OTHMAR SCHOECK (1886-1957): Sommernacht for String Orchestra, Sonata for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra (orch. Willy Honegger [b. c.1956]), Penthesilea Suite for Large Orchestra (arr. Andreas Delfs [b.1959]), Besuch in Urach for Soprano and Orchestra, Op. 62/40 (World Premiere Recording)
Catalogue Number: 03Q055
Label: Musiques Suisses
Reference: MGB CD 6281
Description: Rarely recorded works by an under-recorded composer: Sommernacht of 1945 blends sounds of nature and village life with a bed of string sound which recalls the Schoenberg of Verklärte Nacht and Richard Strauss' Metamorphosen to create a slightly sinister effect. The 16-minute orchestration of a Mörike poem, Besuch in Uralt (1947-49, orch. 1951), is a backward glance at lost childhood seen through the lens of World War II's destruction - a psychological drama of the soul with echoes of Strauss again and also Schreker. The Penthesilea suite (1923-25) is a 19-minute phantasmagoria of excerpts from the opera in Schoeck's most modern, tonality-stretching, expressionistic style - as is the 1928 bass clarinet sonata, which also froths with varied elements from recitatives and fugues to jazz elements. German texts. Bernhard Röthlisberger (bass clarinet), Rachel Harnisch (soprano), Bern Symphony Orchestra; Mario Venzago.