Oliver Triendl delivers with Karl Weigl Piano Concerto

This release features three works from a composer on the rise. Austrian composer Karl Weigl was developing an impressive career by the 1930s. He had stueid with Alexander Zemlinsky and Robert Fuchs. He was a rehearsal conductor for Gustav Mahler. And he taught theory and composition at the University of Vienna. 

It was all disappear when the Nazis annexed Austria. Because of his Jewish background, Weigl was banned from performance — as was his music. He and his family emigrated to the United States. There he successfully rebuilt his career. 

The works on this release trace the arc of Weigl’s development before the Anschoss. Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra dates from 1916. They show the influence of Mahler, especially in their orchestration. 

The Piano Concerto in F minor premiered in 1931. Here Weigl’s personality is better defined. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s Post-Romantic. But Weigl has his own ideas about what that means. Oliver Triendl performs to his usual high standards. His gestures are, well, big and bold. 

Weigl wrote his Rhapsodie, Op. 30 in 1930. After he moved to America, Weigl’s music became increasingly polyphonic and polytonal. But that trend started much earlier. This work has several melodic lines interweaving in a beguiling fashion. 

The Jenaer Philharmonie under Simon Gaudenz performs quite well. Their recorded sound is warm, and sometimes a little soft around the edges. But they’re playing is clean and precise.

Karl Weigl: Piano Concerto
Rhapsody; Three Songs
Oliver Triendl, piano; Lina Johnson, soprano
Jenaer Philharmonie; Simon Gaudenz, conductor

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