Heinrich Sutermeister Orchestral Works Impress

Heinrich Sutermeister was a Swiss composer, of the generation following Artur Honegger. He studied with Carl Orff and spent most of his career in Switzerland. Volume One of Toccata Classics’ series featured his orchestral works. It focussed on his strictly orchestral works.

This release offers music closer to Sutermeister’s interest — the human voice. Sutermeister composed seven operas for radio or television broadcasts. He also wrote eight operas for the stage. This album features four works for voice and orchestra. 

They demonstrate Sutermeister’s compositional skill. He uses the orchestra to support the voice, of course. But it also amplifies and underscores the meaning of the text. Unease is signaled by restless skittering in the strings. Stark declarations are reinforced with brass and winds. 

Juliane Banse delivers some fine performances, especially in “Ich reise weit.” This was an aria from the opera “Romeo und Juliet.” It was an international hit for Sutermeister, and it’s easy to hear why in this excerpt. (Volume One included an orchestral suite from the work.)

The Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz directed by Rainer Held is in exceptionally fine form. Fascinating music, indeed. Another composer well-served by Toccata Classics.

Heinrich Sutermeister: Orchestral Music, Volume Two
Works for Voice and Orchestra
Juliane Banse, soprano; Benjamin Bruns, tenor
Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Rainer Held, conductor
Toccata Classics TOCC 0608

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