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Rheinberger: Organ Concertos 1 & 2 / Juffinger, Haenchen

Rheinberger / Berlin Radio Sym Orch / Haenchen
Release Date: 01/01/2004 
Label:  Capriccio Records   Catalog #: 71017  
Composer:  Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Andreas JuffingerErnö Sebestyen
Conductor:  Hartmut Haenchen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here’s old wine in a new bottle, a 1989–90 recording given the surround-sound SACD treatment. Presumably, the rear-channel ambience is artificially processed, which doesn’t really matter. What comes out of the front speakers is good and well balanced, although the orchestral strings lack the warmth and full definition of an original DSD recording.

Both the performances and the scores have aged pretty well. Rheinberger was a fine though not entirely distinctive composer of the mid to late 19th century; he was clearly influenced by Schumann and Brahms (the F-Major Concerto could almost pass for the latter), and ended up as something of a proto-Reger. His two concertos do not deserve their relative neglect, and Andreas Juffinger
Read more and Hartmut Haenchen serve them well, if not ideally. In his Telarc recording, Michael Murray seems more decisive and impulsive in the F-Major Concerto (he didn’t record the other), and the German musicians’ tempos in the G-Minor Concerto, with its Phantom of the Opera melodrama, can be listless, though not debilitatingly so. On the other hand, these musicians’ sober approach allows Rheinberger’s music to soar without giving it too hard a push. Soaring is something the op. 166 Suite for Violin and Organ can’t quite manage. It’s Romantic music inspired by Baroque formats, each of the four movements attractive in its own way but contributing no internal variety. Here, it’s all stately and well played, with Ernö Sebestyen employing a dark, viola-like tone in many passages.

James Reel, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Organ no 1 in F major, Op. 137 by Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Andreas Juffinger (Organ)
Conductor:  Hartmut Haenchen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
2.
Concerto for Organ no 2 in G minor, Op. 177 by Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Andreas Juffinger (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
3.
Suite for Violin and Organ in C minor, Op. 166 by Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Andreas Juffinger (Organ), Ernö Sebestyen (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 

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