Sutermeister: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 / Held, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

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Heinrich Sutermeister (1910–95) belongs to the generation of Swiss composers after Bloch, Honegger, Martin and Schoeck. The runaway success of his operatic version of Romeo and Juliet – in the 1950s it was the most widely produced modern opera after Der Rosenkavalier – soon spread his reputation far afield, and conductors as prominent as Böhm, Karajan and Sawallisch championed his works. Although his star has waned in the quarter-century since his death, the four orchestral works recorded here – ranging from the dramatic suite he drew from that first Shakespearean operatic success via the easy-going charm of two lighter suites to his deeply felt response to the Swiss landscape – bring a salutary reminder of why his music appeals so directly to its audiences. This generously filled recording (it’s over 87 minutes in length) is the first in a project where Rainer Held will be recording unknown Swiss orchestral repertoire for release on Toccata Classics.

REVIEW:

The fact that this is advertised as the first volume of an ongoing series is cause for rejoicing. So too is the fact that the disc is so generously packed – the longest conventional CD that I have ever encountered. I found no difficulty in playing it, although others may find their machines reacting differently. But the recorded sound is magnificent, even when the balance is unconventional; the booklet, with notes and biographies in English and German, is substantial and informative; and the playing and conducting is generally of excellent quality. All the tracks are described as first recordings; Christian Heindl in his booklet note refers to a Vienna “studio recording” of the Romeo und Julia suite conducted by the composer in 1956, but this never appears to have surfaced internationally. Those for whom Sutermeister is just a name (if that) should certainly investigate further.

-- MusicWeb International



Product Description:


  • Release Date: May 17, 2019


  • Catalog Number: TOCC0420


  • UPC: 5060113444202


  • Label: Toccata Classics


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: 20th Century


  • Composer: Heinrich Sutermeister


  • Conductor: Reiner Held


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra


  • Performer: Bruno Cathomas