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CHAN 5135
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CHAN 5135

Raff: Symphony No. 5/Overtures/Abends

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2014

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2013

Artists:

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande


Jarvi, Neeme



Venue:

Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland



Producer:

Brian Pidgeon



Engineer:

Ralph Couzens


Jonathan Cooper

(Assistant)

Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Orchestral & Concertos


Classical

Total Time - 80:02
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JOACHIM RAFF

(1822-1882)
   
1 

Overture to 'Dame Kobold', Op. 154 (1869)

6:48
  Comic Opera in Three Acts  
  Allegro - Andante - Tempo I - Poco più mosso  
2 

Abends, Op. 163b (1874)

5:21
  Rhapsody  
  Orchestration by the composer of the fifth movement from Piano Suite No. 6, Op. 163 (1871)  
  Moderato - Un poco agitato - Tempo I  
3 

Overture to 'Konig Alfred', WoO 14 (1848-49)

13:43
  Grand Heroic Opera in Four Acts  
  Andante maestoso - Doppio movimento, Allegro - Meno moto, quasi Marcia -  
4 

Prelude to 'Dornroschen', WoO 19 (1855)

6:06
  Fairy Tale Epic in Four Parts  
  Mäßig bewegt  
5 

Overture to 'Die Eifersuchtigen', WoO 54 (1881-82)

8:25
  Comic Opera in Three Acts  
  Andante - Allegro  
 

Symphony No. 5, Op. 177 'Lenore' (1872)

39:53  
  in E major - in E-Dur - en mi majeur  
  Erste Abtheilung. Liebesglück  
  (First Section. Joy of Love)  
6 Allegro 10:29
7 Andante quasi Larghetto 8:04
  Zweite Abtheilung. Trennung  
  (Second Section. Separation)  
8 Marsch-Tempo - Agitato 9:13
  Dritte Abtheilung. Wiedervereinigung im Tode  
  (Third Section. Reunion in Death)  
9 Introduction und Ballade (nach G. Bürger's 'Lenore'). 11:53
  Allegro - Un poco più mosso (quasi stretto)  
  Total Time 80:03      
   
 Jarvi, Neeme
  9 and 10 July 2013  


 This is the second volume in a series from Neeme Järvi and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande dedicated to the orchestral music of the Swiss-born composer Joachim Raff. Although he was a highly popular and prolific composer during his day, his works quickly fell out of the repertoire after his death and are largely forgotten today. The idiomatic performances by Neeme Järvi and his Swiss orchestra in Volume 1, described as ‘peerless’ by BBC Music (*****), suggest that they are the perfect performers to reinvigorate interest in Raff’s music.

 
This second volume features the rhapsody, Abends, and a number of overtures and preludes alongside Symphony No. 5. Subtitled Lenore, the fifth is one of Raff’s so-called programme symphonies, the only one based on a precise extra-musical source: Gottfried August Bürger’s poetic ballad of the same name. The shorter works show very different sides of Raff’s compositional personality. The grandiose Overture to König Alfred reflects the heroic/romantic nature of the opera’s story while the overtures to the comic operas Dame Kobold and Die Eifersüchtigen are full of humour and high spirits. Dornröschen is an oratorio based on the famous story of Briar Rose, or The Sleeping Beauty, by the brothers Grimm and its prelude has been recorded here.

 “… The prolific Raff is worth reviving, to judge by the inventive, vividly scored descriptive symphony on Bürger’s ballad Lenore, and one or two operatic overtures, included here and performed with great conviction by Järvi and co.”

 
David Cairns – The Sunday Times (Culture magazine) – 17 August 2014    

“…Järvi’s performance is an absolutely splendid one – both markedly more propulsive and, to my ears, more excitingly cogent than any other I have encountered, yet with no loss in terms of technical sophistication or affectionate glow. Playing of beguiling sheen also illuminates all five items with which the symphony has been most generously coupled… Chandos’s non-interventionist SACD production (which hails from Geneva’s acoustically superb Victoria Hall) wraps you in a warm cocoon of sound. Collectors with a sweet tooth will find this irresistible.”

Andrew Achenbach – Gramophone magazine – May 2014


 "... those coming to ’Leonore’  afresh should certainly make the Järvi their first option ... Both the spacious SACD sound (best played loud) and Dr Leichtling’s booklet notes are commensurate with those on the previous Chandos release, and on looks forward to the continuation of a notable series."

Richard Whitehouse - International Record Review - April 2014





*****
The second album in Neeme Järvi's cycle of Raff's symphonies (And who would have thought that a giant like Järvi even bothers with this neglected slice of German romanticism?!) showcases the composer's most famous symphony, No.5 ("Lenore", after a ballad by Bürger). Järvi was never a slouch, but in his autumn years he seems to be getting faster still: Indeed, his tempi in the "Lenore" are the fastest of any commercial recording. Järvi's account is the direct opposite of Bernard Herrmann's now-classic 1975 account (on Pye, later on Unicorn Kanchana) - and, frankly, the symphony seems just a tad rushed here and there. On the whole, however, Järvi's reading is very persuasive, and this is a generously filled album, superbly recorded.
T Muething