FELIX WEINGARTNER (1863-1942): Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 71, Overture Aus ernster Zeit, Op. 56.
Catalogue Number: 02J001
Reference: 777 101
Description: An occasional work premiered in November of 1914, the overture uses British, French, German, Austrian and Russian national anthems to both decry the onset of war and to, presumably, tweak the national characters believed to be the cause. The 44-minute symphony dates from 1924 and follows a tone-poem-like first movement (with Liszt, Schumann and Brahms making intentional appearances) with three others which are plainly Brucknerian. The notes (after much murky seeming pointlessness about the theory of reincarnation) do a very good job of pointing out how Weingartner spent much of his adult life trashing Bruckner's compositional abilities (while also declaring his love of the Seventh's slow movement) while, in this symphony, he seems to pay the most lavish homage (more psychologizing about why that must be kills a few more trees - this is Eckhardt van den Hoogen writing after all). But we can just enjoy Weingartner's latest chameleonic symphony for its massive, granitic scherzo, solemn adagio and brilliantly fugal finale and wonder what this series has in store for us next! Basel Symphony Orchestra; Marko Letonja.