Huber's symphonies are not monuments to heaven-scorching
conflict or torrential tragedy. His is a beaming
The Eighth which turns its face completely
from the slaughter that ended only two years
previously is more of a grand serenade than
a symphony. No harm in that at all. It is
a confection of Dvorak from the Seventh and
Eighth symphonies, of Tchaikovsky (the suites),
the avuncular orchestral Reger and the beaming
Brahms from the quieter reaches of the Second
and Third Symphonies.
The Akademische is, like the Eighth,
in four movements spanning about thirty minutes.
It is a work of high individuality playing
like a sextet for the usual string quartet
plus piano and double bass counterpointed
with double string orchestra (discreetly balanced)
and an organ (more prominently placed). The
sub-title is 'in Form eines Concerto Grosso'.
Good humoured and full of the sort of chuckling
brilliance you come across in the Saint-Saens
Septet, the Stanford Serenade and
the Ireland Sextet. The Cavatina
(tr 6) has the honeyed string textures
of Schoeck's Sommernacht though the
Stuttgart strings lack the consummate idyllic
opulence that would make this music sing.
And sing it can. This Symphony remains quite
a discovery and it is very fairly put across
here by Weigle and the Stuttgarters.
The strings remain one of the slightly compromised
aspects of this cycle (this disc completes
Sterling's total traversal of the eight Huber
symphonies). Scott Faigen's piano glints and
glitters its way through the Fourth Symphony
(similarly immune to world tragedy).
Interestingly, for me, this pairing can be
thought of as a sort of modernish analogue
of Beethoven's affectionate Fourth and Eighth
This recording benefited from the financial
support of the Czeslaw Marek Foundation.
Two lovely idyllically smiling symphonies
written agaisnt the rapine and bloodshed of
the times: a spell against evil - an uncomplicated
benediction and one stalwart agaisnt dodecaphonic