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James Conlon|Bruch: Symphonies and Concerto for 2 pianos

Bruch: Symphonies and Concerto for 2 pianos

James Conlon

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In the early digital era, fans of central European late Romantic orchestral music were given for the first time in recorded history an actual choice of recordings of the three symphonies of Max Bruch: those by Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra on Philips and these by James Conlon and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln on EMI. At the time, most listeners assumed that Masur and the Leipzig orchestra had a lock on the works; they were, after all, the pre-eminent representatives of East German music-making and if they couldn't make Bruch's scores come alive, who could? But as time proved, Masur and his Leipzig orchestra were only able to turn in warm-hearted, well-played but essentially generic accounts of the works that did nothing to elevate their status in the repertoire. But Conlon and his Cologne orchestra turn in not only warm-hearted, well-played accounts but strongly profiled readings that made the works seem much more successful and important than Masur and his crew. Here, Bruch sounds like a highly talented composer who knew how to come up with a good theme and what to do with it; in other words, the same composer who wrote the Scottish Fantasy and the G minor Violin Concerto. In these performances, each symphony holds up well separately and all three together make a better case for Bruch as a first-rate second-rank composer than his violin concertos. The coupling of the same composer's highly unusual but wholly effective Concerto for two pianos, plus two sets of his solo piano pieces, adds to our knowledge of the Bruch's works and to the total playing time of these two discs.
© TiVo

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Bruch: Symphonies and Concerto for 2 pianos

James Conlon

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1
Symphony No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 28: I. Allegro maestoso
00:10:21

Gerd Berg, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - Hartwig Paulsen, Engineer - James Conlon, Conductor - Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker, Orchestra

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1993 Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH

2
Symphony No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 28: II. Scherzo. Presto
00:04:53

Gerd Berg, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - Hartwig Paulsen, Engineer - James Conlon, Conductor - Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker, Orchestra

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1993 Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH

3
Symphony No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 28: III. Quasi fantasia. Grave
00:05:47

Gerd Berg, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - Hartwig Paulsen, Engineer - James Conlon, Conductor - Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker, Orchestra

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1993 Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH

4
Symphony No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 28: IV. Finale. Allegro guerriero
00:08:18

Gerd Berg, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - Hartwig Paulsen, Engineer - James Conlon, Conductor - Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker, Orchestra

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1993 Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH

5
Symphony No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 36: I. Allegro passionato, ma un poco maestoso
00:12:26

Gerd Berg, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - Hartwig Paulsen, Engineer - James Conlon, Conductor - Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker, Orchestra

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1993 Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH

6
Symphony No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 36: II. Adagio ma non troppo
00:13:34

Gerd Berg, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - Hartwig Paulsen, Engineer - James Conlon, Conductor - Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker, Orchestra

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1993 Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH

7
Symphony No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 36: III. Allegro molto tranquillo
00:11:20

Gerd Berg, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - Hartwig Paulsen, Engineer - James Conlon, Conductor - Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker, Orchestra

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1993 Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH

DISC 2

1
Symphony No. 3 in E Major, Op. 51: I. Andante sostenuto - Allegro molto vivace
00:12:15

Gerd Berg, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - Hartwig Paulsen, Engineer - James Conlon, Conductor - Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker, Orchestra

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1993 Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH

2
Symphony No. 3 in E Major, Op. 51: II. Adagio - Adagio ma non troppo
00:10:40

Gerd Berg, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - Hartwig Paulsen, Engineer - James Conlon, Conductor - Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker, Orchestra

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1993 Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH

3
Symphony No. 3 in E Major, Op. 51: III. Scherzo. Vivace
00:06:59

Gerd Berg, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - Hartwig Paulsen, Engineer - James Conlon, Conductor - Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker, Orchestra

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1993 Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH

4
Symphony No. 3 in E Major, Op. 51: IV. Finale. Allegro ma non troppo
00:06:16

Gerd Berg, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - Hartwig Paulsen, Engineer - James Conlon, Conductor - Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker, Orchestra

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1993 Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH

5
Concerto for Two Pianos in A-Flat Minor Op. 88a: I. Andante sostenuto
00:05:25

John Willan, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Antal Dorati, Conductor - Martin Berkofsky, Piano - Antal Dorati/London Symphony Orchestra/Nathan Twining/Martin Berkofsky, MainArtist - Nathan Twining, Piano

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1974 Parlophone Records Limited. Remastered 2009 Parlophone Records Limited

6
Concerto for Two Pianos in A-Flat Minor Op. 88a: II. Andante con moto - Allegro molto vivace
00:04:54

John Willan, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Antal Dorati, Conductor - Martin Berkofsky, Piano - Antal Dorati/London Symphony Orchestra/Nathan Twining/Martin Berkofsky, MainArtist - Nathan Twining, Piano

