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Flury: Fastnachtssinfonie, Waldsinfonie / Flury, Burkhard, Orchestra Della Radio Swizzera Italiana

Release Date: 06/11/2013 
Label:  Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog #: 1397   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard Flury
Conductor:  Paul BurkhardRichard Flury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

FLURY Fastnachtssinfonie. 1,3 Waldsinfonie. 1,4 Altisberg-Suite 2,3 1 Richard Flury, cond; 2 Paul Burkhard, cond; 3 Beromünster Studio O; 4 Swiss-Italian RO GALLO 1397, mono (69:00) Live: Read more Beromünster 1/1954 & Zurich 7/9/1959

For me, personally, opening up a booklet on the music of a composer I’ve never heard before and seeing a warm letter of congratulation to that composer from Franz Lehár is akin to reviewing a big band album and finding a letter of congratulations from Sammy Kaye. It’s not that, technically, the music of Lehár or Kaye is insufficient; on the contrary, it is sweet and tuneful and popular (or was, at least, once). But sweet, tuneful, and popular is not what I want to hear in my music. Fortunately, as one goes further along in the booklet, there are also warm letters of praise from Felix Weingartner and Pablo Casals, who are musicians I admire much more than Sammy Kaye.

As the notes describe, Richard Flury (1896-1967) was a Swiss composer who studied music, art history, and philosophy for seven semesters. He also studied conducting with Weingartner and composition with Joseph Marx. He became a violin teacher in Solothurn, and conducted the orchestra in that city for 30 years, concurrently also working as conductor of orchestras in Zurich and Gerlafingen. He was, like Lehár, most definitely a composer of the late-romantic school, his works being as much out of step with modern developments as the piano music of British composer York Bowen. His principal orchestral compositions include five numbered symphonies, three one-movement symphonic poems (the Fasnachtssinfonie or Carnival Symphony, the Poème Nocturne, and the Waldsinfonie or Forest Symphony ). Weingartner conducted the Carnival Symphony in a subscription concert in Basel in 1931, and Hermann Scherchen conducted both of these symphonies on Zurich radio in the 1940s.

These pieces are tuneful, lively, and yet well written, much like the more famous Swedish Rhapsody of Stenhammar. Being light music does not always mean that the music is poor or uninteresting, and as it turns out, Flury’s music has a certain cheerfulness that does not preclude the fact that it has several passages of substance. Moreover, Flury seems to have developed a style peculiarly his own, owing something to the music of Grieg and early Richard Strauss yet really sounding like neither. There is a wonderful sense of organic wholeness to the one-movement symphonies and a nice balance in the Altisberg-Suite that reminds one of Grieg’s Norwegian Dances . One thing that impressed me strongly while listening was the absolutely splendid sound quality of these radio transcriptions: listened to through headphones, they almost seem to have a real stereo separation between the two channels, even in the 1954 broadcasts.

As long as one realizes that these are, indeed, “pops concert” selections by Flury, then, the listener will not be disappointed. This is an excellent recording, both technically and performance-wise, and if you enjoy this sort of music you will not be disappointed.

FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

Fastnachtssinfonie by Richard Flury
Conductor:  Paul Burkhard,  Richard Flury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928 
Waldsinfonie by Richard Flury
Conductor:  Paul Burkhard,  Richard Flury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942 
Altisberg Suite by Richard Flury
Conductor:  Paul Burkhard,  Richard Flury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953 

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