Josef Schelb Orchestra Music Vol. 2 features concertos

German composer Josef Schelb lost most of his manuscripts in a Berlin air raid during World War II. He made up for those losses after the war, creating 150 new works between 1949 and his death in 1977. This album features three of his post-war concertos.

The Kammersymphonie Berlin seems the ideal ensemble for this music. Schelb’s music has a stripped-down sound to it. The ensemble’s tightly focused sound adds intensity to the stripped-down nature of Schelb’s works.

Overall, Schelb’s music bears some resemblance to that of Paul Hindemith. One of the real values of this release is hearing how Schelb moves beyond Hindemith as time moves on.

The 1949 Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra is the most Expressionistic work of the three. Schelb seems to use Hindemith’s concepts of tonality in this piece. Pianist Tatjana Blome performs with authority and energy.

The Viola Concerto, completed in 1956, has a different character. Schelb’s use of chromaticism is much more aggressive. Although there’s still a tonal framework, the music has an unsettled quality to it that works quite well. Violist Sarina Zickgraf delivers an engaging performance that sounds organic to that of the orchestra.

Schelb’s Concerto for Cor Anglais and String Orchestra was written in 1970. The chromatic elements seemed to have softened. They’re still present but used to create consonances rather than dissonances.

Dominik Wollenbweber plays the cor anglais with supple lyricism. Even the most angular of Schelb’s melodies have a smoothness to them that softens their sharp edges.

Josef Schelb: Orchestral Music, Volume 2
Orchestral Music, Volume Two
Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra; Concerto for Viola and String Orchestra; Concerto for Cor Anglais and String Orchestra
Tatjana Blome, piano; Sarina Zickgraf, viola; Dominik Wollenweber, cor anglais
Kammersymphonie Berlin; Jürgen Bruns, conductor
Toccata Classics TOCC 0604

More Recent Posts

  • #ClassicsaDay #SymYesNo Week 3

    Tags: , , , , , , , ,

    For the month of September, the Classics a Day team chose a controversial theme. There is a small subset of symphonic works within the classical repertoire that appear misnamed. Most composers choose their titles carefully. But when the title runs counter to expectations, disagreements arise. What does the title “symphony” mean? Can a composition be […]

  • WTJU Jazz Profile: David Eisenman

    Tags:

    For decades, David Eisenman has served as WTJU’s Jazz Director, coordinating the department “as loosely as humanly possible,” as he puts it. He insists on responsible broadcasting, but with passion for the music and the love to share it. “Big in my playbook is diversity in the genre,” says David. “I have always attempted to make the umbrella […]

  • Stephen Pollock digs into Cherry Red, September 30

    Tags: , , , , ,

    Stephen Pollock, guitarist and leader of Cherry Red, the best Rolling Stones cover band in central Virginia, will join the Juddermeister on Induced to Judder September 30th at 9pm. Stephen will be promoting a special show the band will be performing paying tribute to Charlie Watts who recently passed away. This event will be held […]

  • WTJU Jazz Profile: Louise Largiader

    Tags:

    For Louise Largiader, WTJU was something of a slippery slope. First, she was a longtime listener. Then she started donating to the Marathons. Then answering phones during them. She says she never thought she’d be on the radio, but she made the jump to on-air DJ a few years ago. Here at the station, we’re so glad […]

  • WTJU Jazz Profile: Rebecca Foster

    Tags:

    Rebecca Foster brings eclectic music tastes to WTJU. Heck, one of the shows she hosts is even called Eclectic Woman. She also shares an hour of gospel every other Sunday morning during In The Spirit. And in more than two decades at WTJU, she has covered on-air shifts in each of our departments. Despite Rebecca’s youthful energy, she is not […]