Reznicek: Symphony No. 1, Four Songs (beerman)

Album cover art for upc 761203722327
Label: CPO
Catalog: 7772232
Format: CD

Marina Prudenskaja, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Frank Beermann

Pathological symbol (D minor, East African original melody). Varied in the manner of an idée fixe, a compulsive idea constantly recurring in a thousand forms. Gleam of hope (female), C sharp major and D flat major, madness, collapse, catastrophe (tam-tam beat). The end.« It was thus that Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek concisely but impressively described the content of the conclusion of his first symphony on the occasion of its premiere. This description sounds very much like a program (while actually already suggesting the film medium), and that is exactly how it is supposed to sound: »The present symphony is intended as absolute music, which, without a program, merely with a ‘tragic’ signature, is to bring about understanding for the psychological-dramatic development of a character symbolized by the first theme.« So then, a case of not-only-this-but-also-that. The composing chameleon Reznicek dons all sorts of colors in his first symphony – and all of them are his true colors! The symphony was regarded as lost for ninety years. We can be happy that it resurfaced during the 1980s, but the whereabouts of some other works by him unfortunately continue to be a mystery.

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