Karl Weigl: Symphony No. 1, Pictures and Tales (CD)

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Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie, Rheinland-Pfalz, Jurgen Bruns

“I have always viewed Dr. Weigl as one of the best composers of the old generation; one of those continuing the illustrious Viennese tradition.” (Arnold Schönberg) In terms of style, with his works linked to basic tonalities, Weigl drew on the sound realm of late Romanticism, from whose aesthetics he never departed in favor of more progressive contemporary trends. The Symphony No. 1 in E major op. 5, written in 1908, is also far removed from any avant-garde experiments in the Romantic tradition, as epitomized among the Austrian composers of that time in the field of the symphony by composers such as Alexander von Zemlinsky, Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek or Franz Schmidt. On this release, the work is performed by the formidable Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz under the baton of Jurgen Bruns.

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Weigl Symphony No. 1 in E Major, Op. 5

  • 1. I. Leicht bewegt
  • 2. II. Sehr lebhaft
  • 3. III. Langsam
  • 4. IV. Lebhaft

Weigl Bilder und Geschichten (Pictures and Tales), Op. 2 (version for orchestra)

  • 5. I. Es war einmal (Once Upon A Time)
  • 6. II. Schneewittchen und die sieben Zwerge (Snow White and the seven Dwarfs)
  • 7. III. Storch, Storch, Steiner (Stork, Stork, Steiner)
  • 8. IV. Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf (Sleep, baby, sleep)
  • 9. V. An Dornröschens Grab (On the grave of the Sleeping Beauty)
  • 10. VI. Elfentanz im Mondenschein (Elves Dance in the Moonlight)

The Classical Music Collector

"It is always pleasing to come across an unfamiliar composer of real interest. Karl Weigl was an early 20th century Viennese composer who, unsurprisingly, emigrated to the USA in 1938. It was not the modernity of his music that made him unwelcome in Austria, however, his musical language has a traditional quality that was respected by the modernists but regarded as old-fashioned; only later did he begin to introduce innovative ideas into his work, notably in the Fifth Apocalyptic Symphony. In recent years his work has begun to be re-evaluated and this new Capriccio CD is a welcome part of that rehabilitation. Both the works included are early, his Opp. 2 and 5, and provide a good introduction to this excellent composer’s output. His First Symphony—of six—is an expansive and expressive four-movement work that has a certain Mendelssohnian lightness, while nudging towards the knowingness of Richard Strauss. To complete the CD Capriccio have included his Pictures and Tales Suite, charming and folk-like music." - Chris Dench