MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

 58,121 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

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

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   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


Plain text for smartphones & printers

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

all cpo reviews

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

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus


Support us financially by purchasing this from
Josef GUNG’L (1809/10-1889)
Durch dick und dünn Galop Op. 289 [2:04]
Träume auf dem Ozean Waltz Op. 80 [9:50]
Elbröschen Polka Op. 207 [3:17]
Perpetuum mobile Op. 317 [3:42]
Amorettentänze Waltz Op. 161 [8:55]
Najaden-Quadrille Op. 264 [3:58]
Klänge aus der Heimat Oberländler Op. 31 [3:36]
Franz-Joseph-Marsch Op. 142 [2:27]
Zsámbéki-Csárdás Op. 163 [4:13]
Berliner-Concerthaus Polka Op. 269 [3:04]
Siehst du wohl? Galop Op. 319 [2:47]
Eisenbahn-Dampf Galop Op. 5 [3:03]
Die Hydropathen Waltz Op. 149 [8:13]
Gedenke mein Polka Mazurka Op. 241 [3:44]
Narren Galop Op. 182 [2:32]
Nürnberger Symphoniker/Christian Simonis
rec. Stadthalle Fürth, 28-29 April 2010
CPO 777 582-2 [66:27]

Devotees of shops selling secondhand printed music will frequently find thick and well-used volumes of dance music by Gung’l. Trying them on the piano will reveal pleasant tunes but is seldom likely to suggest that this was a composer worth exploring further. Listening to this fascinating and enjoyable disc shows how wrong that view is. The tunes are indeed pleasant, but the mastery of the orchestra, ingenious rhythmic changes within the dance framework, and the variety of dance forms used all indicate a composer who deserves an honoured place, albeit in the second rank, of nineteenth century dance musicians.
Josef Gung’l was Hungarian by birth. He started his musical career playing in military bands before becoming a bandmaster. After leaving the army in 1841 he led a civilian band playing mainly dance music. He worked mainly in Berlin but toured widely, including the United States, St Petersburg and Vienna. As the opus numbers above suggest his output was large and it must have been a daunting task choosing a suitable selection for this disc. Wisely, although Gung’l was known especially for his waltzes, there are only three here, thus avoiding the risk of monotony to which too many Johann Strauss discs succumb. They are nonetheless the highlights here, especially in their introductions. That to Träume auf dem Ozean is particularly imaginative, beautifully scored, especially for the woodwind and brass. Within the waltzes little counter-melodies and ingenious rhythmic changes prevent the monotony which can arise from long sections of three-four. Christian Simonis takes the brave, and to my mind wholly correct, decision to make little variation of speed within each waltz. When music is written specifically for dancing such variations, however “effective” they may be, are in essence imposed from outside the music and hide the more subtle variations that are implicit within it. The performances throughout the disc are convincing and enjoyable.
The remaining items comprise a selection of galops, polkas, marches and so on. There is a railway imitation and two galops in which the orchestra are required to sing, as well as a Perpetuum mobile on the same lines as the better known example by Johann Strauss giving solos to each section of the orchestra in turn. It has to be admitted that in the items included here Gung’l seldom matches the melodically memorable as found in the best of Strauss but he is more than able to match the quality of the latter’s lesser work.
Overall this is a disc with much appeal to anyone interested in nineteenth century dance music. The recording is good as are the notes, although it would have been good to have more information about the particular pieces included here as well as about the composer’s work as a whole. Very little of his music is available on disc so that my sole regret it that this disc is not labelled as “Volume 1”; it deserves to be followed by many more.
John Sheppard