HEINRICH VON HERZOGENBERG (1843-1900): Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 50, Symphony No. 2 in B Flat, Op. 70.

Catalogue Number: 03I001

Label: CPO

Reference: 777 122

Format: CD

Price: $15.98

Description: Herzogenberg wrote four other symphonies before the one designated No. 1 (the last of which provided the thematic material for the First's long, 19-minute first movement). This work (1885) is one which is inspired by Brahms' First in both key, construction and nobility and seriousness of utterance. Unfortunately, it was also used by contemporary critics to damn Herzogenberg as a Brahms epigone, a charge which has lasted for more than a century. Now, we can enjoy this monumentally structured 42-minute work on its own terms and it can easily be announced as the finest work by a "lesser master" of the period since the recording of all four Gernsheim symphonies. Written in 1888, during a period of recovery from a painful onset of rheumatism, the Second is shorter (35 minutes), sunnier, cheerier and vibrantly refreshing - making it also a parallel to the similar qualities of Brahms' Second (although without the closer kinships of Herzogenberg's First to Brahms). North German Radio Philharmonic; Frank Beerman.

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