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CD Review

Max Bruch

Orchestral Works

  • Swedish Dances
  • Serenade for Strings
  • Schön Ellen - Ballad for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus & Orchestra
Claudia Braun, soprano
Thomas Laske, baritone
Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra/George Hanson
Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG3351096-2 50m DDD
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Dabringhaus & Grimm has already issued an excellent Bruch disc that couples the Second Symphony with the Third Violin Concerto and this collection of pieces is indeed very welcome.

The Swedish Dances had not been hitherto recorded since Kurt Masur's set on Philips and Hanson compares well with that excellent version. There is brilliant colour and energy in the music that is well portrayed and brought out by this orchestra.

The Serenade for Strings is a beautiful work that has been apparently quite neglected but here it receives a lovely performance that is full of beauty and character.

However the real discovery on this disc is the 'Schon Ellen' ballad for soprano, baritone and orchestra. Here the music is lovingly sung by the soloists and chorus, it is a true late romantic gem that deserves further exposure.

Although I can recommend this disc without reservations, I am a bit irked at the fact that it is only 50 minutes long, indeed more room could have been found for other music. However all those who enjoy the lovely melodies of Bruch should purchase the disc without delay.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech