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Reznicek: Chamisso Variations, Eine Lustspiel Overture / Jurowski, Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra


Release Date: 10/30/2007 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777047   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek
Conductor:  Michail JurowskiE. Nikolaus von Reznicek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Reznicek was one of the very few composers of his day who had a sense of humor, ranging from open-hearted amusement to the most refined irony, and had the ability to express it in music. The Lustspiel (Comedy) Overture clearly embodies the former, while the two sets of variations, at various moments, point to the latter. This makes the overture comparatively straightforward and charming, with its perky orchestration and goofy harmonic side-slips. Reznicek's light touch here is infectious, and the performance is wholly winning.

The Chamisso and Kol Nidre variations operate on a more ambiguous expressive level. Reznicek treats the Kol Nidre tune as a simple piece of musical exoticism and subjects it to some pretty amazing
Read more transformations, including a bittersweet waltz and a gawky march. It's beautifully scored, but despite the range of musical types visited it's also just a touch lacking in contrast, almost as if the tune itself were too strongly profiled to accommodate so much variety. Reznicek has no such issues with the Chamisso variations, which are not only shorter, but find room for a bass soloist intoning the original poem that inspired the piece.

As a bonus on what otherwise is a relatively short CD, we get the composer himself leading two dim acoustic recordings of both the Lustspiel and Donna Diana overtures. The incredibly dry sound and wholesale reorchestration attendant upon making recordings in 1922 combine with some striking differences in tempo in the Lustspiel Overture to make it sound like an entirely different work. If you've been collecting CPO's pretty terrific Reznicek series, you certainly won't need any prompting from me. Michail Jurowski and the WDR orchestra sound great--this disc upholds the high standards of the house easily and entertainingly.

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

1.
Donna Diana: Overture by E. Nikolaus von Reznicek
Conductor:  Michail Jurowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889-1908; Prague 
2.
Symphonic Variations on "Kol Nidrei" by E. Nikolaus von Reznicek
Conductor:  Michail Jurowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1929; Prague, Czech Republ 
3.
Theme and Variations on a poem by Adelbert von Chamisso by E. Nikolaus von Reznicek
Conductor:  Michail Jurowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1921; Prague 
4.
Eine Lustspiel-Overture by E. Nikolaus von Reznicek
Conductor:  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1895; Prague 
Notes: 1922 - historic recording conducted by the composer. 
5.
Donna Diana: Overture by E. Nikolaus von Reznicek
Conductor:  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889-1908; Prague 
Notes: 1922 - historic recording conducted by the composer. 

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