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Hans Gál: Symphony No. 1 / Schubert: Symphony No. 6
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Avie s advocacy of the music of Hans Gál has the classical music world taking
notice it is music well worth championing, according to The Sunday Times.
Following a survey of the complete works for solo piano, and last year s
acclaimed releases of chamber works for violin and piano, Avie continues
exploring the composer s oeuvre with the world-premiere recording of his
Symphony No. 1, with Gramophone Award winner Thomas Zehetmair
conducting Northern Sinfonia. This is paired with Franz Schubert s Symphony
No. 6, as Gál was an acknowledged scholar of his 19th century forbearer who
penned the book Franz Schubert and the Essence of Melody, leading some to
consider the composers kindred spirits.
Gloriously tuneful late-Romantic masterworks ... music that compels attention. --Gramophone
Plenty of rich tonal harmony and adventurous harmonic excursion, together
with a ripe sense of the lyrical. --The Sunday Times
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 4.02 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Avie
- Original Release Date : 2011
- Date First Available : February 25, 2011
- Label : Avie
- ASIN : B004P8R9HA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #167,903 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
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Completed in 1927, Gál’s First Symphony is filled with the exuberance of a man at the height of his fame. The work was awarded a prize in the 1928 International Columbia Graphophone Competition commemorating the 100th anniversary of Schubert’s death and was performed in Vienna and in cities throughout Germany in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The fact that it took more than eighty years to record the work can be attributed to several factors, most notably the 1933 Nazi ban on the performance and publication of music by Jewish composers and the mischaracterization of Gál’s music as “old-fashioned” by certain proponents of the avant garde.
Rob Cowan, host of the BBC3’s Sunday Morning, describes Symphony No. 1 as “busy, beautifully crafted, and teeming with memorable ideas.” Gál’s mastery of contrapuntal writing is evident in the first movement, and Zehetmair’s attention to detail is admirable. Gál’s Haydnesque sense of humor is revealed in the lighter second movement, Burleske. Although Gál had an unwavering commitment to tonality, he, like his compatriots Mahler and Zemlinsky, pushes the limit at times in the heartfelt Elegie which features several lovely solos. Zehetmair’s keen sense of pacing keeps the movement from becoming overly sentimental. The fourth movement, Rondo, begins with a mischievous trumpet call that sets the tone for the energetic finale.
Gál was a great admirer of Schubert. Both men had a gift for lyricism and a devotion to formal clarity. The artful pairing of the two composers symbolizes the beginning and end of an era. In this recording, Zehetmair imbues Schubert’s Symphony No. 6, the Little C major, with elegance and grace and a hint of passion that comes to full flower in Schubert’s later symphonies. Kudos to Simon Fox- Gál for the superb quality of the recording. Highly recommended.