Composer: Ernst Krenek
Orchestra: Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR
Conductor: Takao Ukigaya
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Size: 227 MB
Symphony No.1, op.7
02. Allegro con moto-Allegro vivace
04. Subito molto piu mosso
06. A tempo (Presto)
08. Fuge-Tempo I (Vivace)
10. Introduktion. Allegro, grave-poco piu vivo
11. Sonata. Andante
12. Rondo. Vivace
13. Thema und Variationen
14. Fuge. Allegro deciso
Ernst Krenek is an up and coming composer the way I hear him. He should be at least ten times more popular than he is. When you listen to his first symphony you can hear the serial roots from which it is inspired. Yet it is far from a cold and calculated work. It is multi-dimensional with both serious and humorous personalities. It is said that Krenek had too many musical personalities in his long career and life (1900-1991). But I like to think that he tried many paths and to me there is always a thread of his personality which remains consistent throughout and makes him one of the greatest symphonists and composers of string quartets in the 20th century.
Sadly this is probably the only example that you will hear of his 1st and 5th symphonies. Ukigaya does manage to good job, having heard another conductor shed light on his monumental 2nd symphony I can only wonder what insights have yet to be revealed in this the only recording of the 1st. The Radio-Symphonie Hannover des NDR is a very capable orchestra.
The 5th symphony written much later of course is of less interest and is about half the length of his 1st. It is a good work and yet less towering than his first two symphonies. The main reason in obtaining this CD for anyone interested has to be the 1st symphony with it’s complex nine movement layout exhibiting different mood changes for a half an hour.
In short I recommend this CD as it is the only in print version of Krenek’s 1st that I know about (#1)and(#2)for the performance of the orchestra and the leadership of Ukigaya and(#3)for the 5th symphony which should be of sufficient interest to hear at least once or twice (if not more times).