Notes & Reviews:
Avie’s advocacy of the music of Hans G? 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 Gal 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."
"This is very engaging music, as Gal's melodic invention and cultivated sound-world continuously captivate the ear. The bright first movement brims with neoclassical charm, while the slow movement offers tenderness spiked by wittily straying harmonies. Zehetmair's belief in this music--and his inspired direction--makes for a wholly convincing performance. Both works are captured in realistic, spacious sound. A most intriguing and rewarding disc!" -ClassicsToday (10/10)
BBC Music Magazine
It would be difficult to imagine a more persuasive and committed performance than that given by these players. Likewise, the Schubert is delivered with dynamism, charm and finesse
Zehetmair finds a mellifluous way of shaping melody while keeping the momentum virile and the music buoyant...the entire performance exudes a genuine delight in Schubert's palette of orchestral colours...Zehetmair's admirably structured account of the First Symphony and the Northern Sinfonia's luminous playing of it highlight a (then young) composer who had something to say and voiced it with sensibility and conviction.
International Record Review
Zehetmair seems to have a real feeling for [the Gál] and makes sure each movement is incisively and intensely characterized...the Schubert Sixth is an ideal foil and receives an equally delightful performance...Zehetmair and his orchestra expound it with palpable affection and the conductor keeps the music on a very taut rhythmic rein.
The performance of the Schubert is sunny, subtly shaped and full joy and spirit. Gál's creative energy is equally well observed. Though Gál maintained late Romantic leanings, his First Symphony shows him adapting them with considerable individuality, colour and fervour.
Compared to the melodic grace and light, ebullient charm of Schubert's work, Gál's seems a darker piece, perhaps reflective of his struggle to develop his own modernist approach outside serialism but as it progresses, it acquires a certain exuberant appeal.
The Arts Desk
Thomas Zehetmair's reading [of the Schubert] accentuates the occasional touches of drama - listen to the furious outburst just before the first movement's coda. But it's beautifully articulated and full of fun. Playing and recording are faultless." Graham Rickson.
Recording information: Hall One of The Sage Gateshead, England.
Internationally celebrated conductor Thomas Zehetmair, Music Director of Northern Sinfonia, presents the world-premiere recording of Hans Gál's Symphony No. 1, a bold and approachable orchestral statement, alongside Schubert's Symphony No. 6. The first of two recordings pairing the composers, the release showcases two ends of a great melodic tradition, presenting Gál's music alongside 19th-century symphonic repertoire that represents its roots and core values.
Gál's Symphony No.1 was not in fact his first - an earlier symphony had won the Austrian State prize in 1915, but it was later discarded, as was another. Gál finally considered this work, which won a Columbia Schubert Centenary Prize in 1928, to be his symphonic debut. The music speaks through its bold and persuasive conception and uninhibited climaxes, reflecting the composer's sense of truly having found his own voice. The writing is virtuosic and the orchestration colorful.
Featuring Northern Sinfonia in their spectacular venue Hall One of The Sage Gateshead, these recordings underscore Zehetmair's hallmark electrifying intensity, precision and vision.
This release continues Avie's ongoing celebration of the music of Hans Gál, following highly acclaimed releases of the complete works for solo piano by Leon McCawley, chamber works for Violin and Piano featuring Annette-Barbara Vogel and concertante works for violin and orchestra, also with Vogel, and Kenneth Woods conducting Northern Sinfonia.
Submitted on 08/04/11 by bj
Hans Gál: Symphony No. 3; Schumann: Symphony No. 3 / Woods
Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection' / Jurowski
Ysaye: 6 Sonatas for Violin Solo / Ingolfsson
Mahler: Symphony No. 8 / Tennstedt
Come to the River / Apollo's Fire
Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 1 & 4 / Trpceski
Fauré: Complete Barcarolles; Trois Romances Sans Paroles / Charles Owen, piano
Vivaldi: French Connection 2
Mahler: Symphony No. 8 / Bertrand De Billy
Works DetailsSchubert, Franz : Symphony no 6 in C major, D 589 "Little C Major"
- Conductor: Thomas Zehetmair
- Notes: Hall One of The Sage Gateshead, England (11/18/2009-11/19/2009)
- Running Time: 31 min. 23 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Orchestral
- Written: 1817-1818
Hans Gál (1890 - 1987) : Symphony no 1 in D major, Op. 30
- Conductor: Thomas Zehetmair
- Notes: Hall One of The Sage Gateshead, England (09/27/2010-09/28/2010)
- Running Time: 29 min. 3 sec.
- Period Time: Post Romantic
- Form: Orchestral
- Written: 1927