WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Kalliwoda: Symphonies No 5 & 7 / Spering, Neue Orchester


Release Date: 08/29/2006 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777139   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda
Conductor:  Christoph Spering
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Das Neue Orchester
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

These stunning performances, magnificently recorded, belong in every serious collection.


This disc is as outstanding musically as it is historically important. Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda (1801-1866) represents a sort of symphonic "missing link" between Beethoven and Schumann. His seven symphonies and 24 overtures were composed roughly in the period 1820-43 and were very highly respected in their day. On evidence here, that respect was entirely deserved. Of all the composers of this era whose symphonic works have made it to disc recently--Wit, Czerny, Ries, Hummel--it is Kalliwoda whose work seems the strongest. His melodic appeal and rhythmic energy undoubtedly have
Read more something to do with his Czech roots (try the finale of Symphony No. 5, for example), but he also had a genuine understanding of symphonic development and real contrapuntal skill.


More to the point, as the predominance of minor keys suggests, his music has passion and an emotional depth that recalls Beethoven without ever descending into mere imitation. Part of the reason for his distinctiveness stems from his skill at orchestration. The Fifth Symphony, for example, begins with a brass fanfare that strikingly anticipates the start of Tchaikovsky's Fourth, but it dates from 1839. Schumann's Spring Symphony might have picked up a hint from this as well. The third movement of the Seventh is a stirring march that not only features great tunes but also gives an important solo role to the timpani. Throughout all of the works here, the woodwinds and brass are used with unselfconscious freedom and participate as equals in the symphonic discourse. The result is thrilling, and it strikingly anticipates or echoes so much of 19th century music--from Berlioz to Dvorák to Wagner, and even Sibelius (in Overture No. 16).


Best of all, these performances are absolutely stunning. Christoph Spering and his period-instrument band tear into the music like a pack of demons, giving it exactly the kind of rhythmic surge it demands. In particular, the finale of the Seventh comes across as almost apocalyptic as it charges to its minor-key conclusion, and although Kalliwoda can't be categorized as a music radical in the way that, say, Liszt was, his music sounds like something truly new and different. I don't know who publishes this stuff, but these pieces deserve to return to the modern repertoire--and more to the point, I can easily see how their wider exposure could lead to some revisions of the usual music history texts. This is music of substance, skill, and exceptional craftsmanship, and like all true classics it reeks of its time yet speaks to listeners today with immediacy and relevance. These stunning performances, magnificently recorded, belong in every serious collection, and I can only hope that more is on the way courtesy of Mr. Spering, Das Neue Orchester, and CPO. [7/28/2006]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 5 in B minor, Op. 106 by Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda
Conductor:  Christoph Spering
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Das Neue Orchester
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Bohemia 
Venue:  Stolbergerstrasse, Cologne, Germany 
Length: 27 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: Stolbergerstrasse, Cologne, Germany (11/15/2004 - 11/18/2004) 
2. Symphony no 7 in G minor, WoO 01 by Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda
Conductor:  Christoph Spering
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Das Neue Orchester
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Bohemia 
Venue:  Stolbergerstrasse, Cologne, Germany 
Length: 28 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Notes: Stolbergerstrasse, Cologne, Germany (11/15/2004 - 11/18/2004) 
3. Overture no 16 in A minor, Op. 238 by Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda
Conductor:  Christoph Spering
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Das Neue Orchester
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863 
Venue:  Stolbergerstrasse, Cologne, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Notes: Stolbergerstrasse, Cologne, Germany (11/15/2004 - 11/18/2004) 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Good Performance May 8, 2012 By Kenneth G. (Grand Rapids, MI) See All My Reviews "These 19th Century composers continue to show up due to the 20th Century wasteland. Falling between Beethoven and Schumann Kalliwoda is not the equal of either but when compared to much of the 20th century composers his music is intersting, certainly listenable and certainly deserves time on the programs of orchestras all over the world." Report Abuse
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook