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Schreker: Orchestral & Choral Music / Gulke, WDR Sinfonieorchester & Chor Koln

Schreker / Gulke / Cgro
Release Date: 06/28/2011 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94237   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz SchrekerHugo Wolf
Performer:  Peter DickeGert Westphal
Conductor:  Peter Gülke
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony OrchestraCologne West German Radio Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Franz Schreker (1878-1934) is known for his quirky and effective operas, and this two-disc set fills in his fascinating background as a vocal and orchestral composer around the beginning of the 20th century."

- The Observer, [July 3, 2011]

The music of late-romantic Viennese composer Franz Schreker was largely forgotten by the end of World War Two, but there has recently been a revival in interest in his work. Fundamentally a theatre composer, he is most famous for his operas, but he composed in other genres and this 2-CD set shows his fine capabilities in orchestral and vocal music.

His only symphony (Symphony in A minor) was written when he was a student at the Vienna
Read more Conservatory, and hints at the talent that would emerge in later years. The symphony was not performed until 1999, a hundred years after it was written, because the manuscript had long been lost. When it was rediscovered the last movement had disappeared and that is how it is now performed. The richly-textured choral/orchestral setting of Psalm 116 was Schreker's graduation piece and shows the influence of Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem. Another early work is the romantic Schwanengesang Op.111 for mixed chorus and orchestra, to a text by his friend and regular librettist Dora Leen. The exotic monodrama Das Weib des Intasphernes, his last dramatic work, uses a text by Eduard Stucken based on a horrifying Persian fable. It demonstrates his ability to embody words with maximum harmonic and textural intensity, similar in many ways to the gifts of Hugo Wolf, and in fact Schreker orchestrated two of Wolf's Eichendorff Leider. His ability with orchestral colour can be seen in the sensous Funf Gesänge, set to five poems based on the Arabian Nights, with its imaginative use of harps, celesta and muted brass. The last two pieces are dances. Festwalzer und Walzerintermezzo is very reminiscent of Johann Strauss and is based on the Austrian National Hymn. Tanzspiel links his 20th-century style with the graceful design of Baroque and Neoclassical forms.
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony in A minor, Op. 1 by Franz Schreker
Conductor:  Peter Gülke
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
2. Psalm 116, Op. 6 by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Peter Dicke (Organ)
Conductor:  Peter Gülke
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Chorus,  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900; Vienna, Austria 
3. Das Weib des Intaphernes by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Gert Westphal (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Peter Gülke
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; Berlin, Germany 
4. Festwalzer und Walzerintermezzo by Franz Schreker
Conductor:  Peter Gülke
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1908; Vienna, Austria 
5. Schwanensang, Op. 11 by Franz Schreker
Conductor:  Peter Gülke
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902; Vienna, Austria 
6. Eichendorff Lieder: no 3, Verschwiegene Liebe by Hugo Wolf
Conductor:  Peter Gülke
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranged by Franz Schreker. 
7. Eichendorff Lieder: no 12, Heimweh by Hugo Wolf
Conductor:  Peter Gülke
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranged by Franz Schreker. 

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