Related Links

Recommended Links

Give the Composers Timeline Poster

Site News

What's New for
Early 2018?

Site Search

Follow us on
Facebook    Twitter


In association with
Amazon UKAmazon GermanyAmazon CanadaAmazon FranceAmazon Japan

CD Universe



Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

CD Review

Carl Maria von Weber

Orchestral Works

  • Symphony #1 in C Major 3
  • Symphony #2 in C Major 3
  • Konzertstück in F minor 1,4
  • Piano Concerto #1 in C Major 1,4
  • Piano Concerto #2 in E Flat Major 1,4
  • Clarinet Concerto #1 in F minor 2,6
  • Clarinet Concerto #2 in E Flat Major 2,5
  • Overture "Oberon" 7
  • Overture "Peter Schmoll und seine Nachbarn" 7
  • Overture "Der Beherrscher der Geister 'Rübezahl!'" 7
  • Overture "Preciosa" 7
  • Overture "Jubel" 7
  • Overture "Euryanthe" 8
1 Peter Rösel, piano
2 Emma Johnson, clarinet
3 Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields/Neville Marriner
4 Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt
5 English Chamber Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz
6 English Chamber Orchestra/Yan Pascal Tortelier
7 Statskapelle Berlin/Otmar Suitner
8 Statskapelle Dresden/Marek Janowski
Brilliant Classics 94698 4CDs
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon JapanOrder Now from ArkivMusic.comFind it at CD Universe Find it at JPC

For any astute Weber collectors out there, this is not the same set that Brilliant Classics released in 2003. However, there is some duplication; the symphonies under Marriner and the concert works with Rösel and Blomstedt reappear here. Otherwise, there are two new discs, and even more music than the previous set, so it should be all the Weber you'll ever need. There is a major issue with this set, but more on that later

The two discs that are not new deserved to stay; Weber's early symphonies and concertos are charming, and these are reliable and intelligent performances. Rösel and Blomstedt are particularly outstanding together, so it's good to have this disc back in print. As for the Clarinet concertos, they were a serious omission for the first set, and Brilliant Classics seems eager to rectify that mistake with two excellent accounts from AS&V. Emma Johnson plays both concertos exceptionally well, and she has two very fine conductors to work with. Why there isn't more clarinet music included on this disc is beyond me; there was room, and certainly more music would make this set even more competitive.

That's also an issue with the overtures disc. Sure, it's great to see underrated maestro Otmar Suitner in anything, and Marek Janowski is similarly welcome, but the decision eliminate conductor Gustav Kuhn entirely means that not only does the Der Freischültz overture get cut for no reason at all, but we lose an opportunity to hear the great Staatskapelle Dresden in even more substantial fare. Kuhn originally had an entire overtures disc to himself on the earlier set, and conducted seven pieces. Now in 2014, we get six. It's mind-boggling, especially from a label that can dig up so many gems. But I must confess, what we do get is nothing short of wonderful. The Staatskapelle Berlin has its own rich musical history, and we do get to close the set with those wonderful Dresden forces.

I liked the 2003 set very much, and it's great to see Brilliant Classics updating their products a decade later with new performances and notes. Where I took issue was the short playing times of the earlier set, so it's maddening that the label would take away music for the new set. If you're new to the composer, I recommend this with open arms, but it's hard to praise a set that messes with the customer, and that's what happens here.

Copyright © 2014, Brian Wigman