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Gerson, Kunzen: Symphonies / Coco, Mortensen

Release Date: 01/17/2006 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777085   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Georg GersonFriedrich L. A. Kunzen
Conductor:  Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Copenhagen
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

All credit to Lars Ulrik Mortensen and his collaborators in continuing their work to present neglected Danish symphonies of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Gerson’s overture will instantly fall into place for you if you know the un-named Schubert overtures and the first two symphonies. There are many familiar echoes and much choice writing for the woodwind. Gerson also owed fealty to the Mozart of the Marriage of Figaro overture, the Haffner symphony and the famous G minor symphony. It’s all very entertaining and easy to like.

Turning to the Gerson symphony we hear again the influence of Mozart and this time the more exalted halls of the Jupiter Symphony. It is not by any means an echoing
Read more tribute work for it has some fascinating touches including the wounded cries of the woodwind in the brass climaxes of the first movement (tr. 2, 3:00). After a tentative and tenderly delicate Andante comes a skippingly engaging Menuetto. The finale is confident and works very well in a jovial and good-naturedly regal way. Here perhaps there is a touch of stiffness and a hint of caution but I cannot work out whether this is down to the music or the playing.

Both Gerson and Kunzen were from North Germany but spent musically productive years in Denmark. Kunzen’s symphony again apes the Mozart manner in the Allegro moderato but while the backdrop of the Andante is Mozartian there are prominent lines for the woodwind that point towards Weber. After a Haydnesque Menuetto I and II comes the fascinating Presto - full of original touches and sentiment. The firm rhythmic writing is punched home by the horns mellow but emphatic.

Mozart does loom large here but then we can also hear the stirrings of voices arrogated by Weber and early Beethoven.

The usual rewardingly in-depth documentation from CPO; welcome even if the writing is almost invariably slightly indigestible.

If you are in the market for some delightful and freshly imagined orchestral music in the Mozartian vein then look no further.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Overture in D major by Georg Gerson
Conductor:  Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Copenhagen
Period: Classical 
Symphony in E flat major by Georg Gerson
Conductor:  Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Copenhagen
Period: Classical 
Symphony in G minor by Friedrich L. A. Kunzen
Conductor:  Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Copenhagen
Period: Classical 
Written: Denmark 

Sound Samples

Overture in D major
Symphony in E flat major: I. Adagio, quasi andante - Allegro
Symphony in E flat major: II. Andante
Symphony in E flat major: III. Menuetto: Allegro - Trio
Symphony in E flat major: IV. Rondo: Vivace
Symphony in G minor: I. Allegro moderato
Symphony in G minor: II. Andante
Symphony in G minor: III. Menuetto 1 and 2
Symphony in G minor: IV. Presto

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Nice Danish Classical Era Symphonies August 20, 2013 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "Concerto Copenhagen is a period instruments ensemble of the highest professional caliber, as this CPO compact disk demonstrates. Symphonies by George Gerson and Friedrich Kunzen (Germans, although professionally Danish) comprise the program found here, both composers belonging to the late Classical Era (late 18th and very early 19th centuries). I found the music of both of them to be conventionally conceived, with a distinct balance between lyricism and rigorous compositional structure. Kunzen's Symphony in G Minor calls to mind Mozart's Symphony #40 (same key), not only in the tonal quality of the orchestration but also in the presentation of the thematic ideas. Gerson's symphony and opening overture are cast in major keys, thus providing a contrast to Kunzen in terms of orchestral color. While I would not rank either composer quite at the level of Haydn or Mozart, nevertheless their works are substantial and merit serious consideration. Any fan of the Classical Era should enjoy this recording, especially if one is attracted to the sound of period instrument orchestras (it works nicely here). Recommended." Report Abuse
 Exquisite! November 28, 2012 By john h. (Olympia, WA) See All My Reviews "Exquisite... that says it all." Report Abuse
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