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Weingartner: Symphony No.2 Hybrid SACD - DSD


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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, January 17, 2006
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Sinfonieorchester Basel
  • Conductor: Marko Letonja
  • Composer: Felix Weingartner
  • Audio CD (January 17, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: CPO
  • ASIN: B000CGYO9A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,499 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Das Gefilde Der Seligen Op.21 (Symphonic Poem)
2. Lento-Allegro Mosso
3. Allegro Giocoso
4. Adagio, Ma Non Troppo
5. Lento-Allegro Risoluto

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
He had a great sense of line and proportion.
K.J. McGilp
In this symphony he seems to be writing the totality of all the great music that had gone before.
Kenneth Gilman
And two of his best pieces are on this disc.
JJA Kiefte

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Red Cedar on June 18, 2009
What I like about Weingartner's symphonies is his terrific understanding of orchestration. His use of instrumental combinations is especially masterly. What he lacks in originality, he gains in his confident handling of his music and form. I would describe his orchestration like Mahler's (combinations of woodwinds, strings). His thematic development unfolds slowly and dramatically in the way Bruckner does (and without the incessant tromolos!). For all of his other strengths, Weingarter does not succeed in creating memorable or powerful themes. The best ones he achieves are functional and pleasant. In response to the reviewer that criticises his music as merely derivative, a wholesale dismissal on those grounds is unwarranted and harsh. While it is true, Weingarter is not very original, there is much else to satisfy the sophisticated listener. The question should be, why listen only to the first water? The war horses of pops concerts and Beethoven symphonies is just not nourishing enough for listeners who desire freshness in their musical diets.

I wish I could here his works live in concert. That would be a real treat.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K.J. McGilp on August 23, 2010
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The great conductor Felix Weingartner composed plenty of music. This recording of his symphonic poem Das Gefilde der Seligen, is wonderful. Think of Schubert, Liszt, Mahler, Bruckner, R. Strauss, Beethoven and keep going! The symphony number 2 has these influences as well, but it goes further into Weingartner's personal style. If you may be growing a bit weary of the old warhorses but want to hear music that warms your soul only the way... say.....Brahms can, I can't recommend this recording enough. Weingartner was a brilliant orchestrator. He had a great sense of line and proportion. One wonderful theme follows the other in a seemless tapestry of color and expression. The CPO recording (hybrid multichannel) is compatible with SACD and regular CD players. Soundwise, it is one of the finest recordings I have ever heard. Conductor Marko Letonja and the Sifoniorchester Basel are stellar in every way. These are lovingly warm and life affirming performances.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Gilman on February 21, 2007
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This is not just the best of the four Weingartner symphonies so far recorded, it's one of the best symphonies ever written. As one of the great conductors of all time, Weingartner was fully familiar with all the great music of Western civilization. In this symphony he seems to be writing the totality of all the great music that had gone before. I don't mean to say it's derivative, but rather it's the summation of all that's great & beautiful in Wastern music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G.D. TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 19, 2011
Felix Weingartner is of course primarily known as one of the greatest conductors of all time, and while his compositional language is - as expected - rather conservative and the music is excellently scored, the music in this invaluable series from CPO reveals him as a composer of some substance (and his output was surely substantial, comprising nine operas and seven symphonies among much other music including a rather famous orchestration of Beethoven's Hammerklavier sonata). In fact, the disc at hand is probably the place to start for those wishing to explore his output, containing his perhaps strongest symphony coupled wth a gorgeous symphonic poem.

The symphonic poem in question, Das Gefilde der Seligen (translated as `The Elysian Fields'), was inspired by a Böcklin painting and written partially as a response to the existential drama and turmoil of Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra. It lasts for a notable 23 minutes, which is long given the generally pastoral, solemn, blissful content. But it doesn't for a moment fail to engage the listener. This is a vast, gorgeous, opulently scored, spacious work depicting heaven in wonderfully solemn, majestic chorales and breath-taking climaxes. The thematic material is wonderful and thoroughly memorable, and the scoring absolutely magnificent. In short, I count this as one of the most impressive and rewarding works I have heard in a long time.

Weingartner's second symphony is an almost equally rewarding work, and as far as I can tell the strongest symphony he wrote. Compared to his first effort in the genre the second symphony is far more epic, almost Brucknerian at times, granitic and formally coherent - the repetitions of the thematic material here seems to bolster the structure rather than making them diffuse.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hegelian on September 11, 2009
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I am surprised at the extravagant praise here on Amazon for Weingartner's Second Symphony: one of the best symphonies of all time, should be in the standard repertoire alonside Dvorak and Tchaikovsky, etc. In truth, this is better than the First Symphony, but it's no masterpiece. Repetition substitutes for development, melodies are unmemorable, and I would characterize the piece as a whole as workman-like rather than inspired. The tone poem (Das Gefilde der Seligen) starts well, but an insipid theme is introduced and mercilessly repeated, guaranteeing that I, anyway, will never listen to it again. That said, it's impossible to imagine these modest pieces presented in better performances or recordings (hence the four stars). If you like earlier installments in this series, get this one; otherwise, try other late romantic composers like Franz Schmidt, Alfven, Reger, the early Wellesz....
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