All credit to Lars
Ulrik Mortensen and his collaborators in continuing their work
to present neglected Danish symphonies of the late eighteenth
and early nineteenth centuries.
will instantly fall into place for you if you know the un-named
Schubert overtures and the first two symphonies. There are many
familiar echoes and much choice writing for the woodwind. Gerson
also owed fealty to the Mozart of the Marriage of Figaro overture,
the Haffner symphony and the famous G minor symphony. It’s all
very entertaining and easy to like.
Turning to the Gerson
symphony we hear again the influence of Mozart and this time
the more exalted halls of the Jupiter Symphony. It is not by
any means an echoing tribute work for it has some fascinating
touches including the wounded cries of the woodwind in the brass
climaxes of the first movement (tr. 2, 3:00). After a tentative
and tenderly delicate Andante comes a skippingly engaging Menuetto.
The finale is confident and works very well in a jovial and
good-naturedly regal way. Here perhaps there is a touch of stiffness
and a hint of caution but I cannot work out whether this is
down to the music or the playing.
Both Gerson and
Kunzen were from North Germany but spent musically productive
years in Denmark. Kunzen’s symphony again apes the Mozart manner
in the Allegro moderato but while the backdrop of the Andante
is Mozartian there are prominent lines for the woodwind that
point towards Weber. After a Haydnesque Menuetto I and II comes
the fascinating Presto - full of original touches and sentiment.
The firm rhythmic writing is punched home by the horns mellow
Mozart does loom
large here but then we can also hear the stirrings of voices
arrogated by Weber and early Beethoven.
The usual rewardingly
in-depth documentation from CPO; welcome even if the writing
is almost invariably slightly indigestible.
If you are in the
market for some delightful and freshly imagined orchestral music
in the Mozartian vein then look no further.