WILMS Symphonies Nos. 6+7 Concerto Köln

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JOHANN WILHELM WILMS

Symphonien
No. 6 op. 58
No. 7
Concerto Köln
Int. Release 01 Jun. 2004
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0289 474 5082 5 DDD AH
ARCHIV Produktion


트랙리스트

Johann Wilhelm Wilms (1772 - 1847)
Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Op. 58

Symphony No.7 in C minor

6.
7:32

Concerto Köln

총 재생시간 1:00:45

The playing of Concerto Köln is first-class, and their advocacy should do wonders for the reputation of this unknown master [Wilms].

Whatever the truth of it, I am delighted to be able to give this excellent music a hearty welcome, particularly in these first-rate performances (on period instruments), conducted from the leader's chair by Werner Erhardt. Conductorless performances often suffer from a lack of rhythmic verve; that's certainly not the case here. Fine recorded sound, too. Well worth your attention.

[Carter]: . . . these symphonies . . . do display much competence, confidence, and an occasional smattering of originality. Particularly impressive is his exploitation of the winds, which was quite daring for its day . . . As far as this composer is concerned, Concerto Köln owns the turf, and if this release is any indication, they're not likely to be challenged in the foreseeable future. Werner Erhardt and his colleagues dig in their heels and mine this soil for all its worth. With bracing tempos and energy that crackles from beginning to end, Concerto Köln unleashes a torrent of music that ¿ via their execution ¿ manages to command the attention and partially underscore Wilms's contemporary reputation. There is also much sensitivity to detail that not only illuminate the music, but also imbues it with probing insight . . . it is a great recording of music that deserves more than an occasional performance.
[Robins]: It would be difficult to imagine more persuasive advocates for these two unjustly neglected symphonies than Concerto Köln, who play both with great conviction, fire, and dramatic flair. Tempos seem ideally judged, while the warmth and passion of their strings is ideally complemented by superb wind-playing, the period oboes and clarinets especially adding a quite wonderful range of colors to the texture . . . this splendidly engineered disc is strongly recommended to anyone looking to stray beyond the familiar and well-beaten tracks of early Romanticism.

Das Ensemble zeigt, wie der einst viel aufgeführte Wahl-Niederländer mit Haydn-Esprit und Beethoven-Elan einen spannend-eingängigen, frühromantischen Stil entwickelte. In optimaler räumlicher Staffelung lassen die Kölner Wilms auch klanglich in allen Farben blühen.

. . . ein ernst zu nehmender Symphoniker, in dessen Werk sich der stilistische Wandel von der Wiener Klassik zur Frühromantik auf eine durchaus originelle und erfrischende Weise niederschlägt. Erstmals ehren nun die unermüdlichen Klassik-Archäologen (oder sollte man besser sagen "Reanimateure") von Concerto Köln das vergessene Multitalent Wilms . . . diskographisch: mit seinen beiden letzten Symphonien in d-Moll (1820) und c-Moll (nach 1830), die beide auf eine sehr eindringliche Weise das unruhige Kulturklima der nachnapoleonischen Zeit verarbeiten . . . wie die "Klassik-Rocker" vom Rhein ihn hier anpacken, unter Hochspannung setzen, mit attackierender Frische den Herzenspuls wiederbeleben und die innere Dramatik entfachen -- das macht aus Wilms nachgerade fast schon einen kleinen musikalischen Revolutionär: Das nenne ich konspiratives Musizieren auf höchstem Niveau -- unbestechlich und unwiderstehlich.

. . . die als "World Premiere Recordings" bezeichneten Einspielungen der Sinfonien Nr. 6 und Nr. 7 eines gewissen Johann Wilhelm Wilms haben das Zeug, der offiziellen Musikgeschichtsschreibung ein paar korrigierende zusätzliche Sätze abzuverlangen . . . Das Concerto Köln hat Wilms Musik vorzüglich im Griff, spart nicht mit zuweilen fast gewalttätigen Leidenschaften und überzeugt immer wieder durch wunderschöne Bläsersoli.

Concerto Köln spielt die gestische Musik des einst sehr erfolgreichen Komponisten mit praller Musizierlust, herzhaft auftrumpfend in den schnellen Sätzen, erlesen fein im Andante der Sechsten und im Poco Adagio der Siebten.

