This release features all world premiere recordings. That’s exciting, but perhaps not that unusual. Paul Wranitzky was a major figure in 18th Century Vienna. But his music has long since been overshadowed by his colleagues — Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.
Fortunately, there are recordings like this one. Wranitzky was a talented composer, and his music has a place in the repertoire. He was a contemporary of Mozart, though his style falls somewhere between Mozart and Haydn.
At least initially. As time progressed, Wraniztky, like Beethoven explored the limits of the classical style. And Wranitzky also seemed more interested in orchestration than his colleagues.
This release includes two opera overtures and two symphonies. The symphonies are from the 1790s. La Chasse, the Sinfonie à grand Orchestre, Op. 25 was published in 1793. The expanded version presented here shows Wranitzky’s gift for orchestration. There are hunting horns, of course. But Wranitsky also uses solo flute and oboe to suggest a pastoral scene. Trumpets and kettledrum bring home the finale. Wranitzky knew how to tell a story!
The Symphony in C major is one of three published in 1798 as Wranitky’s Opus 33. In this case, incidental stage music is recycled into a symphonic form. It’s a much lighter symphony than “La Chasse.” But it works. The material is well-organized. And the inherent tunefulness of the original music just adds to its appeal.
Marek Stilec directs the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice with verve and imagination. These works benefit from the light, transparent sound of the ensemble. But the orchestra can deliver power when necessary — especially in the finale of “La Chasse.”
If you enjoy the symphonies of Mozart and Haydn, give this a listen. You should enjoy the symphonies of Wranitzky as well. After all, Mozart and Haydn did (and Beethoven did, too).
Paul Wranitzky: Orchestral Works 3
Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice; Marek Stilec, conductor