Paul Wranitzky wrote his "Grand Characteristic [i.e. "descriptive"] Symphony for the Peace with the French Republic" in 1797, in the ripest Viennese classical style. It's a hoot. The movements include a "March of the English, Prussians, and Austrians", a "Funeral March on the execution of Louis XVI", the obligatory battle scene (more marching English, with cannon shots on the bass drum), and a finale that somehow illustrates "peace negotiations" and then celebrates the cessation of hostilities in rousing fashion.
You can be sure that the Habsburgs, for whom Wranitzky wrote the symphony, were impressed--and probably relieved as well. At a distance, and given the work'sRead more highly cultured and polished style, it's difficult to realize that it deals with very serious matters indeed. It's also interesting to listen to the funeral march for poor old Louis and consider that had the symphony been written today, the movement likely would have been a requiem for the common soldiers killed in battle. Some things have changed since then, and for the better.
You really can't go wrong with music like this. The tunes are catchy, the scoring is bright and brassy, and the whole thing is played with commendable verve and physicality by Howard Griffiths and his excellent orchestra. And unlike Beethoven's trashy Wellington's Victory, the piece really is a symphony, with a satisfying four-movement form and a welcome range of moods. The D major symphony returns to normal: pretty, well-made, post-Mozart and Haydn stuff, fine enough as it stands, but a bit of a letdown after the programmatic splendors of the previous work. Excellent SACD sonics in all formats make this genuinely appealing novelty a keeper, for sure.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Symphony in D major, Op. 52by Pavel Vranicky Conductor:
Hannover Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical Written: circa 1786-1805; Vienna, Austria Length: 24 Minutes 35 Secs. Notes: Grosser Sendesaal, NDR, Hannover (02/2004); Grosser Sendesaal, NDR, Hannover (04/2004)
Symphony in C minor, Op. 31, "Grand Characteristic Symphony for the Peace with the French Republic": I. The Revolution - March of the Austrians and Prussians: Andante maestoso - Allegro molto - Tempo di marcia piu maestoso piu allegro - Tempo primo
Symphony in C minor, Op. 31, "Grand Characteristic Symphony for the Peace with the French Republic": II. The Fate and the Death of Louis XVI - Funeral March: Adagio affestuoso
Symphony in C minor, Op. 31, "Grand Characteristic Symphony for the Peace with the French Republic": III. English March - March of the Allies - The Tumult of a Battle: Tempo di marcia movibile - Allegro
Symphony in C minor, Op. 31, "Grand Characteristic Symphony for the Peace with the French Republic": IV. The Prospects of Peace - Rejoicing at the Achievement of Peace: Andante grazioso - Allegro vivace
Symphony in D major, Op. 52: I. Adagio maestoso
Symphony in D major, Op. 52: II. Adagio
Symphony in D major, Op. 52: III. Allegretto vivace
Symphony in D major, Op. 52: IV. Finale: Vivace assai
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
RomanticSeptember 8, 2012By Richard O. (Philadelphia, PA)See All My Reviews"If you are a romantic, you will like this. Well played!
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