Notes and Editorial Reviews
Chamber Symphony No. 1. Cello Concerto in D
Concerto for Cello and Harpsichord in g
Roman Brogli-Sacher, cond; Hans-Christian Schwarz (vc); Thomas Günther (hpd); Hansestadt Lübeck PO
CYBELE 761301 (SACD: 66:56)
Live: Lübeck 6/28/2009
performance of Schoenberg’s First Chamber Symphony is weighty, colorful, even sumptuous, which is fascinating but overwhelms the one-instrument-on-a-part definition of the piece. Winds and brass tend to cover the individual strings; tempos are slow, the atmosphere romantic. The whole is startlingly reminiscent of
, adding an entirely new perspective to the Symphony. The more I hear it, the more I fall for its daring, its chutzpah; this is a revelation for a work I long thought I had perfectly pegged. The recorded sound is just fine, but SACD adds clarity and bite to the instruments. Surround sound is a bit too much for this already reverberant recording.
The 1746 Concerto by Matthias Georg Monn is not the one upon which Schoenberg based his own Cello Concerto; that was a Monn Harpsichord Concerto in D, also written in 1746. This is Monn’s most popular work (usually called merely Cello Concerto and recorded many times by forces both modern and period), for which Schoenberg wrote a basso continuo in 1912 and a set of three cadenzas for Pablo Casals in 1913. It is charming yet serious, something of a link between the Baroque and Classical eras. The extent to which it benefits from Schoenberg’s basso continuo is unclear, but his cadenzas do stand out, as they are of lengths and difficulties unknown to the middle of the 18th century. I find the sudden alterations of style refreshing and the added weight beneficial to the Concerto, but Baroque lovers may feel that the cadenzas are the proverbial sore thumb. These live performances of the Monn and Schoenberg concertos by Hans-Christian Schwarz are marvelous, bringing the latter a melodious coherence new to recordings, to which Roman Brogi-Sacher’s orchestral accompaniment contributes strongly. The Monn is claimed to be a first recording of its Schoenberg-doctored version.
Schoenberg lovers take note: this disc is a winner!
FANFARE: James H. North
Works on This Recording
Chamber Symphony no 1 in E major, Op. 9 by Arnold Schoenberg
Philharmonisches Orchester Der Hansestadt Lübeck
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1906; Vienna, Austria
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