Schmidt: Symphony No. 2 - Strauss: Festliches Praeludium / Blunier, Beethoven Orchester Bonn

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Franz Schmidt was ''the most musical man in Vienna'' - this is what Gustav Mahler had to say about his fellow composer, who, unlike him, is almost completely forgotten today. Stefan Blunier has rediscovered this late-romantic master and now with the mighty forces of the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn presents Schmidt's Symphony No. 2 together with Richard Strauss's Festival Prelude composed during the same year for the opening of Vienna's Konzerthaus. Schmidt played in a string quartet with Arnold Schonberg, but the tonal idioms of the two composers could not have been more different. While Schonberg very early bade farewell to major-minor harmony and later turned to twelve-tone music, Schmidt remained true to tonality until the end of his life. After the Austrian Anschluss this commitment brought him dubious distinctions from the Nazis - which of course did not help him after the fall of the ''Thousand-Year Reich.'' Schmidt calls for a gigantic orchestra for his second symphony. However, sheer volume is a concern only in a few passages. He instead emphasizes kaleidoscopic color shifts produced in what is often an instrumentation reminiscent of chamber music. Behind it all there is a masterfully composed texture with overlapping themes and variations resulting in a cyclical work structure with a systematic logic.

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 9372006-6

  • UPC: 760623200668

  • Label: MDG

  • Composer: Franz Schmidt, Richard Strauss

  • Conductor: Stefan Blunier

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Bonn Beethoven Orchestra

  • Performer: Christoph Anselm Noll