- Symphony No. 2 in C minor (Hakon Jarl), Op. 134
- Symphony No. 3 in G minor, Op. 227
auto-inserted 09-17-2014 15:56:46
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Reading through a standard history of 19th-century music, one is likely to find little more than a paragraph's worth of space devoted to Carl Reinecke (1824-1910). Dig a little deeper, and you might discover that this largely forgotten Danish-born composer was successful and well esteemed in his day, known as a conductor (he led the prestigious Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig for 35 years), pianist, and teacher. But he was a surprisingly gifted composer, too, and supporting this assertion is this recording of Reinecke's rarely heard Second and Third Symphonies, performed by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra directed by Howard Shelley. Reinecke's chamber music tended toward Mendelssohnian lightness (he was noted for his particularly soft touch at the piano), but his three symphonies betray the more weighty influence of Brahms, a composer with whom Reinecke was well acquainted. Like Brahms, Reinecke indulged in luxurious, rich ensemble colors, favoring the darkness of the orchestra's low instruments at melodic moments. He also took a lesson or two from Schumann, whom he knew as well, and whose thick orchestrations have a counterpart in Reinecke's scoring. Those who have a passion for 19th-century orchestral music, but feel they've heard it all, are in for a pleasant surprise with Carl Reinecke's lushly Romantic symphonies. And don't be put off by the seeming obscurity of the performers: This is a fine, lucid performance of unjustly neglected repertoire, rightly revived by Shelley and his skillful Tasmanian musicians.