Glücklicherweise gibt es da ein Orchester mit Namen Concerto Köln, das schon öfters wenig bekannte Kompositionen ausgegraben und mit großem Engagement über die Bühne und auf CD gebracht hat . . . Die langsamen Sätze haben einen ungemein lyrischen Charakter und der Liebhaber eines intimen romantischen Klanges kommt hier auf seine Kosten. Die schnellen Sätze sind sehr energisch . . . Die Instrumentation ist meisterhaft . . . Wo die 6. Sinfonie grundsätzlich der Klassik verpflichtet ist, spricht die 7. Sinfonie die Sprache der Romantik. Auch hier weiß Concerto Köln voll zu überzeugen. Besonders schön sind die Partien für die Naturhörner ¿ vier am Stück ¿, die hier meisterhaft gespielt werden. Repertoire und Interpretation machen diese Aufnahme zu einem regelrechten Knüller.

. . . on admirera à nouveau la beauté des timbres du Concerto Köln qui pallie l'excessive grandiloquence mélodique de l'Andante. Un programme original dans une interprétation irréprochable.

C'est un musicien estimable, une manière de clone de Spohr, que nous révèlent les membres du Concerto Köln avec la sève vivace, les couleurs denses et les élans rythmiques qui sont leur marque. Ils nous convaincraient presque que Wilms fut un grand artiste, injustement méconnu. Les curieux seront comblés.

Les dimensions de ses ultimes symphonies n'ont rien à envier à Beethoven dont il ne copie pas le langage, inventant son propre univers assez fantasque et déroutant. Un orchestrateur singulier dont les alliages, particulièrement au sein de la petite harmonie, surprennent, et qui demeure l'une des figures emblématiques parmi les contemporains de Beethoven.

. . . las Sinfonías N° 6 y 7, en las que el grupo nos desvela, en una gran interpretación, la frescura y poderosa originalidad de un artista inexplicablemente olvidado. Tomen nota, porque volveremos a oir hablar de él.

El Concerto Kö1n se halla en su excelente e impecable línea sónica y estilística, con auténticos solistas en cada familia orquestal, bajo la concertación desde su papel de Konzertmeister-Concertino, primer violín de Werner Ehrhardt. Una gran ocasión para escuchar dos importantes obras del apogeo romántico inicial centroeuropeo de la mano de otro olvidado compositor. Sonido excelente.

... la interpretación es fabulosa, por empuje y limpieza, así como el sonido de la orquesta, perfectamente conjuntada y afinada ... Todo un hallazgo este Wilms.
    A Dutch Beethoven?

Who was Johann Wilhelm Wilms and why are we only now - thanks to another pioneering effort by Werner Ehrhardt and Concerto Köln - making this remarkable composer's acquaintance?

He was born around the same time and same place as Beethoven. Both quickly outgrew their home turf and fled to one of Europe's musical capitals. Beethoven went to Vienna in 1792 and, as everyone knows, rapidly became the most famous musical figure of his time and the 19th century's most influential composer.

And Wilms? He went to Amsterdam in 1791, taught piano, played flute in orchestras and, as pianist, introduced the Dutch to Mozart and Beethoven's concertos. But though he became a key player in the Netherlands' musical life and even wrote the semi-official Dutch national anthem, he struggled to make his name as a composer. After his death in 1847, his music languished in obscurity.

Not long ago, while poring over manuscripts by unknown composers, Werner Ehrhardt came across a symphony by Wilms. He was immediately taken with its accessible melodies. More recently still, in the midst of researching another Beethoven contemporary, Ehrhardt was contacted by the musicologist Ernst Klusen, who re-awakened his interest in Wilms. As he got to know more of the music, Ehrhardt was struck by the great stylistic development throughout the composer's career.

For this CD Ehrhardt has chosen his last two symphonies. The Sixth, which reflects the turbulent, difficult time of his life in which Wilms wrote it, won a prize and was published in 1823. The even more extraordinary Seventh, whose musical gestures clearly reflect the mark left on Wilms by the French Revolution, looks both backward to the Classical era just past and ahead to the Romantic one just beginning.

