The overtures of early Romantic composer Carl Maria von Weber are among his most appealing works, and their colorful orchestration, vivid scene-painting, and abundant tunefulness have made them favorite concert openers, long after most of their associated operas dropped out of the repertoire. This generous bybrid SACD by the Tapiola Sinfonietta, conducted by Jean-Jacques Kantorow, presents the most popular overtures Oberon, Euryanthe, and Der Freischütz with seven less famous but equally engaging pieces that fill out the program.
The Augustinus Muziekcentrum in Antwerp is a deconsecrated church repurposed for concerts, especially in the field of early music. The venue may work well for some pieces, but it's bothersome in this program of comic vocal and instrumental music by Telemann, where it's completely inappropriate. The two comic cantatas here presuppose an intimate environment of connoisseurs, but the voice of soprano soloist Dorothee Mields gets lots in the church's vast spaces to such an extent that text intelligibility is a problem, even with the aid of printed texts in German, Dutch, French, and English./quote]
Johann Friedrich Fasch (1688-1758) was a forward-looking musician who, though a contemporary of Bach, anticipated Haydn and Mozart in the classical style of his compositions. In his younger years he held several positions before he became the music director for the chapel at the court in Zerbst, where he remained for 36 years. He also enjoyed a close connection with Dresden musicians, chiefly with the concertmaster of the Dresden court orchestra, Pisendel. These works are thought to have been some of Fasch's many compositions for the famous orchestra at Dresden.
Two of these are three-movement works called overtures; these represent a kind of "overture symphony" that Fasch created himself. Two string symphonies and two concertos are included also, the concertos showing the influence of Vivaldi, whom Fasch admired. With the exception of one symphony, which has four movements, every work here has three.(Ardella Crawford)
Italian historical-performance specialist violinist Frederico Guglielmo has led several different ensembles and offered various interpretive styles, as violinist and as conductor, in his approach to the violin music of the Baroque in Italy and beyond. His take on Handel's Water Music is brisk and rhythmic, but this collection of orchestral and solo violin music by the virtuoso Francesco Maria Veracini, whom the historian Charles Burney described as "capo pazzo," or crazy in the head, is a good deal quieter and more circumspect, with a small, violin-heavy ensemble that allows the wind parts to show through in the two orchestral overtures included.
Though written barely 20 years apart, Dvorák's Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations draw their inspiration from two entirely different epochs. Dvorák's lush, Romantic concerto has hints of Czech motherland and even adaptations of his own previous works. The accompaniment is densely scored with tutti sections that could easily be right out of one of his symphonies.
Gerd Albrecht was a leading German conductor. He was best known for his interpretations of late Romantic and 20th century German repertory. His father was Hans Albrecht (1902-1961), a well-known musicologist. He was a choral scholar at the age of 15 and began conducting when he was 16. He studied at the Hamburg Musikhochschule (Hamburg Music Academy) from 1955 to 1958.