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Robert Fuchs: Serenades Nos. 3, 4 and 5 / Cologne CO, Ludwig

Audio Samples

>Fuchs, Robert : Serenade for string orchestra no 3 in E minor, Op. 21
>Fuchs, Robert : Serenade for string orchestra & 2 horns no 4 in G minor, Op. 51
>Fuchs, Robert : Serenade for small orchestra no 5 in D major, Op. 53

Album Summary

>Fuchs, Robert : Serenade for string orchestra no 3 in E minor, Op. 21
>Fuchs, Robert : Serenade for string orchestra & 2 horns no 4 in G minor, Op. 51
>Fuchs, Robert : Serenade for small orchestra no 5 in D major, Op. 53
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

'A richly endowed composer, selfless teacher, and a rare human being' proclaims Robert Fuchs' memorial stone, and this esteem is reflected in his astonishing roster of pupils - Mahler, Sibelius, Wolf and Korngold among them. His own compositions, though, have been overlooked, unaccountably so on the evidence of these lovely Serenades. The Thirdis quite Brahmsian with a wonderfully bracing Hungarian finale. No. 4 is a highly expressive and richly scored work, whilst No. 5 casts its net yet wider - with anticipations of Mahler, and joyous references to the Vienna of the Strauss family. Serenades Nos. 1 and 2 are available on Naxos 8.572222. Sales Points: Robert Fuchs was one of the most important of all compositional teachers, but his own works have long been undervalued. Some of the chamber works have begun to receive praise in new recordings, and the Serenades should cement Fuchs' position still further. He shows the influence of Brahms but also seems to foretell something of Mahler (whom he taught) as well. Serenade No 3 has been recorded, along with No 2 and the Andante Grazioso on Ebs, back in 2000. This has received minimal publicity. CPO recorded No 5 back in 2004 but coupled it with Fuchs' Piano Concerto. Our disc focuses on the Serenades in a unique coupling. Currently Principal Conductor of the Gwangju Symphony Orchestra in South Korea, Christian Ludwig served as artistic director of the Cologne Chamber Orchestra from 2008 to 2011, conducting the orchestra at major venues in Paris, Munich, Rome and Cologne.

ClassicsToday, April 2012
This second disc concludes Naxos' survey of Robert Fuchs' complete serenades, and it's just as delightful as the first. Serenade No. 3, for strings, features an irresistibly catchy third-movement march, and a fiery finale in the Hungarian style. The Fourth Serenade, in five movements... All of the works feature a movement described as "grazioso", but the Allegretto grazioso of this piece particularly lives up to its title. The Fifth Serenade... has an unforgettably witty finale in which the players seem to want to play the waltz from Die Fledermaus, but can't quite remember how it goes, so they dance on with their own slightly tipsy tune...

The performances are as perfect as we have any right to ask. Christian Ludwig paces each piece with an unerring feel for the music's often balletic grace, while the slow movements never bog down in cloying sentiment. The Cologne Chamber Orchestra plays with clean rhythms, excellent intonation, and (in the latter works) notably transparent balances between strings and winds. This is music of very high quality. It bears repetition well, and will charm you and your musical friends for years to come. It deserves a place in every serious collection.

Fanfare Magazine
There is much to enjoy here in these untroubled, easygoing works. Advocating on their behalf are a conductor, an orchestra, and a record label that strongly believe in them, and on two budget-priced CDs you can now have excellent modern recordings of all five of Fuchs's endearing serenades.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
Robert Fuchs (1847-1927) is better known as a musical pedagogue than as a composer. He was a professor at the Vienna Conservatory where he taught at least two generations of composers including Mahler, Sibelius, Richard Strauss, Wolf, Schreker, Korngold, and Zemlinsky. He was a friend of Brahms, who apparently encouraged his efforts at musical composition. But Fuchs's music gradually lost popularity in the 1920s and is only now coming back, thanks no doubt to CDs. His serenades (he wrote five) were among his most played works, but that's not saying much. This is the first recording, as far as I know, of Serenades 3 and 4. A recording of Serenade 5 was reviewed by Mr Althouse (J/A 2004) and of Serenades 1 and 2 by Mr O'Connor (J/A 2011).

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Deutschlandfunk, Sendesaal des Funkhauses, Cologne, Ger.



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Works Details

>Fuchs, Robert : Serenade for string orchestra no 3 in E minor, Op. 21
  • Conductor: Christian Ludwig
  • Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
  • Notes: Deutschlandfunk, Sendesaal des Funkhauses, Cologne, Germany (03/05/2009-03/06/2009)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Fuchs, Robert : Serenade for string orchestra & 2 horns no 4 in G minor, Op. 51
  • Conductor: Christian Ludwig
  • Notes: Deutschlandfunk, Sendesaal des Funkhauses, Cologne, Germany (05/06/2010-05/08/2010)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Fuchs, Robert : Serenade for small orchestra no 5 in D major, Op. 53
  • Conductor: Christian Ludwig
  • Notes: Deutschlandfunk, Sendesaal des Funkhauses, Cologne, Germany (01/10/2010-01/12/2010)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic