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Symphonies Nos. 5 And 10 (Adriano, Moscow So) [Import]

Fritz Brun Audio CD

Price: 16.52 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Symphonies Nos. 5 And 10 (Adriano, Moscow So) + Symphony 9 And Aus Dem Buch Hiob (Adriano, Moscow So) + Fritz Brun - Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7
Price For All Three: 47.84

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Product details


1. Chaconne
2. Gehetzt, phantastisch
3. Langsam
4. Rasch und wuetend
5. Allegro Non Troppo
6. Mosso
7. Adagio
8. Vivace

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very peculiar..... 25 July 2009
By Douglas M. May - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As a fan of the old Olaf Henzold/Lucerne Symphony recording of the Brun 2nd, I had always wondered why more of his music hadn't been recorded. Certainly that early work is a charmer, with a pastoral quality suggesting the world of the Brahms 2nd, and a beautiful adagio slow movement.

The works on this disk perhaps explain why Brun continues to be neglected--especially the Symphony No. 5, which, to put it bluntly, is poorly served by the performance of the Moscow Symphony and Adriano. This is dark, extremely chromatic and tortured music that needs precise rhythmic articulation and dynamic contrast in order to make sense at all. Instead, we are subjected to sloppy entrances, flaccid phrasing, and intonation (especially in the brass and low strings) that suggests this is more of a read-through than a sufficiently rehearsed performance. Surprising for Adriano, who has done many fine things on Marco Polo, and who along with Leon Botstein and Werner Andreas Albert never fails to unearth fascinating and neglected repertoire.

In spite of the sloppy playing and indifferent recording quality, there seemed to be enough going on in this Symphony to warrant repeated hearings. And after my 5th time through, I am happy to report that this Symphony is a lot more interesting than I first thought. It is, in fact, the most original work by Brun I have heard, and the most troubling. In this work, Brun forcibly melds the worlds of Brahms and Reger with those of Berg and Hartmann--and if the results aren't pretty, they are at least unique. The Brahmsian gestures of the Bruns 2nd Symphony are still there, but constantly undermined by relentlessly chromatic harmony, string figures woven of close intervals, and claustrophobically dark orchestrations. Combine this nightmare expressionist quality with a reliance on traditional forms such as the chaconne and the fugue, and you have something very peculiar indeed--a kind of self-annihlating Symphony, in which Brun suggests the fundamental incompatibility of the new musical "reality" of Schoenberg with the expressive tradition of which he felt himself to be both inheritor and guardian. After all, this is the conductor who programmed a work of Schoenberg's and preceded it quite deliberately with the Fidelio aria, "Wo eilst du hin, Abscheulicher..." (Where are you fleeing, loathsome man)?

The 10th Symphony harks back to the world of the 2nd--Brahms as updated by Reger or Schoeck--and contains many felicities and a harmonically interesting scherzo. The orchestra sounds much more polished and secure in this work, which might have something to do with the more idiomatic and natural quality of the string writing. For a valedictory work, it is neither resigned nor bitter.

I'm grateful to have this disk, in spite of its shortcomings. It's doubtful anyone else will take up the cause of Brun, and Adriano is apparently working on the whole cycle. In the case of the 5th, I think it's only fair to call the music ugly--but ugly in a completely unique and astonishing way. Having had my fill of Brahms knock-offs like Draeseke and Parry, I'm glad for the existence of this gnarled, ungainly beast which does exude sincerity and integrity.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay at the Time, but Forgettable Afterwards 21 Jan 2014
By J. R. Trtek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is one more disc in a series on the Guild label in which Adriano and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra appear to be attempting to record the full symphonic cycle of Fritz Brun, a Swiss composer who lived from 1878-1959. Of the recordings in this set that I've heard, I think the Symphony No. 1 perhaps appeals to me most -- it's vigorous and has a few things to say, I suppose. The pair on this release, the Nos. 5 and 10, have the principal flaw that Late Romantic symphonic music by also-ran composers tend to possess: Aimlessness. The No. 5 starts out almost incoherent, but it still retains some intrigue through a good part of the first movement. After that, however, I just never heard a second shoe drop. Much the same can be said of the No. 10, only perhaps in reverse -- After a rather meandering and boring first three-and-a-half movements, a shoe finally drops, sort of, in the final minutes. I can't say that I hated this music, but I do have a heck of time trying to remember it a while later. As an untrained layman, I can really criticize the playing -- the forces involved seem to give these compositions a decent reading, but the source material just isn't that special. If you like to overdose on the music of, say, Felix Draeseke, however, then this might be up your alley.
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