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Hausegger: Natursymphonie [Hybrid SACD - DSD]

Siegmund von Hausegger , Ari Rasilainen , WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln , WDR Rundfunkchor Koeln Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Price: $14.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Performer: WDR Rundfunkchor Koeln
  • Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln
  • Conductor: Ari Rasilainen
  • Composer: Siegmund von Hausegger
  • Audio CD (April 29, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: Cpo Records
  • ASIN: B0013PS4AY
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,500 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Natursymphonie: 1st movement, Gehalten un mit Dehnung - schnell
2. Natursymphonie: 2nd movement, Langsam und gedehnt
3. Natursymphonie: 3rd movement, Stürmisch bewegt
4. Natursymphonie: 4th movement, Sehr breit, mit größter Kraft

Editorial Reviews

Review

If you're a fan of Mahler, Strauss, or late Romanticism in general, this disc is a must-listen. -- ClassicsToday.com, March 2008, David Hurwitz

The multi-channel (5.1) recording, a co-production between Westdeutscher Rundfunk and CPO, captures the fine acoustic of the Köln Philharmonie and accommodates the massive orchestral climaxes with ease while providing a spaciousness that undoubtedly enhances the lusty singing of the WDR Rundfunkchor in the finale. The important organ part is both heard and felt. Ari Rasilainen's vivid and committed performance and the superb playing of the WDR Sinfonieorchester ensure that this rare and impressive symphony is presented in the best possible light. The eight pages of Eckhardt van den Hoogen's entertaining, if somewhat discursive, booklet notes do provide helpful background information about both Hausegger and this work. If your taste leans towards Austro-German late-Romantic music and you are, perhaps, also enjoying CPO's superb on-going Weingartner series then this SACD is a must. It certainly deserves a top recommendation. -- SA_CD.net, Castor, May 2008

Product Description


Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
(6)
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
With huge, supplemented orchestral forces, including a choral army for the fourth movement finale, and the juxtaposition of what sound like marching band tunes with hymn-like string portions, this symphony comes as close to being Mahler's 11th since Hans Rott's lone symphony (except Rott preceded his fellow-student Mahler, and Mahler "borrowed" freely from Rott's work for some of his own symphonies). But while Hausegger's mammoth creation is enjoyable and worthy of an occasional performance by our major orchestras, its not of the caliber of Mahler, and as much as I like it, I would not say its a neglected masterpiece. Like Rott, the orchestration can be thick and congested, but also like Rott there's no lack of melodic ideas, although they don't always go someplace. The brass writing in the opening of the first movement and the scherzo, to my ears, had elements of Mahler's 7th & 9th. I thought the choral finale was uninspiring and anti-climactic.

In the last decade or so, I have been grateful to sample some of the other "undiscovered" romantic composers of the early to mid 20th century. If I place the highest praise on Richard Wetz and Felix Weingartner for their symphonies (which I will return to) and lukewarm applause for those of Halm, Tiessen and Hessenberg (which I won't), I'd have to place this Nature Symphony of Hausegger somewhere in between. I'll definitely listen to it again, and with pleasure. But I don't think its as good as the first two symphonies of Wetz, or the second of Weingartner. When Mahler famously told Sibelius that the symphony should contain the whole world, he may not have realized there was someone following in his footsteps. Give it a try, just expect more of Mahler's all-encompassing attempt at aural pantheism rather than Bruckner's piety.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome piece... but the caveat is not musical October 4, 2008
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By now, we all know that there are hardly any undiscovered masterpieces in classical music. But CPO should be congratulated for unearthing obscure orchestral repertoire in excellent performances and superb sound. The recording here is extaordinary, everything is revealed with quite a punch. So, if you like a complex canvas of instrumental and orchestral sound, you will love this; just don't expect the next 'mahlerian' masterpiece, as much as this sounds like it.

My caveat is not musical at all. It lies on the liner notes. CPO has been improving its production values to achieve a status of one-of-my-favorite labels. But, sometimes, they hire this pseudo-philosophers that, in true elitist germanic fashion, ramble on meaning and lose perspective of the true value of liner-notes. The writer seems to spend more time on von Hausseger's father(!) than on the composer himself. Little is told about the piece, its historical context or time of composition. Simply ridiculous.

I hope CPO reads this. All their magnificent work is obscured by writings that defy purpose, and translations that, sometimes, verge on the laughable. Otherwise, keep up the good work, because I'll keep on buying.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Sounds of Nature" March 8, 2009
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Some have said that Siegmund von Hausegger's Natursymphonie resembles the music of Gustav Mahler. True, Hausegger's life (1872-1948) does overlap the entire composing life of Mahler, but at least to me his music sounds far less complete nor is it as evocative of Nature as is Mahler's music.

I'm not in disagreement with the other reviews of this piece--they make some excellent points--especially the courageous comment about the pseudo-intellectual tone of the program notes, and the fine sound quality of this recording. I really wish you could see the program notes for the outrageous psychobabble they make about this piece--might be worth seeing, just to see those program notes.

I'm just trying to advise you that if you're expecting the kind of impressions of Nature that Mahler provides, you will not likely find them here.

The major problem is that Hausegger does not see his themes through the way that Mahler does. They sound nice individually, but there is no continuity; no variations on the themes he introduces. Additionally, (to me, at least) they do not sound like the "sounds of Nature" that are heard so often in Maher's music. But just because it's not like Mahler's Nature, doesn't mean to ignore it. Give it a try--you may well notice things I have missed.
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