- Symphony in F sharp major, Op. 40 - Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra - Reijo Kiilunen - John Storgårds - Armand Alcazar
Korngold: Symphony in F sharpby John Storgårds
The news about this 2011 Ondine release concerns the world-premiere recording of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's "Tänzchen im alten Stil," composed around 1919; its performance history is unclear and it was presumed lost for many decades. This 2007 reading at the Jyväskylä Festival by John Storgårds and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra reveals it to be a light and entertaining piece that is characteristic of Korngold's youthful, lyrical Romanticism, though it is hardly an earth-shaking discovery. Indeed, it seems to be a fairly bland trifle, especially when placed after the much weightier and incisive "Symphony in F sharp, Op. 40." This late work has been in the symphonic repertoire since the 1970s and is well-represented on CD. It's difficult to believe that even Korngold's most ardent fans would rush to buy this album for the "Tänzchen" without having an avid interest in hearing the symphony, which offers much more challenging and satisfying music. Storgårds' approach to the symphony is straightforward and assertive, and the Helsinki musicians play with determination and energy, so their 2010 performance is strong and bears repeated listening. The performance of "Tänzchen" is smooth and gemütlich, though its appeal is limited because it is a minor work, with only charming melodies to recommend it. While the minor coup of recording this obscure item will garner some attention, the tried and true symphony makes the sale.
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Performance CreditsJohn Storgårds Primary Artist
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