Lachner: Symphony No. 3, Op. 41 & Festival Overtur
Schmalfuss, Gernot; Evergreen Symphony Orchestra
Franz Lachner was a very productive composer. His work catalogue registers almost two hundred opus numbers representing practically all the important musical genres. Stylistically, Lachner was influenced by Beethoven and Spohr, by Meyerbeer, and above all by Franz Schubert. His music is distinguished by a sovereign command of form and above all by counterpoint. This month cpo is releasing the world premiere recordings of two of his symphonic works. Lachner composed his Symphony No. 3 between the spring of 1833 and April 1834, and after its premiere it was enthusiastically received and reviewed. The Vienna correspondent of the Leipziger Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung celebrated the work emphatically as the “bold product of an imagination of youthful fire moderated by the laws of eternal truth and beauty; a conglomerate of harmonic art and melodic delightfulness, an appealing interplay of pathos and melancholy, of mirth and yearning, of gloomy lament and triumphant jubilation. Everything, however, is spun with golden threads of ordering unity and firmly guiding clarity.” This work lasting approximately fifty minutes may be extraordinarily long, but its length does not come from redundant passages or unnecessary repetitions. Instead it is the logical consequence of a formal architectonic design operating with generously dimensioned thematic blocks such as they again are encountered – of course much more strictly elaborated – in the symphonies of Anton Bruckner. The Festive Overture in E flat major, which remained unpublished, is dated “22 February 1864” in the autograph. Although the autograph does not indicate a specific occasion for the Festive Overture, its composition might have had something to do with the wedding of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria. A recording marking the rediscovery of an important German composer of the nineteenth century!