Telemann: Suites for Orchestra: La Chasse / Tragikomische Suite is 1999 Harmonia Mundi recording played by the Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin. Roman Hinke has written the music and Derek Yeld has translated them into English. Also included is a short biography of Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin. Highly recommended. 5/5.
Karl Weigl’s music demonstrates once again that the great Austrian/German symphonic tradition did not die with Mahler, but continued to thrive well into the 20th century. Weigl (1881-1949) worked under Mahler in Vienna and enjoyed a fine reputation until, as we’ve heard often by now, the Nazi seizure of power, which forced his emigration to America where he died in comparative obscurity. He nevertheless composed a substantial body of orchestral and chamber music, including six symphonies. If this one is typical, it’s a legacy that urgently calls out for wider exposure. Composed in 1945 and dedicated to the memory of President Roosevelt, the “Apocalyptic Symphony” received its premiere in 1968 under Stokowski. Although a couple of private tapes of that and at least one other performance exist, neither gives much sense of the impact that this magnificent work can have in concert. This splendid recording does. Weigl’s music offers the tonal richness and harmonic complexity of Franz Schmidt, with a healthy dose of Mahlerian irony and a brittle humor that calls to mind Berthold Goldschmidt. The symphony opens with a marvelous gesture: over the sounds of the orchestra tuning, the trombones blast out the first movement’s principal theme. Order having thus been established out of chaos, the music moves purposefully through a variety of predominantly dark moods to a stern conclusion.