Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Paul von KLENAU (1883-1946)
Symphony No. 7 Die Sturmsymphonie (1941) [32.49]
Klein Idas Blume (Ballett-Ouverture) (1916) [10.47]
Gespräche mit der Tod (1916) [14.41]
Jahrmarkt bei London (Bank holiday - Souvenir of Hampstead Heath) (1923) [17.48]
Susanne Resmark (alto)
Odense SO/Jan Wagner
rec 4-8 Dec 2000, Odense Concert Hall, Dansk Radio. DDD
DACAPO 8.224183 [76.23]


Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Von Klenau's unreconstructed dives into dodecaphony produced three twelve-tone operas. The last was premiered in occupied Copenhagen in 1941. It was very well received. Strange to think that similar works had been damned as 'entartete musik' elsewhere in the extended Reich.

The Storm Symphony seems a suitable title for a symphony written in 1941 although the composer (rather like RVW in the case of his Fouth and Sixth Symphonies) denied any suggestion of a link between the work and the times. The music stands somewhere between bleak Beethovenian conflict and super-charged Wagnerian braggartry. The music modestly embraces dissonance. This is not music of exuberance - violence and threatening suspense would be more the order of Von Klenau's day.

A drastic gear-change brings us face to face with the 1916 overture to Little Ida's Flowers. Here the music veers from Tchaikovskian balletic delicacy to Straussian fancy. A charming confection.

From the same year as the overture comes the Gespräche mit dem Tod in which six dramatic songs with orchestra proclaim a Wagnerian confidence which is darkened by streams from Zemlinsky and Schreker. The music has a grand operatic reach which may be related to Berg's song Das Wein or to Mahler's Kindertotenlieder - not that he sounds anything like Mahler.

Von Klenau, the Francophile impressionist, emerges in the Hampstead Heath piece. This proceeds at a steady andante with a boy alto singing during the first section about ‘rain, rain, rain’. The composer travelled extensively during the 1920s and London was one of his stopping-off points. This writing is similar to the music of the Spanish composer Isasi who spent much time in Germany as well as to the works of Bienstock (by repute) and Rudi Stephan though Von Klenau's orchestral textures have greater transparency and Gallic translucency.

For many years it was thought that von Klenau's tally of symphonies stopped with the Seventh. Very recently an eighth and ninth were discovered in Vienna. Perhaps we will hear them in later volumes in this series. I hope so.

This is the second volume in a series inaugurated by Dacapo 8.224134. That first disc comprised symphonies 1 and 5 as well as the tone poem Paolo und Francesca. I suspect that the block of the first five symphonies will be rather romantic in the Wetz and Huber line; certainly the First is said to be Brucknerian.

Rob Barnett

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Northern Flowers
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.