is an interesting rarity that deserves some attention.
was the son of a self-taught musician and had toured the
continent as a pianist before settling down to composition.
He was a contemporary of Mendelssohn and the Schumanns at
Leipzig Conservatoire, and had Svendsen, Sullivan and Grieg
as pupils. His concert work involved tours to England, Scandinavia
and Russia where he, no doubt, exposed the concertgoers to
his works. It is surprising to consider therefore that, despite
all his travelling publicity, his reputation as composer
wasn't more widely respected, but then even this prolific
composer would have been overshadowed by the competition
of much stronger talent found around him at the time.
Concerto is lightly orchestrated and opens in
a sombre mood that gives no hint of the brighter horizons
that later become apparent - after two minutes in. A
meandering Allegro moderato does not immediately
stamp an identity on the character of the work. From
the second movement onwards, however, the composer settles
down with good inspiration and we are aware of a pleasant
work in the romantic vein. The hymn-like Adagio sets
a sedate pace. Particularly attractive is the Scherzo-Finale,
where short brass fanfares herald a gathering strength
which carries overtones of Mendelssohn. Here virtuosic
elements are underplayed in the scoring of the coda which
causes the work to end without much impact. With unusual
direction by the harpist, the excellent soloist and orchestra
are well focused: the performance is good. Pierre is
Harp professor at Lyon Conservatoire and has produced
Concerto is a much more secure work. The flute
has a dominating presence from the outset, the melody
lines are stronger and the concerto's colours are better
layered. Twenty-four years after his Harp concerto, one
is aware of Reinecke's greater maturity, characterized
by a more florid approach. A competent opening movement
holds the listener's attention. Continuity in the Lento
e mesto is provided by heavy 'footsteps' delivered
by the double-basses. This provides the underlying rhythm
to an elegant flute line, later enhanced by the remainder
of the strings. Carrying a hint of the second movement's
rhythm, the Finale: Moderato is particularly haunting
with a charming flute melody. This is another good performance
by the soloist. Gallois has developed an international
conducting career after forming his own Paris-based orchestra.
From 2003 he has been Musical Director of the Sinfonia
the Ballade is not particularly inspired and
lacks a robust theme for it to be memorable.
recordings are adequate, yet in the second concerto the flute
is not brought forward enough: its ambience is rather thin
and could have benefited from additional reverberation. Noticing
this, I went back to the Harp concerto and felt the same
was true, but to a lesser extent. Although prominently focused
the harp might have benefited if given a wider ambience.
notes on the composer's background and concertos by Keith
Anderson are provided in English, German and French. Detailed
biographies are included for the two soloist conductors.
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