Eilenberg: Petersburger Schlittenfahrt - Waltzes & Polkas

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EILENBERG Cürassier – Attaque. Das erste Herzklopfen. Norwegische Rentierpost. Die Mühle im Schwarzwald. Marsch der Bersagieri. Unter Italien’s blauem Himmel. Von Wien bis Berlin. Kosakenritt. Mandolinen-Serenade. Das Leben ein Traum: Overture. Zauberglöckchen. Prinz Heinrich Marsch. In der Waldschmiede. Ach bitte noch einem Walzer. Petersburger Schlittenfahrt Christian Simonis, cond; WDR SO Cologne CPO 777342 (68:52)

Need a break from Bruckner? Is Mahler giving you a case of malheur ? Then here’s just what you need—a light ‘n lively program of music you’d be more likely to hear at a Sunday afternoon park concert than in a concert hall, played with panache, love, and expert leadership.

Chances are you don’t know much, if anything, about Richard Eilenberg (1848-1927). Dirk Schortemeier claims in his extensive booklet notes that “Eilenberg’s name has continued to appear in lexica and encyclopedias…from 1895 to the present,” though I could not find him in Grove, MGG, Baker, or several other sources I consulted. According to Schortemeier, Eilenberg was “very popular in his own lifetime.” He was born in Germany and spent most of his life there when not traveling abroad. His compositions number about 350, many of which “circulated in many different kinds of arrangements.” He wrote in nearly all the fashionable dance steps of his day, including, in later life, the two-step and the tango. His marches are so numerous and so precisely entitled that they “practically offer a review lesson in history.” Schortemeier’s notes include a few sentences about each of the 15 numbers on the program, which follow one another in an intelligently arranged sequence so as to avoid tedium. The program gets off to a stirring start with a galop, then a “Salonstück,” another galop, an Idylle, a march, a waltz, a polka, etc. Some of them bear comparison with the work of Johann Strauss and Lehár. Even those that don’t are still sure to delight.

Only the three-minute Petersberger Schlittenfahrt (St. Petersburg Sleigh Ride) enjoys anything resembling repertory status, it would seem (it turns up on André Rieu programs, among others). None of the 15 numbers are billed as a recording premiere, but at the moment only two other pieces appear in the Fanfare Archive, and two on ArkivMusic.com. No other all-Eilenberg discs seem to exist, or even partial programs. So this one has the field to itself. Fortunately, it can be highly recommended to all lovers of light salon music.

FANFARE: Robert Markow

Product Description:

  • Release Date: January 29, 2013

  • Catalog Number: 777342-2

  • UPC: 761203734221

  • Label: CPO

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Richard Eilenberg

  • Conductor: Christian Simonis

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: West German Radio Symphony Orchestra