Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra. George Hanson, conductor.
Daedalus Item Code
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Felix Draeseke (1835–1913) was a composer of the "New German School" who set out to emulate Liszt and Wagner (even writing the choral equivalent of the latter's Ring cycle in Christus: A Mystery in Three Oratorios). This disc collects his Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 40 "Symphonia Tragica" (1885–6); the Symphonic Prologue to Penthesilea (1888); and the Overture to his 1884 opera Gudrun.
"The Symphonic Prologue to Penthesilea is a masterpiece, as fine a tone poem as Liszt never wrote. Surging rhythms, characterful scoring (including much freer use of brass and percussion than in the symphony), and distinctive thematic material accurately chart the downfall of the Kleist's Amazon Queen heroine within the framework of a tightly argued sonata structure. The last bars, with their sharp orchestral exclamations against a mournful, quiet background have genuine originality of conception and make a powerful impression."—Classics Today