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1974 Parlophone Records Limited. Remastered 2009 Parlophone Records Limited

7
Concerto for Two Pianos in A-Flat Minor Op. 88a: III. Adagio ma non troppo
00:05:22

John Willan, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Antal Dorati, Conductor - Martin Berkofsky, Piano - Antal Dorati/London Symphony Orchestra/Nathan Twining/Martin Berkofsky, MainArtist - Nathan Twining, Piano

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1974 Parlophone Records Limited. Remastered 2009 Parlophone Records Limited

8
Concerto for Two Pianos in A-Flat Minor Op. 88a: IV. Andante - Allegro
00:07:06

John Willan, Producer - Max Bruch, Composer - London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Antal Dorati, Conductor - Martin Berkofsky, Piano - Antal Dorati/London Symphony Orchestra/Nathan Twining/Martin Berkofsky, MainArtist - Nathan Twining, Piano

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1974 Parlophone Records Limited. Remastered 2009 Parlophone Records Limited

9
6 Klavierstücke, Op. 12: No. 1, Andante sostenuto
00:02:36

Max Bruch, Composer - George Sponhaltz, Producer - Martin Berkofsky, Piano, MainArtist

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1974 Parlophone Records Limited. Remastered 2009 Parlophone Records Limited

10
6 Klavierstücke, Op. 12: No. 2, Andante con moto. Sehr einfach
00:01:58

Max Bruch, Composer - George Sponhaltz, Producer - Martin Berkofsky, Piano, MainArtist

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1974 Parlophone Records Limited. Remastered 2009 Parlophone Records Limited

11
6 Klavierstücke, Op. 12: No. 3, Impromptu. Allegretto
00:01:17

Max Bruch, Composer - George Sponhaltz, Producer - Martin Berkofsky, Piano, MainArtist

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1974 Parlophone Records Limited. Remastered 2009 Parlophone Records Limited

12
6 Klavierstücke, Op. 12: No. 4, Moderato
00:02:05

Max Bruch, Composer - George Sponhaltz, Producer - Martin Berkofsky, Piano, MainArtist

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1974 Parlophone Records Limited. Remastered 2009 Parlophone Records Limited

13
6 Klavierstücke, Op. 12: No. 5, Walzer. Grazioso
00:01:15

Max Bruch, Composer - George Sponhaltz, Producer - Martin Berkofsky, Piano, MainArtist

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1974 Parlophone Records Limited. Remastered 2009 Parlophone Records Limited

14
6 Klavierstücke, Op. 12: No. 6, Andante con larghezza
00:02:35

Max Bruch, Composer - George Sponhaltz, Producer - Martin Berkofsky, Piano, MainArtist

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1974 Parlophone Records Limited. Remastered 2009 Parlophone Records Limited

15
2 Klavierstücke, Op. 14: No. 1, Romanze. Andante molto cantabile
00:03:57

Max Bruch, Composer - George Sponhaltz, Producer - Martin Berkofsky, Piano, MainArtist

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1974 Parlophone Records Limited. Remastered 2009 Parlophone Records Limited

16
2 Klavierstücke, Op. 14: No. 2, Fantasiestück. Allegro molto
00:02:32

Max Bruch, Composer - George Sponhaltz, Producer - Martin Berkofsky, Piano, MainArtist

© 2009 EMI Records Ltd. A Warner Classics release, ℗ 1974 Parlophone Records Limited. Remastered 2009 Parlophone Records Limited

Album Description

In the early digital era, fans of central European late Romantic orchestral music were given for the first time in recorded history an actual choice of recordings of the three symphonies of Max Bruch: those by Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra on Philips and these by James Conlon and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln on EMI. At the time, most listeners assumed that Masur and the Leipzig orchestra had a lock on the works; they were, after all, the pre-eminent representatives of East German music-making and if they couldn't make Bruch's scores come alive, who could? But as time proved, Masur and his Leipzig orchestra were only able to turn in warm-hearted, well-played but essentially generic accounts of the works that did nothing to elevate their status in the repertoire. But Conlon and his Cologne orchestra turn in not only warm-hearted, well-played accounts but strongly profiled readings that made the works seem much more successful and important than Masur and his crew. Here, Bruch sounds like a highly talented composer who knew how to come up with a good theme and what to do with it; in other words, the same composer who wrote the Scottish Fantasy and the G minor Violin Concerto. In these performances, each symphony holds up well separately and all three together make a better case for Bruch as a first-rate second-rank composer than his violin concertos. The coupling of the same composer's highly unusual but wholly effective Concerto for two pianos, plus two sets of his solo piano pieces, adds to our knowledge of the Bruch's works and to the total playing time of these two discs.
© TiVo

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