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Farewell / Kissoczy, Camerata Zurich

Release Date: 02/08/2011 
Label:  Guild   Catalog #: 7342   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Joseph HaydnFrank MartinWladimir VogelHermann Haller,   ... 
Performer:  Barbara Bohi
Conductor:  Marc Kissoczy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Camerata
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

FAREWELL Marc Kissóczy, cond; Camerata Zürich; Barbara Böhi (sop 1 ) GUILD 7342 (71:20)

HAYDN Symphony No. 45, “Farewell.” MARTIN Pavane couleur du temps. VOGEL Abschied. 1 HALLER Read more class="ARIAL12bi">Abschied. SCHAEUBLE Symphony for Strings and Timpani, “In Memoriam”

Farewell showcases the lovely sound and interpretive range of Camerata Zürich, a string orchestra of approximately 20 members excellently conducted by Marc Kissóczy, its music director since 2002. The program, loosely tied together by the notion of leavetaking, consists of Haydn’s 45th Symphony plus four 20th-century Swiss works. The Martin and Schaeuble aren’t official farewells, but they share the elegaic mood. What matters is not that the CD has a theme—classical album titles being increasingly de rigeur yet rarely necessary—but that all of the unfamiliar pieces are well worth hearing. There’s more variety and substance here than you might expect, and the playing and engineering are superb.

For Frank Martin’s exquisite Pavane couleur de temps alone, I would give this unexpectedly winning disc a strong recommendation. More akin to Fauré’s Pavane than Ravel’s, Martin’s is a melancholy piece in ABA form with a processional feel, composed for string quartet in 1920. Its memorable opening melody is supported by counterpoint that only a master composer could create and there’s no good reason why this seven-minute gem couldn’t become as popular as the two other well-known pavanes, especially in this sensitive, understated performance.

The Camerata’s strings are supplemented by winds for a lively, impeccably played performance of Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony, one of his Stürm und Drang works. The faster movements are played with energy and precision, and there’s great detail in the articulation of the second-movement Adagio. Without seeing the players leave the stage in the concluding Adagio’s “farewell,” the effect of the music is touching rather than comic. The performance combines some period-instrument techniques with modern playing, and the lack of a harpsichord continuo is a plus.

Moscow-born Wladimir Vogel (1896–1994) studied with Scriabin and with Busoni in Berlin. He settled in Switzerland in 1939 and remained there until his death, active as a teacher in Zürich, where Einojuhani Rautavaara and Rolf Liebermann were among his students. His 1973 Abschied begins with an ominous single note, a muffled jolt from the low strings that brings to mind the opening of the most devastating musical farewell of all, the “Abschied” from Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde . Vogel’s Abschied is a bleak, expressionist work, thinly textured with carefully chosen sonorities, moody and affecting, eight minutes long.

Herman Haller’s Abschied for soprano and string orchestra—no date of composition is given—is almost twice as long as Vogel’s, busier in its faster opening section and more rambling in its slower second part, which is a vocal setting. Haller lived from 1914 to 2002. The booklet notes reveal little about him other than a few facts about his training and teaching. The otherwise helpful annotator, Robert Matthew-Walker, provides little or no information about Haller’s Abschied and Guild does listeners and Haller’s rather complex music a disservice by providing no text nor even mentioning what poem is set.

Much more information is offered concerning Hans Schaeuble (1906–88), a native Swiss who was inspired to become a composer after hearing Ernest Ansermet conduct Stravinsky. As a young man, he lived in Germany where his music was performed by the Berlin Philharmonic under Carl Schuricht, and returned to Switzerland in 1942 where the perception that he had been too pro-German limited performance opportunities for his music. Schaeuble’s 1977 two-movement Symphony for Strings and Timpani is a reworking of the third and fourth movements of his Second Symphony from 1943–44. The first movement, a deeply expressive Larghetto in a very late German Romantic vein (think late Mahler or Strauss) is, for me, this disc’s great discovery besides the Martin. To repeat, the whole disc is highly recommended.

FANFARE: Paul Orgel
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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 45 in F sharp minor, H 1 no 45 "Farewell" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Kissoczy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Camerata
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 03/31/2008 
Venue:  Radiostudio Zürich 
Length: 24 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Pavane couleur du temps by Frank Martin
Conductor:  Marc Kissoczy
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Switzerland 
Date of Recording: 08/30/2008 
Venue:  Radiostudio Zürich 
Length: 7 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Abschied by Wladimir Vogel
Performer:  Barbara Bohi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marc Kissoczy
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1973; Switzerland 
Date of Recording: 08/30/2008 
Venue:  Radiostudio Zürich 
Length: 7 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Abschied (Farewell), for soprano & string orchestra, Op. 59 by Hermann Haller
Performer:  Barbara Bohi ()
Conductor:  Marc Kissoczy
Date of Recording: 08/30/2008 
Venue:  Radiostudio Zürich 
Length: 13 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Symphony for Strings and Timpani, Op. 27 "In memoriam" by Hans Schaeuble
Conductor:  Marc Kissoczy
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943-1944; Switzerland 
Date of Recording: 09/29/2009 
Venue:  Radiostudio Zürich 
Length: 18 Minutes 12 Secs. 

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