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  • Complete Symphonies 1-3
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Complete Symphonies 1-3

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Audio CD, May 16, 2006
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 16, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CPO
  • ASIN: B000F6YWNK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,396 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Allegro
2. Molto Adagio
3. Risoluto
4. Finale
5. Molto Sostenuto
6. Tranquillo
7. Allegro Spirituoso
8. Maestoso
Disc: 2
1. Allegro 'Der Morgen'
2. Maestoso 'Der Tag'
3. Adagio 'Der Abend'
4. Agitato 'Die Nacht'
5. Etwas Ruhig, Tanzerisch/Lebhaft/Scheneller
6. Langsam
7. Schnell/Sehr Schnell

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

If it weren't a really bad pun, I'd say that the music of Pepping is peppy. Oops, I guess I just did say it. And it's mostly true, although a better adjective would be 'sunny.' There's something strangely endearing about the music of Ernst Pepping (1901-1981): although he was much younger than Mahler, and never knew him or studied with him, his music uses many of Mahler's gestures, at least in many passages, but it doesn't have the neurotic intensity of Mahler's in spite of the similar hyperchromaticism and dense polyphony. I find that refreshing. Make no mistake, I don't think his music has the greatness of Mahler's but it is neatly made, always interesting and displays mastery of melody, rhythm, harmony and counterpoint. There is, I suppose, a somewhat didactic quality to the music -- witness the classic forms, the use of fugal passages and the like -- but underneath one always detects a heart. Other influences: Nielsen's intentional gaucherie (those wide-interval slow tremolos, for instance), Bruckner's brass chorales.

To the degree that Pepping is known to the larger world, it is as a composer of sacred music -- although I have to confess I don't know any of it. Indeed this is the first music of Pepping's that I've ever heard. He was somewhat avant garde early on, and concentrated on sacred music afterwards, but for a period during and after the Second World War he concentrated on orchestral music. The three symphonies were written in a period of five years (1939, 1942, 1944) and are of a piece. The writer of the booklet notes attempts to make distinctions between the symphonies, but to my ears they are quite similar, not to mention consistently charming, heart-warming and utterly enjoyable.
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11 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Frank T. Manheim on January 14, 2007
I agree with Morrison'interesting review, that describes Pepping's music as having much in common with Mahler. Certainly this applies to Die Tageszeiten, with its kaleidoscopically metamorphosing romantic moods and orchestral colors. For more knowledgeable musicians, in tune with 20th Century music, this skilfully constructed music may offer stimulating extensions of Mahler as he may have sounded had he lived longer.

If I subject the symphonies to the "general music lover" test, I end up with the conclusion that Pepping's music suffers from the "futurist" constraint that blocks nearly all "serious music" composition in the 20th Century from a larger musical audience.

Yes, much of Pepping's composition has a luscious, intimate, late 19th Century romantic quality about it. I wouldn't class Pepping with neoromantic composers like Howard Hanson or Samuel Barber. But his music endlessly prepares the listener for satisfying melodic and harmonic resolutions that never come. The musical phrase is nearly there when it diverges off into a new phrase or mood. The promise it perpetually offers is never delivered to music lovers who are nonprofessionals and don't belong to the small circle of cognoscenti that occupy an elite status in today's society.


Whereas this kind of composition would seem to have nothing in common with musical styles like serial composition (Schoenberg), aleatoric or mathematically derived compositions (Cage), or aggressive use of dissonance that avoids tonal centers, in fact, it shares the most important characteristic for 20th Century composition accepted by the professional musical establishment: that it not generate active interest and engagement on the part of general musical audiences.
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