One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti


Guillaume LEKEU


Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Superior performance


Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons
Notable


Verdi Requiem Thielemann


Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital


Arnold Bax
Be converted


this terrific disc


John Buckley
one of my major discoveries


François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3

........................................

Bryden Thomson


Symphonies


Vaughan Williams Concertos


RVW Orchestral

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Availability

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)
Kampf und Sieg, Op.44 (1815) [33:51]
Symphony No.1, Op.19 (1807) [24:14]
Lisebeth Schmidt-Glanzel (soprano); Eva Fleischer (contralto); Gert Lutze (tenor); Hans Kramer (baritone)
Choir and Orchestra of Leipzig Radio /Herbert Kegel (Kampf und Sieg)
Leipzig Philharmonic Orchestra/Gerhard Pflüger (Symphony)
rec. c. 1954, Leipzig
Text in German
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1133 [58:07]

Fresh from the vaults of Urania come two recordings from mid-1950s Leipzig. This Weber diptych is certainly striking given the rarity value of his occasional cantata Kampf und Sieg written to celebrate victory in the Battle of Waterloo. It fits into the genre of the Battle Piece though Weber’s use of Johann Gottfried Wohlbrück’s text in the context of a cantata gives it a very personalised and individual slant. The martial elements, that were certainly a feature of orchestral and instrumental music previously, are certainly present here too but they are joined by a vocal quotient that inflates the battle theme yet further.

Though there are no notes in this restoration Forgotten Records has printed the text in German (only) and the music is fully tracked – an introduction followed by a succession of choruses, recitatives, a terzetto, a solo orchestral battle music scene and solo arias. The text is notably magnanimous, not at all cut-throat or bloodthirsty – though celebratory of the valorous Prussian contribution to victory at the battle.

33-minutes in this performance fly by. The Introduction is vivid, dramatic and appositely urgent, though Urania’s recording doesn’t flatter the Leipzig Radio Orchestra’s string section. The solo singers are a sonorous bunch – baritone Hans Kramer especially, even though he’s not always steady. The terzetto is well-balanced, the chorus focused and well placed in the balance. The winds are especially pleasing and characterful – the piccolo and percussion accompanying the Prussian infantry are especially vibrant, though the differentiation of the various elements of the army is also ingenious with some more stolid or saucy than others. Weber draws on his theatrical prowess for the battle scene but the chorus depicting the combatants of both sides is equally stirring and overtly quasi-operatic.

The obvious contemporary analogy is Beethoven’s Wellington's Victory. Of the two, Beethoven lauds Wellington whilst Weber, through Wohlbrück, salutes Blücher – though not by name. The apportioning of the spoils of victory is balanced and just. Weber’s occasional work probably deserves more than a very occasional hearing. Allowing for a few rough edges Herbert Kegel’s Leipzig performance, despite its age, is appropriately robust and intense.

In the companion work the Leipzig Philharmonic Orchestra is directed by Gerhard Pflüger in the Symphony No.1 of 1807. The recording is certainly brash and there’s a mighty echo after some tuttis but Pflüger, who is not much recalled these days, directs with plenty of robust no-nonsense directness. He also has the measure of Weber’s dramatic scheme in this taut work, bringing out the lyricism as well as the operatic drive with surety.

I’m not sure what the market is for a rarity such as this but I can say with confidence that the transfer is highly accomplished.

Jonathan Woolf
 


 

 



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger