Magazine article Gramophone

Fuchs: Symphonies-No 1

Magazine article Gramophone

Fuchs: Symphonies-No 1

Article excerpt

Symphonies--No 1, Op 37; No 2, Op 45 WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne / Karl-Heinz Steffens CPO (F) CP0777 830-2 (70' * DDD)

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'What a delightful man,' quotes the booklet-note of this CPO disc of symphonies by Robert Fuchs. And yes, he does come across that way: the teacher of (among many others) Wolf, Mahler, Sibelius and Korngold, and a rare universally liked figure in the musical snakepit of late Habsburg Vienna, where his genial style led to his being dubbed Serenaden-Fuchs. And if you've heard the Naxos recordings of his five orchestral serenades, there's a fair chance that you've already succumbed to his understated charm.

Fuchs seems to have taken his symphonies altogether more seriously--well, the first movements, anyway. In the lyrical opening theme of the First, you can almost hear him tweaking and teasing his melody to make it more susceptible to development. In the Second, premiered in 1887 when Fuchs was 40, he opens with a foursquare, rather stiff fanfare motif. …

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