Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

Johnny Bradley
Handmade Kitchen Knives



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


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


Buy through MusicWeb from £12.00 postage paid World Wide.

Musicweb Purchase button


Franz Schreker and Pupils
Franz SCHREKER (1878-1934) Intermezzo Op. 8 for strings;(1902) [6.37]; Scherzo Op. 8 for strings (1902) [6.34]
Julius BŰRGER (1897-1995) Two Songs for baritone and orchestra (1919): Legend [12.43]; Silence of the night [10.45]
Ernst KŘENEK (1900-1991) Symphony No. 1 Op. 7 (1921) [35:36]
Dietrich Henschel (baritone)
Luzerner Sinfonieorchester/John Axelrod
rec. KKL Luzern, Konzertsaal, 4-5 July 2006. DDD
NIMBUS NI 5808 [71:48]

Franz Schreker was quite an influential teacher and musician but somehow has been overlooked by musical history in favour of Schoenberg and his more famous pupils.

At first, due to the success of his opera ‘Der ferne klang’ (1903-10) Schreker was offered a teaching position at the Vienna Conservatoire when his teacher Robert Fuchs retired. After WW1 he moved to the more artistically exciting Berlin and took his pupils with him: Křenek, Bürger, Karol Rathaus, Alois Hába plus several others, such was their devotion. All of them were experimentalists and all thrived in the new environment.

This disc looks at the early works of the three composers and therefore is not entirely typical. In a sense I am not quite sure who this disc is aimed at, it might appear to be of interest only to the student, but as music each piece is worth exploring, so let’s do just that.

The Intermezzo and the Scherzo were originally intended as concert companions but only later separated and then re-orchestrated to form part of the four movement ‘Romantic Suite’ Op. 14. It’s good to have them in their original form although divided on this CD, on tracks 1 and 4, by the two Bűrger songs. Schreker's pieces are indeed Romantic and one is reminded of Richard Strauss or Max Regerl sometimes even Debussy. They are well crafted and excellent examples of string music.

I confess to coming to the music of Julius Bűrger for the first time. I have been very impressed by these two songs. It is disappointing that no texts are offered by Nimbus, neither originals nor translations. The excellent booklet notes by Christopher Hailey do however give a brief résumé of their content. They are religious poems. The first is by Christian Morgenstern and is about Christ on his way to Gethsemane. The second is by Gottfried Keller which is "a magical evocation of a summer night. Burger’s setting is the work of a master orchestrator." (Hailey’s notes). The vocal line is focused and expresses the text clearly. The music may remind you of Zemlinsky, perhaps the ‘Lyric Symphony’. Debussy is sometimes at hand and there’s even a touch of Berg. The sonorities are haunting and somehow uniquely the composer’s own. Incidentally if you Google him you will discover many Julius Burgers, some rather dubious.

The Ernst Křenek symphonies were all recorded on the CPO label between 1994 and 1999 by the Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR under Takao Ukigaya. Their First is on CPO 999 359-2 and it makes an intriguing comparison with the one under review here. On first hearing this version I did not enjoy the work particularly and thought it weak and tedious. The next day I listened again to Ukigaya’s recording with the intention of hearing just a little. As it turned out, I was so gripped that I played it all. Why? Perhaps I was in a more receptive mood. I finally decided that it was all to do with pacing. I’ll explain. I began to realize that each of the nine sections of the symphony - its structure is very curious - was considerably tighter and faster in the CPO version. Just on basic timings the CPO version runs to 30:38. This new one has a duration of 35:36 and checking each individual section you find that Axelrod is always slower. In the case of the third section ‘Larghetto’ he is slower by 50%. What does this matter? In some ways I prefer the slow, static quality of Axelrod’s three slower movements. However the faster ones lack drive and excitement and it’s that which has a debilitating effect. The colossal final fugue takes over a half a minute more in Axelrod’s hands.

Sadly the contents of this disc seem unfocused and the Křenek performance is disappointing. The Schreker pieces are available elsewhere and anyway are not top-drawer. Only the two songs by Bűrger are of real interest but the lack of texts is a nuisance. The recording is excellent with considerable presence and power and all the detail clear.

Gary Higginson



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

(short month)

Orphic Moments

Metamorphoses Books I & II


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos







Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review 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.