After a partial performance in 1836, the score of the Seventh Symphony mysteriously disappeared and the work sank into oblivion. Nearly 170 years later it was rediscovered and finally published. Ehrhardt and Concerto Köln gave the work its first complete performance in 2002. And in this, Concerto Köln's second Archiv release, both symphonies receive their world première recording.

    Johann Wilhelm Wilms: Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7

Some years ago, when we were again sifting and playing through autograph scores and printed editions of works by unknown composers, we stumbled across the Symphony in E flat major op. 14 by Johann Wilhelm Wilms, the memorable melodic writing of which struck me as particularly appealing. But I was puzzled by the date of the edition, 1809: for a symphony that was supposedly written in the first decade of the 19th century, its style seemed somewhat antiquated. As a result I initially discarded the work and its composer as unduly conservative. Some time later, however, when we were examining works from Beethoven's day, the musicologist Dr Ernst A. Klusen brought the conversation back to Wilms and explained that the op. 14 Symphony had in fact been written around 1793. He also brought along to our rehearsals the contemporary sets of parts of some of Wilms's other symphonies. All the players reacted to the music with a sense of spontaneous enthusiasm: these works tap a rich melodic vein, and the movements are structured along varied and gripping lines. Moreover, these symphonies reflect different stages in the remarkable stylistic development that Wilms underwent in the course of his life: during his youth he was still committed to Haydnesque models, but by the end of his life his Classicism had given way to Romanticism, with the figures of Classical rhetoric yielding to Romantic colours, atmospheres, scenes and melodies. It was not an easy choice for us to make, but for the present CD we have decided in favour of Wilms's last two symphonies, nos. 6 and 7, works which in our own view best characterize his rich and unjustly neglected legacy as a composer.

Werner Ehrhardt



“Most of the general public seems to have little idea and no concept of what it takes to produce a decent piece of music: only for its execution can they summon up any respect and acclaim, and how much more its performance is rewarded! If Haydn, Mozart and others had lived here, they would probably not have become what they did; here they would have had to spend the whole livelong day teaching, with the result that their genius, if not stifled, would at the very least have been stunted." Thus an unnamed correspondent, writing in the columns of the Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung in 1815, bewailed the composer's lot in Amsterdam, his sense of disillusion clearly expressed with some acerbity. Yet the writer was in fact none other than the most respected and widely performed composer in the Netherlands at this date: Johann Wilhelm Wilms.

Everything had started out so promisingly for him in 1791, when he had turned his back on his homeland and set off to explore the Dutch capital's musical scene, which had then seemed a paradise on earth. He had been born in 1772 in Witzhelden in the Bergisches Land, where his father was the village schoolmaster and organist, and it was the latter, together with his elder brother and the vicar of the nine-hundred-strong local community, who gave him his first lessons in music, after which the young Wilms took charge of his own education and attempted to teach himself not only the piano and flute but also composition. Only then did he take the plunge and head off to the nearest European capital of music, which in his case meant Amsterdam. He immediately struck lucky and found a warm welcome among representatives of the city's private, semi-private and public concert life: his keyboard improvisations were admired in the salons; he was acclaimed in the city's concert halls as a soloist in keyboard concertos, first by other composers, later by himself; and he was everywhere valued as a rank-and-file flautist. As a pianist, too, Wilms was much sought after as a teacher, and the locals additionally learnt to respect him as a composition teacher to whom they were happy to return.

But composition was forced to take a back seat: by his own admission, his works were “merely the fruit of those hours that were left to him after his varied and wearisome day's business was over". And so Wilms concentrated on those genres that were in particular demand in Amsterdam and opted to write symphonies and concertos, the latter either piano concertos for his own use or other types of concerto for those of his orchestral colleagues who were virtuosos in their own right and with whom he was on friendly terms. His first four symphonies date from the decade between Mozart's death in 1791 and the publication of Beethoven's First Symphony in 1801. Uninhibited, self-possessed and gratefully trusting in the pioneering achievements of Haydn and Mozart, he developed into a highly promising musician. And when his C major Symphony op. 9 of 1806 received its local première in Leipzig, he was acclaimed on an international level, too, as “one of the most intelligent, liveliest and best-trained of artists". As a result of his countless commitments on Amsterdam's musical scene, his later symphonies followed only some time later, with a full thirteen-year gap between his Fifth and his Sixth.

