Roland Barber: Richard Wetz Symphony 1

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Music Factory DirectRichard Wetz - Symphony No. 1 in C Minor Op. 40 (1924)
Conducted by Roland Barber with the Кracow Philharmonic.

I. Ruhig bewegt - anfangs etwas gehalten - 00:00
II. Scherzo: Leicht bewegt, aber nicht zu schnell - 19:46
III. Sehr langsam und ausdrucksvoll - 30:58
IV. Finale: Kraftig und entschieden bewegt - 43:36

"Premiered by Liszt-scholar/archivist Peter Raabe, the first symphony op. 40, in c, begins over a quiet and expectant rhythmic pulse, out of which develops naturally the movement's long-breathed main theme. Particularly notable in this movement is a dissonant clash around fifteen minutes in, which leads to an expansive outburst of the second theme. After the recapitulation subsides into the more active coda, we are in a very different place. Frenetic downward scale fragments based on one of the subsidiary themes dispel any leisureliness from the forward motion of the work, and over them, increasingly urgent reminiscences of that same theme provoke first a collision, then two maestoso restatements, and ultimately resolution into several triumphant C major chords, and a pause... followed by repeated, insistent, and very final minor-third descents of Eb-C, the last C held unisono."

"The scherzo, based on a theme reminiscent of the ostinato from the scherzo of Bruckner's 7th symphony, encloses a lyrical and chromatic trio, and has some wild moments. If it is too much of a cliche to say that the slow movement, in A-flat, is melodic and lyrical then it is at least worth remarking that the piece rises to some pointed and justified climaxes, is very fine and inspires affection and even perhaps love."

"The c minor finale is an impressive creation, continuing the tragic atmosphere that has never really left the first movement and enhancing it. Structural use is made, as in some Bruckner symphonies and works by others as well, of the contrasting quantity of the chorale in this piece, and most effectively; likewise, cyclic quotes from earlier movements (which have not been lacking in the scherzo, for instance, either.) All leads from the somewhat un-Brucknerian opening through well-placed climaxes to a most memorable conclusion, as slowly gathering forces hit a dissonant nolle prosequi and descend to one last and most eloquent restatement of the first movement's main theme." - Eric Schissel