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Wilms: Symphonies No 6 & 7 / Ehrhardt, Concerto Köln

Release Date: 08/10/2004 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 474508   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Wilhelm Wilms
Conductor:  Werner Ehrhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This interesting disc introduces the two last symphonies of Johann Wilhelm Wilms (1772-1847), a noted Dutch composer who achieved international fame in his day. The two works here date from about 1820 and 1830 respectively. Symphony No. 6 requires the standard orchestra of double winds, horns, and trumpet, with strings and timpani, while No. 7 adds another two horns and three trombones. Each work lasts half an hour and offers the traditional stormy minor-to-triumphant-major tonal progress, though No. 7 is far more trenchant and powerful in this respect. Mozart and Haydn hang heavily over this music, more so than Beethoven, and if you enjoyed CPO's series of Ries symphonies, or perhaps Nils Gade, then you doubtless will like these as much, Read more if not more.

Wilms was adept at musical gestures: both works open impressively, have interesting scherzos, and offer outer movements where rhetorically grand statements alternate with somewhat bland contrasting material. Thus, the concluding Rondo of the Sixth Symphony has lots of charm but exhibits little in the way of drama (as we have come to expect from Beethoven, who, judging from this and other contemporary competition, really did blow everyone else away). The slow movements also have charm, if not much depth, but the music's vigor and contrast certainly will hold your attention, and I found getting to know this music a very enjoyable encounter.

The performances are very good, although I still do not believe that the vibratoless string sound cultivated here was considered normal or attractive at any period in musical history, and the brass tend to blast at climaxes (some will find this exciting; I would prefer a larger string section to balance out the volume). Also, Werner Ehrhardt's heavy tempo in Symphony No. 7's concluding Allegro does not strike me as terribly "con fuoco" as Wilms directs, but in all other respects these enthusiastic readings make a good case for a composer who certainly had some attractive ideas. I would be very interested in hearing some of his (reportedly numerous) concertos, and meanwhile can recommend this without hesitation as a genuine novelty.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony in D minor, Op. 58 by Johann Wilhelm Wilms
Conductor:  Werner Ehrhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Netherlands (Holland 
Symphony no 7 in C minor by Johann Wilhelm Wilms
Conductor:  Werner Ehrhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830s; Amsterdam, Netherlan 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Straight Outta Beethoven March 1, 2019 By STEVE SIEGELBAUM S. (Bronx, NY) See All My Reviews "These are not great symphonies. For that, we all know where to go. But if you are interested in discovering - as I did - an unjustly neglected, contemporary of Beethoven, I can heartily recommend these two symphonies. Yes, you'll hear a good number of Beethovenian touches (a good thing for sure!), but the lack of game-changing originality does not detract from the enjoyment these two works provide. And the Concerto Köln plays them wonderfully." Report Abuse
 Don't bother. Worthless compositions, slightly ir October 13, 2016 By Jean F  T. (Washington, DC) See All My Reviews "The most boring, derivative symphonies I ever heard! Gestures indeed! Tha's alll there is here, fake Haydn, fake many others of the period> Thank god for Hummel and Spohr! Nowhere near early Beethoven Symphonies etither... An irritating Hodge Podge pf banalities... Thank you for nothing! Enthusiastic performances but without distinction. A disapointing and slightly irritating offering." Report Abuse
 Little Known Gem November 3, 2015 By Daniel Cragg (Bopwie, MD) See All My Reviews "I was not familiar with Wims until I heard his 6th Symphony being played on the radio. I enjoyed this CD a lot. A warning: This 2004 Deutsche Grammophone recording does not play on all systems in particular my Bose Wave System. It does play on my car audio system, so this purchase was not a loss to me but prospective buyers should be made aware of this technical difficulty in advance of purchase. Same applies to St, Mark Passion & Magnificats in C & G." Report Abuse
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