, but perhaps not that unusual. Paul Wranitzky was a major figure in 18th Century Vienna. But his music has long since been overshadowed by his colleagues -- Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. 

Fortunately, there are recordings like this one. Wranitzky was a talented composer, and his music has a place in the repertoire. He was a contemporary of Mozart, though his style falls somewhere between Mozart and Haydn. 

At least initially. As time progressed, Wraniztky, like Beethoven explored the limits of the classical style. And Wranitzky also seemed more interested in orchestration than his colleagues.

This release includes two opera overtures and two symphonies. The symphonies are from the 1790s. La Chasse, the Sinfonie à grand Orchestre, Op. 25 was published in 1793. The expanded version presented here shows Wranitzky's gift for orchestration. There are hunting horns, of course. But Wranitsky also uses solo flute and oboe to suggest a pastoral scene. Trumpets and kettledrum bring home the finale. Wranitzky knew how to tell a story!

The Symphony in C major is one of three published in 1798 as Wranitky's Opus 33. In this case, incidental stage music is recycled into a symphonic form. It's a much lighter symphony than "La Chasse." But it works. The material is well-organized. And the inherent tunefulness of the original music just adds to its appeal.

Marek Stilec directs the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice with verve and imagination. These works benefit from the light, transparent sound of the ensemble. But the orchestra can deliver power when necessary -- especially in the finale of "La Chasse." 

If you enjoy the symphonies of Mozart and Haydn, give this a listen. You should enjoy the symphonies of Wrnaitzky as well. After all, Mozart and Haydn did (and Beethoven did, too). 

Paul Wranitzky: Orchestral Works 3
Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice; Marek Stilec, conductor