Frommel: Symphony No. 1 & Symphonic Prelude
Bruns, Jürgen; Jena Philharmonic Orchestra
Music in the tempest of the times: If we seek to deal with Gerhard Frommel’s personality and music (a master pupil of Hans Pfitzner) in greater depth, as in the case of many other German composers of his generation, we cannot avoid going into the historical and political events and the underlying active and reactive behavior of the individual. Concepts like opportunism or passive obedience come readily to mind, but they fall short of the truth, if we were not direct contemporary witnesses. His position during the years 1933-45 becomes all the more salient as regards the works recorded here, both of which were written at that time. Many things sound familiar; Wagner, Bruckner and other elements from the past stand out trenchantly, ‘For me, the 1st Symphony is at the centre of my oeuvre.’ Frommel says. The score reached Wilhelm Furtwängler, who then scheduled its premiere with the Vienna Philharmonic for the autumn of 1942.