The fleet-footed opening movement of his Sixth Symphony scurries along in a restless and apparently aimless way, yet the skill that it reveals in terms of its musical design recalls an earlier generation of composers. Segments of the theme are contrapuntally interwoven and the first and second subjects combined in ways that suggest an attempt to recreate a lost consensus by artificial means. Close motivic relationships link this movement not only with its slow introduction but also with the violently whirling dance of its Scherzo and its final movement, a whirlwind envoi that is neither harmless nor carefree. The songlike and pastoral Andante, by contrast, conjures up the dream of a possible Arcadia. In 1820 this symphony was awarded first prize by the Société Royale des Beaux-Arts et de Littérature in Ghent and three years later was published in Leipzig by Breitkopf & Härtel as the composer's op. 58.

By 1830 the July Revolution in Paris had changed the face of Europe. Events that were perceived in many places as little more than a distant rumble assumed seismic proportions in Amsterdam. From there the spark passed to Brussels and ignited a veritable powder keg of discontent. Willem I sent in troops, but in vain: the southern, Catholic provinces of the Netherlands declared their independence and formed their own state, the kingdom of Belgium, which was quickly recognized by the outside world. Wilms felt obliged to write a number of patriotic songs as a contribution to the moral armament of the northern provinces - in 1816 he had been the double winner of a competition to find a new national anthem for the Netherlands and had been regarded as a particularly successful composer of patriotic pieces ever since his 1813 orchestral variations on the older anthem, Wilhelmus van Nassouwe. But these compulsory exercises in patriotism reveal only one aspect of Wilms's reaction to the political events of this period, for more than fifteen years of conservatism, widespread unrest and revolt in several parts of Europe and the repression of liberal aspirations throughout virtually the whole of the continent all seem to have forced him to take a personal stand as a composer: in the early 1830s he wrote his Seventh Symphony, his last contribution to the medium and his second in C minor.

The work of a sixty-year-old, it looks both forwards and backwards. An ascending triad, with chromatic passing notes, proves to be the germ cell of the whole of the melodic activity. Ideas from earlier years, now placed in a more forward-looking context, are combined with the motivic language of French revolutionary music to produce a highly charged and compelling plea of a model citoyen who had remained both young and alert. Never before had Wilms admitted so decisively that he was marked by the spirit of the musical products of the revolutionary period. But if his music caught the mood of the age, it failed to appeal to contemporary taste - at least it was not to the taste of those of his fellow citizens who set the tone and who still shuddered when they recalled the first performance of the “Eroica". Not until 1836 was a single movement from the work performed in public, after which the score went missing, not resurfacing until the composer advertised for its return. The orchestral parts remained untraceable, and the symphony soon fell into oblivion. Not until some 170 years after it was written was Wilms's Seventh Symphony published, receiving its first complete performance at the 2002 Festival d'Ambronay, when it was unveiled by Concerto Köln. Like the composer's Sixth Symphony, it has now been recorded for the first time.

Ernst A. Klusen

    Concerto Köln - A Chronology

“Non-conformist, brilliant, passionate and above all endearingly spontaneous"
Jury of the German Record Critics' Prize, 1995

“Right from the start you know you're in for something special: there is such an infectious generosity of spirit, such vivid character and crispness[...]."
Gramophone (on Concerto Köln's recording of Mendelssohn concertos
with fortepianist Andreas Staier, 2000)

