Berwald: Tone Poems / Sakari, Håkansson, Gävle So

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Franz Berwald's four symphonies are becoming better known, but the shorter orchestral works hardly receive a mention, even though they are no less deserving. Though...
Franz Berwald's four symphonies are becoming better known, but the shorter orchestral works hardly receive a mention, even though they are no less deserving. Though conservative in style (what can you expect from a composer born in 1796?), they belong to no particular "school" but have a distinctly Nordic quality thanks to Berwald's fresh feeling for harmony and attractive woodwind writing. This comes through quite clearly in Reminiscence of the Norwegian Mountains, a lovely pastoral portrait in tones, and in Elfenspiel. Wetlauf (Foot-Race), subtitled "Etude for String Orchestra", must rank among the more imaginative early works in the medium--but then all of this music is well worth hearing.


These performances under Petri Sakari, with the Gävle Symphony in very good form, are a touch slower in tempo (with the exception of Wetlauf, aptly enough) than the main competition, the spottily available versions under Ulf Björlin on EMI, but not significantly so, and they are much better recorded. More importantly, Sakari and the orchestra offer freshly sprung rhythms, so important in this music, and the woodwinds play with the necessary liveliness and character in the pieces for full orchestra. Patrik Hakansson also gives a worthy account as soloist in the charming Konzertstück for Bassoon and Orchestra. In short, if you already know and like the symphonies, this inexpensive disc offers an excellent way to fill out your Berwald collection. It's good stuff, plain and simple.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com


Product Description:


  • Release Date: July 19, 2005


  • UPC: 747313537020


  • Catalog Number: 8555370


  • Label: Naxos


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Composer: Franz Berwald


  • Conductor: Petri Sakari


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Gävleborg Symphony Orchestra


  • Performer: Patrick Håkansson



Works:


  1. Erinnerung an die norwegischen Alpen

    Composer: Franz Berwald

    Ensemble: Gävleborg Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Petri Sakari


  2. Konsertstycke for Bassoon and Orchestra in F major

    Composer: Franz Berwald

    Ensemble: Gävleborg Symphony Orchestra

    Performer: Patrick Håkansson (Bassoon)

    Conductor: Petri Sakari


  3. Wettlauf

    Composer: Franz Berwald

    Ensemble: Gävleborg Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Petri Sakari


  4. Ernste und heitere Grillen

    Composer: Franz Berwald

    Ensemble: Gävleborg Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Petri Sakari


  5. Drottningen av Golconda: Overture

    Composer: Franz Berwald

    Ensemble: Gävleborg Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Petri Sakari


  6. Elfenspiel

    Composer: Franz Berwald

    Ensemble: Gävleborg Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Petri Sakari