Sutermeister: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1
Label: TOCCATA CLASSICS
Format: COMPACT DISC
Cathomas, Bruno; Held, Rainer; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Heinrich Sutermeister (1910–95) belongs to the generation of Swiss composers after Bloch, Honegger, Martin and Schoeck. The runaway success of his operatic version of Romeo and Juliet – in the 1950s it was the most widely produced modern opera after Der Rosenkavalier – soon spread his reputation far afield, and conductors as prominent as Böhm, Karajan and Sawallisch championed his works. Although his star has waned in the quarter-century since his death, the four orchestral works recorded here – ranging from the dramatic suite he drew from that first Shakespearean operatic success via the easy-going charm of two lighter suites to his deeply felt response to the Swiss landscape – bring a salutary reminder of why his music appeals so directly to its audiences. This generously filled recording (it’s over 87 minutes in length) is the first in a project where Rainer Held will be recording unknown Swiss orchestral repertoire for release on Toccata Classics.