may be tough but they’re good for the Marx collector. This
latest entrant to the lists does valuable work in giving
us three major statements. Feste Im Herbst
from a Marxian revamping of the last movement of his vast Herbstsymphonie
in stand-alone 1946 form it sounds well. It opens with harvest-heavy
teem – one is sometimes tempted to lard the Hopkins compounds
when discussing some of Marx’s orchestral works – and continues
in much the same vein. Peasant song and heavy booted country
corn richly imbue the writing; intensely lyrical its sing-songery
verdant, bucolic, but well structured, often irresistible. The
quiet affirmative ending is a closure of surety and repose.
It’s played with warmly balanced appreciation of its essential
dates from 1925.
Powerfully chromatic, bespeaking Debussy - one of the most
obvious influences – this is again, as one would expect
richly infused with nature writing of sensuous power and
great expressivity. The surging and singing strings reach
a pitch of effulgence, with Marx reserving the most audible
appearance of the brass for some intriguing sinewy blocks.
This is writing of concentrated generosity embodying a
personal nature vision very much Marx’s own.
composed in the same year as Eine Frühlingsmusik.
too bears the stamp of Debussy – his Prelude. It’s slow and
luxuriant and sports some quivering wind lines and scurrying
harp as well as torpid, quietly luminous strings. One senses
the undergrowth gently teem.
Marx has often been seen as an inheritor of the Debussy-Reger-Korngold-Strauss
lineage, in these three works it’s Debussy who casts his
spell most evocatively and persistently. Even in those moments
when thematic material can sound rather over-stretched it’s
the warmly hued writing that keeps things alive in its chromatic
is a performance of both Eine Frühlingsmusik
and the Idylle
by the Bochum Symphony and Steven Sloane on ASV
but it’s not one to which I’ve had access.
CPO recording is extremely fine – rich but not too resonant
and expanding to catch the fortes. The orchestral sections
are well balanced and the string choirs of the Radio-Symphonieorchester
Wien whilst clearly not as voluptuary as their counterparts
in the Musikverein are very acceptable indeed, especially
when they are directed as appositely as they are by Johannes
also review by Rob Barnett