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Hans Gál: Chamber Music for Clarinet - Clarinet Quintet, Op. 107; Trio for violin, cello & piano, Op. 97; Serenade for clarinet, violin & cello, Op. 93 / Ensemble Burletta

Album Summary

>Gál, Hans : Quintet for Clarinet and Strings for clarinet & string quartet, Op. 107
>Gál, Hans : Trio for violin, clarinet & piano, Op. 97
>Gál, Hans : Serenade for clarinet, violin & cello, Op. 93
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Like Brahms and Reger, Hans Gl (18901987) expressed some of his last musical thoughts in the form of a Clarinet Quintet, this one written when its composer was 87 years old. But the earlier works here the Serenade written in Vienna between Gls expulsion from Nazi Germany and his flight after the Anschluss, and the Trio, composed in his new home of Edinburgh reveal that its elegiac, autumnal lyricism was his natural mode of expression. In these three scores, indeed, he produced some of the loveliest music in the clarinet repertoire.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Bengrove House, Somerset, England (04/01/2016-04/02/2016); St. Peter's, Evercreech, Somerset (04/01/2016-04/02/2016); Wellington School, Somerset (04/01/2016-04/02/2016); Bengrove House, Somerset, England (04/18/2016-04/19/2016); St. Peter's, Evercreech, Somerset (04/18/2016-04/19/2016); Wellington School, Somerset (04/18/2016-04/19/2016); Bengrove House, Somerset, England (10/04/2015-10/05/2015); St. Peter's, Evercreech, Somerset (10/04/2015-10/05/2015); Wellington School, Somerset (10/04/2015-10/05/2015).



Reviews

Music for Clarinet Spans Career
Austrian composer Hans Gl had a promising career in the 1930s. His opera Die heilige Ente (premiered under George Szell) received multiple performances, he was appointed the director of the Mainz conservatory on the recommendations of Wilhelm Furtwngler and Richard Strauss, his compositions won awards and critical acclaim.

But it all disappeared once the Nazis rose to power. Because of his Jewish background, Gl's music was banned from performance. Gal fled to the UK, where he settled and remained.

While his music was performed during and after the war, it never achieved the same prominence it had in prewar Europe. Part of the reason was that Gl eschewed the move towards atonality, preferring to further develop his post-romantic style.

As the three works on this album show, that choice didn't make his music sound old-fashioned -- it just didn't sound new-fashioned.

The three clarinet works on this album span Gl's career. The Serenade for Clarinet, Violin, and Cello, Op. 93 of 1935 is wonderfully expressive, with a musical language that falls (to my ears) somewhere between that of Paul Hindemith and Max Reger.

The 1950 Trio for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano, Op. 97 further opens up Gl's harmonic language. While still firmly tonal, both melody and harmony take some unexpected turns that would have been out of place in Gal's prewar style.

The 1977 Clarinet Quintet, Op. 107 may sound very conservative to some, but listening carefully one can hear the growth in Gl's style. Some sections reminded me of Bartok, while others of Shostakovich.

The best way to enjoy music by Hans Gl? Don't worry about when it was written and try to put it into context. Just listen to it on its own terms. That's what I did -- and that's why I'll be seeking out more of Gl's music.

Submitted on 12/05/16 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Gál, Hans : Quintet for Clarinet and Strings for clarinet & string quartet, Op. 107
  • Performers: Nichola Blakey (Viola); Joanne Green (Violin); Katalin Kertesz (Violin); Shelley Levy (Clarinet); Cressida Nash (Cello)
  • Ensemble: Ensemble Burletta
  • Notes: St. Peter's, Evercreech, Somerset (04/18/2016-04/19/2016)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1977

>Gál, Hans : Trio for violin, clarinet & piano, Op. 97
  • Performers: Katalin Kertesz (Violin); Shelley Levy (Clarinet); Pavel Timofeyevsky (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Ensemble Burletta
  • Notes: Wellington School, Somerset (04/01/2016-04/02/2016)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1950

>Gál, Hans : Serenade for clarinet, violin & cello, Op. 93
  • Performers: Katalin Kertesz (Violin); Shelley Levy (Clarinet); Cressida Nash (Cello)
  • Ensemble: Ensemble Burletta
  • Notes: Bengrove House, Somerset, England (10/04/2015-10/05/2015)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1935