‘Yes, he is so related to my very self that he and I are like two fruits from the same tree, produced by the same soil and fed by the same air.’ (Gustav Mahler) The premiere of the Symphony No. 1 in E major by Hans Rott, written more than 100 years earlier, in 1989 introduced the international music world to a composer who had been unknown or known only by name even to most pundits. His colleagues and friends included the one or two-year younger composers Gustav Mahler and Hugo Wolf. Besides Wagner, Bruckner was the most important model for Rott’s first symphonic work. The symphony is the summum opus the not quite twenty-year-old left behind. It is his first and final finished major work. It is the synthesis of what he had written to date and a proclamation of what might have come.
Christopher Ward is a young and ambitious conductor who already has a burgeoning CV, especially in opera. I hope that he continues also to tackle rare repertoire like this, as, on the whole, he has delved deep inside the character and style of this composer and I’m sure, with the help of such a fine orchestra as the Gürzenich he can do so again.
– MusicWeb International