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Klughardt: Symphony No. 3; Violin Concerto / Berg, Tschopp, Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau

Klughardt / Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau / Berg
Release Date: 02/22/2011 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777465-2   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  August Klughardt
Performer:  Mirjam Tschopp
Conductor:  Golo Berg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

KLUGHARDT Violin Concerto. Symphony No. 3 Golo Berg, cond; Mirjam Tschopp (vn); Anhalt P CPO 777 465-2 (77:51)

Tired of listening to the Schumann symphonies? Not interested in still another newfangled maestro’s take on the Brahms symphonies? Find Spohr’s boring? Weber’s too bland? Bruckner’s too long? August Klughardt’s Third may be just your cup of tea. Likewise the Violin Concerto, custom-made for listeners who need a break from the Mendelssohn, Bruch, and Wieniawski examples.

Read more /> Klughardt (1847–1902) retains a toehold in the classical record catalog almost solely on the basis of a woodwind quintet, and even that is not often heard. Now comes a significant addition to his tiny discography, two major orchestral works splendidly played, recorded in a vivid acoustic environment, and conducted with great verve and panache. In fact, these performances are so good they might well be even better than the music itself.

The opening seconds of the first track (the Violin Concerto) grab your attention equally for the attractiveness of the theme, the assertiveness of the playing, and the bright, natural acoustic environment. The 40-minute concerto, composed in 1895, is packed to the hilt with sumptuous melodies (the first movement’s second subject will melt your heart, and there’s one in the finale that brings to mind swaying palm trees and island breezes). It is hard to imagine any listener resisting this fine work, while soloists in search of a new concerto to add to their repertoire will find Klughardt’s eminently rewarding.

Swiss-born violinist Mirjam Tschopp certainly plays it as if she does, in a performance imbued with commitment, technical flair, and earnest musicianship. Here is still another extremely talented violinist with much to say to the world, yet I’ve never encountered her before. Curious to know what else this outstanding musician has recorded, I checked what there might be on ArkivMusic. My search turned up just two items from the past 11 years, both by composers even more obscure than Klughardt (Barry Brenesal warmly praised her account of Saygun’s Violin Concerto in Fanfare 29:2).

The Third Symphony, too, will bring much joy to listeners in search of traditional, four-movement Romantic symphonies, this one composed in 1879. Its key of D Major (like the Violin Concerto) almost guarantees that it is going to be an affirmative, joyful work, and that it certainly is. Its opening may bring to mind the opening of the finale of Brahms’s Second Symphony. The historian Hermann Kretzschmar described the third movement as being “like a merry ballad telling of olden times, of the mighty deeds of knights and heroes, of tournaments and courtly quests, of escapades and adventures.” If this begins to sound like Bruckner’s Fourth, you’re not far off, at least in spirit.

The Anhalt Philharmonic of Dessau is a first-class ensemble with a long history (the extensive bio traces its origins back to the mid 18th century). Conductor Golo Berg ensures clean, crisp rhythms, forward drive without force, and fine balance, resulting in performances of almost irresistible attractiveness. Ronald Müller’s fine program notes tell you everything you always wanted to know about Klughardt’s Violin Concerto and Third Symphony. This disc is definitely headed for my year-end Want List.

FANFARE: Robert Markow
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Works on This Recording

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 68 by August Klughardt
Performer:  Mirjam Tschopp (Violin)
Conductor:  Golo Berg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895 
Venue:  Anhaltisches Theater Dessau 
Length: 39 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op. 37 by August Klughardt
Conductor:  Golo Berg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879 
Venue:  Anhaltisches Theater Dessau 
Length: 37 Minutes 21 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Gem of a Discovery! March 2, 2013 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "If you are not familiar with the German label CPO, by all means try this disk! CPO's specialty is presenting the works of little known composers, primarily European, using regional European orchestras. Let me set the record straight: if you might be thinking this means low quality, uninspired recordings, you couldn't be more wrong. I have been listening to CPO disks for over a year now, and I am continually stunned by the fabulous results on CPO releases, which indeed open up a sound world that would otherwise travel completely below the radar, so to speak. The disk under review here, August Klughardt's Violin Concerto and Symphony #3, is a case in point. Klughardt's works are late Romantic in nature, full of agile, expressive power and fine melodic invention. Violinist Mirjam Tschopp gives a superb solo account in Klughahrdt's very impressive concerto, and the Symphony #3 is as close to fitting the definition of a masterwork as anything I have heard in a while. Expecially noteworthy is the crystal-clear, definitive sound of the Anhaltische Philharmonie of Dessau, Germany. This recording is a true discovery, and I'd be willing to bet that it will entice many first time listeners to explore further the excellent inventory of recordings offered by CPO. Highest recommendations!!" Report Abuse
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