IGNAZ HOLZBAUER. Five Symphonies: D Op 3 No 4; D minor;
A Op 2 No 4; G (Overture: Il figlio della selve); E flat Op 3 No 1.
L'Orfeo Barockorchester /
CPO 999 585 - 2 [DDD]
Holzbauer was born in Vienna in 1711 and was largely self-taught absorbing
Gradus ad Parriassum by Fux. Holzbauer went to Italy as a young man
and met many of the Italian masters. He worked in Vienna, Stuttgart and Mannheim.
The Mannheim School was noted for its early classicism.
Holzbauer's finest work is probably in the field of opera. Gunther von
Schwarzburg is available on CPO (999 265 - 2) and is a splendid piece.
The symphonies may not reach the same heights but are interesting nonetheless.
The D minor has a good finale which may hint at Vivaldi's
Winter from the Four Seasons. The A major has an opening
movement where the sounds, texture and counterpoint obviously influenced
Mozart. The horn writing is civilised but very impressive. This is a gorgeous
sound world. Perhaps more molto would have been advantageous. The
andante is very thoughtful and evocative, whereas the presto,
which could have had more 'bite' is very attractive.
What a marvellous attack introduces the G major with its infectious
foot-tapping style. The graceful andante is followed by a
presto which is as good as the A major although it is for strings
The E flat lasts almost 22 minutes and is in four movements. It has
a rustic feel and like the opening D major Symphony it is pleasant
if not outstanding.
I feel the performances lack gusto at times. These are better works than
these accounts suggest.