One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Buy through MusicWeb for £14.30/15.50 for all four postage paid World-wide. Immediate delivery
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque to avoid PayPal. Contactfor details

Purchase button

Joseph Joachim RAFF (1822-1882)
Symphony No. 1 in D major An das Vaterland op. 96 (1859-1861) [67:47]
Bamberger Symphoniker/Hans Stadlmair
rec. 22-26 May 2000, Sinfonie an der Regnitz, Joseph-Keilberth-Saal, Bamberg, Bayerischer Rundfunk. DDD
TUDOR 7099 [67:47]



Raff's First Symphony is located squarely in the German nationalist romantic heartland. The style straddles the worlds of Mendelssohn and Schumann. In fact Schumann's Third and Fourth Symphonies are often recalled in passing reference or the echo of resemblance. The shivering tail-figure in the decisive gesture first of the five movements (the Allegro) is straight out of Schumann 4.  That Allegro runs to 18:05, the longest movement. German wald romance is also suggested by the rip and curl of the Scherzo which, far from recalling Weber, this time links with Schumann's First Symphony. There is an elegiacally Elgarian Larghetto where the agreeably unctuous solo cello is played by section principal Matthias Ranft. While there is a measure of bombast in the allegro dramatico (IV, 1:50) much can be forgiven when we hear the suave, relaxed and often imaginative writing of the final Larghetto sostenuto which in its Odysseyan stride looks to the Tchaikovsky of Winter Daydreams. While the work has its longueurs in the finale and miscalculated braggartry in the allegro dramatico, this symphony will go down well with those who  love the Schumann four, Mendelssohn's 3 and 4, Louis Glass's Der Wald symphony, the Ludolf Nielsen suites and the symphonies by Huber, Wetz and  Draeseke. Not compelling then but pleasing is good too. Raff is not to be underestimated for his fluency and atmospheric charm.

There are good notes by Werner M Grimmel.

By the way those lured into buying this disc by the cover detail from Der Krieg (1896) by Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901) are in for a disappointment. There's no apocaylptic conflict in this music.

Low key picturesque delights from Tudor whose catalogue is the home of Raff. An alternative to the only other recording of the symphony on Marco Polo. I would not say it was any better than the Marco Polo although about ten years more recently recorded.

Rob Barnett






We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

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.