1985   The period-instrument orchestra Concerto Köln is founded under the artistic direction of the Cologne-born violinist Werner Ehrhardt, a student of Franzjosef Maier at the Hochschule Köln
1986 Concerto Köln performs in France, Greece and Algeria
1987 Appearances at the Schwetzingen Festival, Berlin Bach-Tage and Printemps des Arts de Monte Carlo; first recordings (studio, radio, television) and first collaboration with René Jacobs (Gluck's Echo et Narcisse)
Since then Concerto Köln has appeared on numerous occasions under the direction of René Jacobs as an opera orchestra at Berlin's Staatsoper Unter den Linden, in Paris and in Aix-en-Provence
1988 Performances include appearances at the Internationale Festtage Alte Musik Stuttgart (International Early Music Festival of Stuttgart); tour of Poland; concerts with the Chapelle Royale under Philippe Herreweghe
1989 Concerts at the London Proms in the Royal Albert Hall and at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw
In the following years the orchestra appears regularly at major concert halls and international festivals including Salzburg, Lucerne, Schleswig-Holstein, Berlin, Montreux and Aix-en-Provence
1990 Tours of Italy, Portugal and South America
1991 Tours of France, Belgium and Southeast Asia; performances under René Jacobs
of Mozart's La finta semplice at the Innsbruck Festwochen der Alten Musik (Early Music Festival) and in Versailles, as well as Handel's Giulio Cesare (the recording of which has won numerous awards)
1992 For the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden Concerto Köln performs a revival of Carl Heinrich Graun's opera Cleopatra e Cesare, conducted by René Jacobs; Festtage Alte Musik Köln (Cologne Early Music Festival) is founded by Concerto Köln in collaboration with DeutschlandRadio with the first season theme “Joseph Martin Kraus"
The annual Festtage Alte Musik Köln develops into a platform for the presentation of the orchestra's newest musical discoveries with such topics as Luigi Boccherini, Spanish Classicism, Gaetano Brunetti, Pietro Antonio Locatelli, Antonio Rosetti, Johann Baptist Vanhal, Evaristo Felice Dall'Abaco and The Emergence of Romanticism (with an emphasis on Anton Eberl)
1994 Performances in cities including Mexico, Venice and Paris (Louvre); Graun's Cleopatra e Cesare performed at the Berlin Staatsoper
1995 Concerto Köln wins the German Record Critics' Prize
1996 Performances at Berlin's Konzerthaus and Staatsoper; opening concert of the Dresdner Musikfestspiele (Dresden Music Festival) in the Semper Opera
1997 Concerto Köln is Orchestra-in-Residence at the Innsbruck Festwochen der Alten Musik (Hasse's Solimano, Gassmann's L'opera seria and a concert); appearances include a UNICEF benefit concert at the Philharmonie in Cologne
1998 European tour with Handel's Giulio Cesare conducted by René Jacobs; performances at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, in Lyon, Paris, Salzburg, Hamburg (NDR), Frankfurt and Munich, as well as in Montreal and New York (Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival)
2000 Under the direction of René Jacobs the orchestra performs Mozart's Così fan tutte at the Aix-en-Provence Festival and in Paris's Théâtre des Champs-Élysées as well as Handel's Agrippina in Brussels's Théâtre de la Monnaie; further appearances include performances in Prague, Seville, Washington DC (Library of Congress) and Toronto
2001 Concerto Köln tours with Andreas Scholl and Barbara Hendricks; the orchestra founds the biennal Kempen Music Festival, where early music meets and enters into dialogue with other musical genres
2002 The orchestra plays Mozart and Haydn at the Nantes Festival, in Paris and Orléans; tour of France and Luxembourg with Bach's St. John Passion; performances of the Dream of the Orient (works by Mozart, Gluck, Kraus, Süssmayr and Turkish composers) with the ensemble Sarband in Utrecht, Berlin, Brussels, Lucerne and on tour in Turkey; Concerto Köln signs an exclusive five-year contract with Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv Produktion; first recording in September: Dream of the Orient with the ensemble Sarband
2003 Release of Concerto Köln's first Archiv Produktion recording Dream of the Orient (Echo Award 2003); on tour with this program in Spain, Italy, France and Germany
2004 Appearances include concerts with fortepianist Andreas Staier in Ascona (Mozart), Erlangen (Johann Wilhelm Wilms) and Cologne (Beethoven, Mozart and Wilms); a USA tour (New York's Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center and Worcester, MA) with conductor David Stern (Romantic programme); festivals including Göttingen (Handel's Rinaldo, conducted by Nicholas McGegan) and Vézelay (Haydn's “Nelson" Mass and Bach's B minor Mass under Pierre Cao);
a staged production of Mozart's Figaro at Paris's Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (directed by Jean-Louis Martinoty and conducted by René Jacobs), with a concert performance in London; Handel's Saul under René Jacobs in Lisbon and Valencia; Bach's B minor Mass in Essen; “Lost Objects", a TRANSMUSICART project with Bang on a Can (directed by Daniel Reuss), at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; recordings this year include symphonic works by Mysliveèek; CD release this year: symphonies by the Dutch composer J. W. Wilms, a contemporary of Beethoven

4/2004