Time for a review of classical CDs that were outstanding in 2012. My lists for the previous years: 2011, (2011 – “Almost”), 2010, (2010 – “Almost”), 2009, (2009 – “Almost”), 2008, (2008 - "Almost") 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004.
# 9 - New Release
A.Diepenbrock, Orchestral Works, Symphonic & Orchestrated Songs, Missa in die festo, et al., Various artists, et'cetera KTC1435
A.Diepenbrock, Collected Works,
Various & numerous artists
The reason I found myself interested in Diepenbrock in the first place is because his name is among those on the plaques-of-honor in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw: Prominently at the back balcony in the left corner, flanked by FRANCK and (fittingly) DEBUSSY. The one-time Classics teacher at a catholic school and musical autodidact became a conductor and respected composer, the most significant Dutch composer of the first decades of the 20th century, according to his biographer Leo Samama. He performed and was performed in the famous hall of his home town that now has his name emblazoned among the more (and a few still less-) famous colleagues. For his 50th birthday for example, Willem Mengelberg performed an all-Diepenbrock concert with the Concertgebouw Orchestra that was a vast artistic (and financial) success.
Riccardo Chailly appropriately couples one of his Mahler recordings—the 7th—with Diepenbrock’s symphonic song “Im grossen Schweigen”. The disc can be hard to come by, but I needed to plug the gap in my Mahler collection. The Mahler’s all very well, but it was the Diepenbrock that captured my ears and imagination. How fortuitous that the Dutch et’cetera label collected all the fine Diepenbrock recordings they could get their hands on and issued them in a 150th anniversary 8CD box plus a DVD. That’s great news for the lover of romantic 20th century music—especially for voices—with a touch of the strange.
The few orchestral works without chorus or singers are gems welding Debussy to small-scale-Wagner. His sensually chromatic 50-minute Missa in die festo for double choir, tenor, and organ is, for all its Sweelinck-substructure, so seductive, the church immediately banned its performance. His songs, dear to Mahler, are not all among his best… Loewe-Schumann-Wolff meet here, in various languages: German, Dutch, French. (Christoph Prégardien and Robert Holl are among the singers.) His lavish, equally multilingual symphonic and orchestral songs are more intriguing and were, at their time groundbreaking, inspiring Mahler’s Lied von der Erde. The Hague Philharmonic and Hans Vonk (culled from old Chandos CDs) do most of the heavy lifting, but the Concertgebouw under Chailly (“Hymn to the Night”, with Arleen Augér) and Bernard Haitink (“The Night”, with Janet Baker) contribute as well.
# 9 – Reissue
A.Bruckner, Symphonies 8 & 9, Carl Schuricht, Wiener Philharmoniker, EMI SACD 9559842
Bruckner, Sys.8 & 9,
C.Schuricht / WPh,