The overtures of early Romantic composer Carl Maria von Weber are among his most appealing works, and their colorful orchestration, vivid scene-painting, and abundant tunefulness have made them favorite concert openers, long after most of their associated operas dropped out of the repertoire. This generous bybrid SACD by the Tapiola Sinfonietta, conducted by Jean-Jacques Kantorow, presents the most popular overtures Oberon, Euryanthe, and Der Freischütz with seven less famous but equally engaging pieces that fill out the program.
Stemming from the same fertile compositional period as the majority of his clarinet works, composer Carl Maria von Weber was also hard at work penning two symphonies (in fact, his only two forays into this genre) and his lone Concerto for bassoon and orchestra. Though written only a few short years after Beethoven's revolutionary Third Symphony, Weber seems little interested in innovation apart from his use of scherzos in place of minuets. Rather, these two early works are more Haydn-esque in their melodies and accompaniment, and Mozartian in their frequent use of wind concertante parts. (Mike D. Brownell)
This highly accessible, colourful and melodic music is here interpreted by the Tapiola Sinfonietta under Jean-Jacques Kantorow, a team whose previous recordings on BIS have been enthusiastically received by the reviewers. A disc of works by Saint-Saëns was for instance described as ‘a smorgasbord of distinctive orchestral colours’ in Classic FM Magazine and was a finalist in the Gramophone Awards 2007.
…Clarinetist Harri Mäki joins Bezaly quite capably in the same composer's very early (Op. 6) Tarentelle, but otherwise this is Bezaly's show, and she gets first class accompaniments from the Tapiola Sinfonietta under Jean-Jacques Kantorow, all captured in perfectly balanced sound. This is a disc that leaves you wanting more, and given the inherent limitations in range and timbre of Bezaly's instrument, that's saying quite a lot about her masterful handling of it.