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Weber: Overtures / Kantorow, Tapiola Sinfonietta

Weber / Tapiola Sinfonietta / Kantorow
Release Date: 07/26/2011 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1760  
Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A very distinguished collection which avoids any hint of the routine.

The playing here is generally excellent, but in the Freischütz Overture you miss the heavy-duty atmosphere of German romanticism: the opening is evocative but the allegro needs more sheer weight, particularly in the strings (those tremolos under echoing horns and clarinet). That said, the very same lightness benefits the fairyland textures of Oberon, while Jean-Jacques Kantorow's rhythmic zest captures the Spanish flavor of Preciosa very effectively. And there's no questioning the gusto or the brilliant orchestral effects so impressively captured in Turandot and Abu Hassan. Let's face it: 67 vibrant minutes of some of the most splendid music ever
Read more composed for the theater, naturally recorded, is hard to resist. Give it a shot.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

At first sight this may look like yet another set of “the Weber Overtures” such as used to be a staple of the LP market. In fact it is much more than that. For a start it manages to include no fewer than eleven works, so that for once those to the three mature operas do not swamp the fascinating and varied earlier works. More important, they receive performances and recordings that approach them from an unusual angle. One of the chief characteristics of Weber’s music is its febrile, tense, quality. This can all too easily be lost when conductors emphasise its relationship to later German romantic opera. Here on the contrary the emphasis is on the almost Berlioz-like speed of musical thought, as well as on Weber’s ability to produce individual orchestral colours that almost rivals the great Frenchman.
 
It must help having an orchestra of an appropriate size and character for the music. There is no list of players but thirty-nine appear in the photograph on the back of the booklet. Such a size works well, having sufficient weight of strings for the more dramatic passages but retaining lightness of touch where needed. The actual sound of the orchestra as recorded here is clear without being harsh, and delightfully transparent. Repeatedly in listening to the earlier overtures I found myself thinking of Weber’s slightly later French contemporaries, Auber and Boieldieu, as well as of his earlier contemporaries including Mozart, in terms of the sheer vivacity and variety of his inspiration. The Overture to “Peter Schmoll und seine Nachbarn” can sound all too easily stodgy and over-long, but it is neither here. The character of each of the other early overtures is similarly brought out to the full. At the same time the three later and best-known examples do not lack their essential dramatic effect and their deeper and darker colours are brought out to the full. All in all this is a very distinguished collection which avoids any hint of the routine.
 
-- John Sheppard, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Turandot, J 75: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1809; Germany 
2.
Silvana, J 87: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1808-1810; Germany 
3.
Preciosa, J 279: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1820; Dresden, Germany 
4.
Peter Schmoll, J 8: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1801-1802; Germany 
5.
Oberon, J 306: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825-1826; Dresden, Germany 
6.
Jubel Overture, J 245/Op. 59 by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1818; Dresden, Germany 
7.
Euryanthe, J 291/Op. 81: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822-1823; Dresden, Germany 
8.
Der Freischütz, J 277: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817-1821; Dresden, Germany 
9.
Der Beherrscher der Geister: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1811 
10.
Abu Hassan, J 106: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1810-1811; Munich, Germany 

Sound Samples

Der Beherrscher der Geister (Ruler of Spirits), J. 122
Overture and Marches for Turandot, J. 75: Overture
Abu Hassan, J. 106: Overture
Der Freischutz, J. 277: Overture
Oberon, J. 306: Overture
Euryanthe, J. 291: Overture
Peter Schmoll und seine Nachbarn, J. 8: Overture
Preciosa, J. 279: Overture
Silvana, J. 87: Overture
Jubel-Overture, Op. 59, J. 245

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Almost breathless July 15, 2012 By D. Stewart (Flagstaff, AZ) See All My Reviews "These 10 Overtures are beautifully recorded in fine SACD sound, with the orchestra sounding clear and crisp, especially with the volume turned up. It is a tribute to all of the members that they can keep up with some of the almost ridiculously fast tempi. I prefer Roy Goodman and his Hanover Band with 8 of these Overtures, but you get Weber's two Symphonies, An Invitation to the Dance, and a Horn Conertino all in equally good sound, but not nearly as rushed." Report Abuse
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