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Carl Reinecke (1824-1910): Die wilden Schwäne, Op. 164, for soloists, womens chorus, harp, cello, 2 horns & piano / Schwanen-Ensemble, Hagen Enke

Album Summary

>Reinecke, Carl : Die wilden Schwäne, for soloists, female chorus, 2 horns, cello, harp & piano Op. 164
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

CPO has been active on behalf of Carl Reinecke for many years now, and our releases of selected concertos and chamber compositions by him have demonstrated that this often unappreciated composer may have modeled his music on Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms but did not copy them. Following our release of his Dornroeschen (Sleeping Beauty), our latest CD with Die Wilden Schwaene (The Wild Swans) after a poem based on hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale shows that genuine musical treasures may also be discovered in teh field of Reinecke's "Fairy-tale poems". This highly romantic music of the highest compositional craftsmanship seems destined once again to win our listeners' hearts. A single tone opens the music. Like a gong it announces the beginning of the enchantment, a journey into the world of legend transporting the lsitener to a romantic landscape with old castles in ruins and telling a story of day slong gone by. Two winding figures in the pianot reble ensue, and then it begins, the fairy-tale poem The Wild Swnas. After sixteen musical numbers it ends on the same basic tone on which it began, now naturally in the major color, for here the rule is "All's well that ends well!". Reinecke vividly and colorfully employs all sorts of different creatures in his rendering of the narrative - and the smaller the creatures, the livelier the music. The musical depiction of the two thrushes who help the mice during the liberation of the captive Elfriede is especially fascinating - but how they do come across: here the birds, vainglorious and self-lovingly haughty, are the bosses! Carl Reinecke adds some other instruments to the piano in what for him is an unusual combination: harp, two horns, and violoncello. The musical concentration producing overall cohesion and aunified effect is supplied by the piano. The Wild Swans, a little opera for a home setting, is also a work impressively demonstrating the great importance attached to private group performance in the middle-class world of the nineteenth century.

The Guardian, 27th March 2016
Their cheerful, mid-century style is appealing, with some deft crescendos and syncopated rhythms, but 18 short movements in a row is too much of a good thing. Christian Benda, the latest in the family line, conducts with vim, and the recording favours the bright Prague violins.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Musikhochschule, Detmold, Germany (02/2014).


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Works Details

>Reinecke, Carl : Die wilden Schwäne, for soloists, female chorus, 2 horns, cello, harp & piano Op. 164
  • Performer: Peter Kreutz (Piano)
  • Conductor: Hagen Enke
  • Ensemble: Schwanen-Ensemble
  • Running Time: 3 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic