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Hans Rosbaud conducts
Weber • Mendelssohn
1 CD | 80min | Nr. SWR19040CD
CD 1: » Carl Maria von Weber: Preziosa op. 78
» Carl Maria von Weber: Turandot-Ouvertüre op. 37
» Carl Maria von Weber: Der Freischütz op. 77
» Carl Maria von Weber: Beherrscher der Geister op. 27 ( Rübezahl)
» Carl Maria von Weber: Piano Piece f minor op. 79 for Piano and Orchestra
» Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: A Midsummer Night's Dream op. 21 (Overture)
» Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Scherzo op. 61 No. 1
» Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Nocturne op. 61 No. 7
» Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Capriccio brillant b minor op. 22 – Andante - Allegro con fuoco

This is the second installment in the new SWR Classic series featuring Hans Rosbaud's recordings from the SWR archive. The series includes numerous première recordings Hans Rosbaud was among the most important conductors of the 20th century. This recording also features two noted pianists: Yvonne Loriod and Robert Casadesus.

Hans Rosbaud was greatly admired for his discipline, a capacity for enthusiasm, detailed knowledge of orchestral instruments and his faithfulness to the scores. He did not consider himself a champion exclusively of modern music, but rather of the entire repertoire. While he conducted many Mozart operas (especially in Aix-en-Provence), he also gave equal attention to the works of Richard Wagner, Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler. This release, which contains several unpublished recordings, surveys a different Rosbaud from the new music specialist. We discover his interpretations of overtures from the early Romantic period, plus concert pieces by Carl Maria von Weber and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.

Weber’s overtures are considered virtuosic orchestral “treats.” Rosbaud puts his own distinctive slant on the music even during extrovert passages. He doesn't exaggerate speeds, allowing the different instrumental groups to develop the themes to the fullest extent; the bolero and polonaise rhythms of Preziosa and the ultra-romantic sound of the horns in Der Freischütz are showcased to maximum effect. The flowing quaver passages in Mendelssohn’s overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream Op.21 (1826) are executed with precision and without pedantry. Rosbaud imbues the 17-year-old Mendelssohn's masterpiece with dreamlike, intangible qualities that make this music truly unique. The scherzo and the nocturne of the incidental music Op.61, composed in 1843, are performed with equal care and precision.

The recordings of the two works for orchestra and soloist are equally noteworthy. French pianist Robert Casadesus was well-known as a leading Mozart and Ravel specialist; he also proves himself an outstanding interpreter of Weber. His magnificent, virtuoso performance of the substantial Konzertstück (concert piece) in F minor Op. 79 (1821) demonstrates the point. Equally engaging is the playing of Yvonne Loriod, who was an expert on modern music, particularly with regard to the works of her husband, Olivier Messiaen. Mendelssohn’s Capriccio brillant Op.22 (1832) cascades from her fingers as though virtuoso, Romantic pieces were the sole focus of her expertise.