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Johann Nepomuk David (1895-1977): Symphonies nos 1 & 6 / Johannes Wildner

Album Summary

>David, Johann Nepomuk : Symphony no 1 in A minor, Op. 18
>David, Johann Nepomuk : Symphony no 6, Op. 46
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Austrian symphonist Johann Nepomuk David's (1895-1977) music has been in urgent need of revival. Symphonic and sacred music formed the focal points of his oeuvre. David found and pursued his own unique harmonic path, marked by polyphony and strict counterpoint. 'His music demands in special measure active participation, a close listening;...it is in this way that it becomes possible to let oneself be moved by the music's deep emotional content.' - (excerpted from the CD booklet)

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Grosser Sendesaal, ORF Funkhaus (02/14/2011/02/15/2011); Grosser Sendesaal, ORF Funkhaus (2011-03-02&2011-03-08&2011-).



Reviews

A confluence of influences
Johann Nepomuk David's (1895-1977) was an Austrian composer, teacher, and conductor who managed to go his own way. As a young man he was fascinated by Bruckner and Mahler. He later became a devotee of Brahms, and in the 1930's studied with Arnold Schoenberg. But it was the music of Bach that remained his life-long obsession and inspiration.

All of those influences come together in David's music. The result isn't a mishmash of styles, but a unique sound that happily acknowledges its roots.

The Symphony No. 1 (1936) starts with a bold, simple theme. That theme grows and expands, as Schoenberg might develop a 12-tone motif. In this case, though, the development remains firmly grounded in tonality (albeit the expanded tonality of Mahler). Structurally, the work moves from event to event like Bruckner. But it's the rigorous counterpoint that provides development and overarching organization for the work.

Written in 1954, David's Sixth Symphony shows how far the composer progressed. The orchestration is more adventuresome, the harmonies more ambitious, and even the counterpoint sounds more relaxed and intuitively written. David never totally abandoned tonality, although this work has a more modal sound than the major/minor melodies of the first symphony.

Johannes Wildner and the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna perform these works with clarity and precision, making the counterpoint easy to follow. The ensemble has a warm, smooth sound that seem to give David's harmonies an added richness.

I found these symphonies quite appealing, and I think listeners who enjoy Zemlinksy, Reger, or Martinu might find them so as well.
Submitted on 05/15/14 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>David, Johann Nepomuk : Symphony no 1 in A minor, Op. 18
  • Conductor: Johannes Wildner
  • Ensemble: ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
  • Notes: Grosser Sendesaal, ORF Funkhaus (02/14/2011/02/15/2011); Grosser Sendesaal, ORF Funkhaus (2011-03-02&2011-03-08&2011-)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1936-1937

>David, Johann Nepomuk : Symphony no 6, Op. 46
  • Conductor: Johannes Wildner
  • Notes: Grosser Sendesaal, ORF Funkhaus (02/14/2011/02/15/2011); Grosser Sendesaal, ORF Funkhaus (2011-03-02&2011-03-08&2011-)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1954-1966