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Franz Schreker und Ausdruckstanz / John Axelrod, Lucerne SO


Release Date: 02/14/2006 
Label:  Nimbus   Catalog #: 5753   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Schreker
Conductor:  John Axelrod
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


A couple of decades ago there was a perfume brand whose slogan was "sensual, but not too far from innocence". Well, if ever a composer fit that description, it's Schreker. It's a pity that they never used his music to back the television commercials. Basically, Schreker's music is conservative: sweet tunes, harmonically traditional, and just a bit (as Berg noted) kitschy. But he surrounds these tried-and-true elements with the most extravagant orchestration: swirling strings murmur hypnotically, percussion and celesta tintinnabulations speckle the texture until it glitters, while harps add a sexy shimmer. Even in a piece like Der Wind, scored for chamber ensemble, Schreker's aural
Read more imagination is quite evident, always operating at the highest level. This is, in short, deliciously decadent music, wholly captivating and (best of all) never too long for its material.

The five works included here represent Schreker's contributions to "Ausdruckstanz", a type of interpretive dance form pioneered in 1907 by the Wiesenthal sisters of Vienna. The Birthday of the Infanta has been recorded previously, both as here in its complete form, and more frequently as a suite, shorn of about 10 minutes of music (it lasts roughly half an hour). A couple more of these pieces (Valse Lente, in particular) also have appeared on previous releases, but this is the first disc to put all of Schreker's ballets for the Wiesenthal sisters together, and none of the competing performances is better played or better recorded. Conductor John Axelrod does a splendid job revealing the music's gleaming orchestration, and he has the Lucerne orchestra playing in an appropriately lush style, but without ever losing the feeling of the dance. The opening of Valse Lente is particularly magical and delicately done. Nimbus offers ideally warm, atmospheric sonics to match. Don't miss this disc, for any reason. It's absolutely luscious.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Der Geburtstag der Infantin by Franz Schreker
Conductor:  John Axelrod
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; Austria 
2.
Valse lente by Franz Schreker
Conductor:  John Axelrod
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; Austria 
3.
Festwalzer und Walzerintermezzo by Franz Schreker
Conductor:  John Axelrod
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1908; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Der Wind by Franz Schreker
Conductor:  John Axelrod
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908-1909; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Ein Tanzspiel "Rokoko" by Franz Schreker
Conductor:  John Axelrod
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Symphony Orchestra

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