Eugen d'Albert wrote some 21 operas, of which only Tiefland is heard with some frequency if at all (some three others are available on disc). He also composed a number of instrumental works, though after having encountered his rather disappointing piano concertos I approached the disc at hand, containing his single symphony and the dramatic scene for soprano and orchestra Seejungfräulein, with some trepidation. The latter was penned in 1898 for his third wife, the dramatic soprano Hermine Finck, based on HC Andersen's well-known story. Lasting for 17 minutes, it is an engaging and often beautiful work, building up from gentle lyricism to a glittering culmination; certainly worth hearing.
The symphony is an early work (1884), and is (at 50 minutes) overlong in the manner of the composer's early, interminable first piano concerto. Fortunately, the symphony is a better work - although the thematic material is not particularly distinguished, it is generally rather pleasing, and d'Albert conjures up some fine colors and evocative atmospheres. One would perhaps have wished that he would have procured some substantial cuts in every movement (the scherzo movement, for instance, goes on for 11 minutes but could say everything it has to say in half the time). So it is not a masterpiece by any standards, but I am nevertheless glad to have heard it and willing to hear it again.
The Osnabrücker Symphony Orchestra provides compelling and committed performances, finely colored and phrased and not without energy. Anna Kasyan is overall very convincing in Seejungfräulein, which remains the primary attraction here. The sound is fine, and so are the accompanying notes. In sum, this is a fine release, worth investigating by lovers of romanticism, but don't expect anything revelatory.