AUGUST ENNA (1859-1939): Symphony No. 2 in F, Fairy Tale (Symphonic Pictures), Overture Hans Christian Andersen.
Catalogue Number: 02M001
Reference: 777 035
Description: This life-long lover and setter of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy-tales is already represented in cpo's catalogue by his opera The Little Match Girl. It turns out that his symphony (an early one is lost) was composed in 1908 because Enna felt that his profusion of operas somehow harmed his reputation in Denmark (although they were often quite successful elsewhere on the continent). So we have a 34-minute symphony in the standard four movements in a style which isn't quite Nordic, although the first movement's agreeably ambling theme might make you think of Gade and although there are moments in the end of its finale which should make you think of Berwald. It isn't quite Germanic either; you might think of it being Enna's in the way that Stenhammar's Second really can't be assigned to any particular symphonic tradition or geographical region either. Both the other works date from HC Andersen's centenary of 1905, the overture based on the H (B natural)-C-A musical motif (stern at first but with elfin qualities later on), while the Fairy Tale might as well be a symphony. It lasts 32 minutes, it has four movements with its scherzo in third place and its first movement has a momentous slow introduction. But it is really a suite of separate pieces, with no guidance from Enna as to what they are intended to depict (but with some guesses from the note-writer). A welcome addition to your Danish symphonic music shelf! North German Radio Philharmonic Hannover; Michael Hofstetter.