Notes & Reviews:
Van Gilse stood firmly on the foundations of tonal late romanticism and wrote music of dazzling beauty. After completing studies with Humperdinck at the Academic Master School (1905), van Gilse moved from Berlin to Bremen to begin his career as conductor of the local theater. Presumably inspired by Wagner's operas, performed many times at the Theater, in May of 1906, he began composing his 3rd symphony (Erhebung), as a work of large scope with soprano solos in its 3rd and 5th movements.
American Record Guide, September / October 2012
As heard in the release, CPO has recorded many fine Dutch symphonies (see Roentgen in this issue) and this one is near the top of the list in value. Maybe CPO will give us a modern recording of Holland's greatest symphony - Pijper's No. 3. The playing and singing are fine, and what I said about Porcelijn's conducting of the Roentgen symphonies applies as much here. I'm now at the stage where I'm interested to hear anything he conducts.
After the rather conservative first two symphonies, Jan van Gilse's Third Symphony comes as a refreshing surprise. Composed in the early years of the 20th century (1907), the subtitle "Elevation" presumably refers to the texts from the Song of Songs that feature in the third and fifth movements, sung by a solo soprano. Aside from the expanded number of movements, their arrangement is also highly unconventional: slow, fast, slow, scherzo, finale. The first movement is dark and sad, but more than merely preludial. The second is a passionate allegro with a hint of Strauss' Death and Transfiguration in it, while the third is a consoling and yes, "elevated" song. David Porcelijn turns in a typically committed and convincing performance with The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Unfortunately, soprano Aile Asszonyi has one of those voices that wobbles ferociously above mezzo forte, though she sings sensitively enough at softer dynamic levels. And let's face it: what truly great singer is going to bother to learn a totally unknown work for the single recorded performance it's ever likely to receive (unless lightning strikes and Gilse becomes a household name)? In other words, beggars can't be choosers, and the music is certainly worth hearing even with a few minor reservations. The engineering is warmly natural.
MusicWeb International, January 2013
A potently epic symphony. The music occupies a country to which Richard Strauss and Anton Bruckner had already laid claim...Asszonyi is a singer to be reckoned with and so is this extended love poem of a Symphony.
Recording information: Enschede Musikzentrum (07/07/2009-07/10/2009).
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Works Detailsvan Gilse, Jan : Symphony no 3 in D major ("Erhebung" / "Elevation")
- Conductor: David Porcelijn
- Ensemble: Netherlands Symphony Orchestra
- Notes: Enschede Musikzentrum (07/07/2009-07/10/2009)
- Running Time: 61 min. 36 sec.
- Period Time: Modern
- Form: Orchestral