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CHAN 10236
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CHAN 10236

Strauss, R: Symphony No. 2/ Romanze/Six Songs

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2004

Originally recorded in 2003


Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Neeme Jarvi

Raphael Wallfisch


Eileen Hulse



Caird Hall, Dundee

Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

(other works)


Ralph Couzens


Janet Middlebrook

(Assistant: Romanze)

Richard Smoker

(Assistant: other works)

Ben Connellan

(other works)

Record Label
Chandos Classics


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 75:40
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Symphony No. 2, Op. 12

  in F minor - in f-Moll - en fa mineur  
1 I Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso 12:55
2 II Scherzo. Presto 7:13
3 III Andante cantabile 9:08
4 IV Finale. Allegro assai, molto appassionato 11:09

Romanze in F major*

  in F-Dur - en fa majeur  
  for Cello and Orchestra  
  Andante cantabile  

Six Songs, Op. 68†

6 1 An die Nacht 3:34
7 2 Ich wollt' ein Sträßlein binden 3:06
8 3 Säusle, liebe Myrthe 4:34
9 4 Als mir dein Lied erklang 3:47
10 5 Amor 3:21
11 6 Lied der Frauen 6:39
This notable new compilation will be of special interest to Strauss fans for it contains some of the composer’s earliest work. The charming, rarely recorded Second Symphony in F minor was premiered when the composer was just twenty and the rich and flowing Romanze in F major dates from a year earlier. It is generally acknowledged that Järvi’s accounts of Richard Strauss’s orchestral works rank amongst the finest available and here he works his usual magic to provide readings that have sweep, atmosphere and grandeur.

Chandos has recently re-issued many of its Strauss/Järvi recordings on its mid-price Classics label and retailers and public alike have been very glad to see them back in the catalogue.

With their flair and brilliance, the Six Preludes justifiably became regarded as among Lennox Berkeley’s finest piano works.They originated in a BBC commission for short pieces that could be performed as interludes between programmes (the BBC later dropped this idea). Berkeley intended the pieces to be playable by skilled amateurs and while two proved more difficult than he had envisaged, none requires a virtuoso pianist. Berkeley’s natural adroitness at developing thematic material is nowhere demonstrated better than in the Sonata, his most significant piano work.

Paysage was written to celebrate the liberation of France in 1944. Berkeley was partly of French ancestry so it was natural that he rejoiced at the end of Nazi domination in that country.

The pianist Colin Horsley was a major exponent of Berkeley’s work and the dedicatee of the virtuoso Concert Study in E flat major. He commissioned the witty Scherzo so that he could offer an encore after performances of the Six Preludes. The Three Mazurkas are Berkeley’s most overt homage to Chopin. The first dates from 1939 and has a sinister edge that may reflect the time of its composition. The other two were composed a decade later for the centenary commemoration of the death of Chopin.

The Improvisation on a Theme of Manuel de Falla was composed for inclusion in a celebratory album to mark the centenary of the founding of the publishing house J. & W. Chester. In it Berkeley alludes to a melody from Falla’s ballet El amor brujo.

Strange Meeting is the first of two works which Michael Berkeley has so far written for solo piano.The title refers to the poem by Wilfred Owen, with the first movement evoking the ‘strangeness’ of a meeting in the afterworld of a British and German soldier who, in life, had fought hand to hand.

Järvis Strauss series is an important set of recordings that will hold an honoured place alongside Chandos Prokofiev and Bax cycles.

Järvi paces the score with real mastery and gets very good playing from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra…
The Penguin Complete Guide to Compact Discs

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