August KLUGHARDT (1847-1902)
Violin Concerto Op. 68 in D major (1895) [39:44]
Symphony No. 3 Op. 37 in D major (1879) [38:02]
Mirjam Tschopp (violin)
Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau/Golo Berg.
rec. Dessau, 2008-9.
CPO 777 465-2 [77:46]

Trust CPO to dig deep into the world of nineteenth cnetury German romantic music.

The 1895 Violin Concerto is the second of two; the other dates from 1894. Despite his reverence for Richard Wagner Klughardt's second concerto owes more to Brahms and even Dvorak than to Richard of Bayreuth. Mirjam Tschopp gives a very confident and strong performance in a four movement work that is romantic, rhetorical and muscular. The best episode is the third movement which strikes me as sincere. Its tenderness is fulsome and it speaks of a generous Brahsmian heart. The finale is not specially original or fresh but it entertains and reminds me of a sort of Teutonic Symphonie espagnole. The concerto ends with a conventional gestural sign-off.

The Third Symphony was premiered in Neustreilitz in 1879. It was written after he had completed his opera Iwein - apparently a Wagner-influenced work. I am glad to have had my curiosity stirred and satisfied by this work which despite its adherence to conventional language is smooth and nicely rounded in a Brahmsian way. Its third movement is a grand imperial essay yet cheery rather than bombastic. This is more of an example of the pictorial symphony rather than one a compellingly structured exposition of the grand verities. Draeseke had greater symphonic strengths. Klughardt seems to be more in the Lachner and Huber realm with a touch of the orchestral suites by Ludolf Nielsen.

Klughardt’s Cello Concerto and some other orchestral works can be heard on Sterling (review review). The Auf der Wanderschaft suite is on Antes and again Berg was the conductor of the Dessau orchestra. Both Chandos and Cedille have recorded his Schilflieder trio.

I do hope that CPO will record the other Klughardt symphonies; there are five in total.

Rob Barnett