PAUL GRAENER (1872-1944): Wiener Sinfonie, Op. 110, Turmwächterlied for Orchestra, Op. 107, Flute Concerto, Op. 116, Die Flöte von Sanssouci for Flute and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 88.
Catalogue Number: 12M001
Description: This release is important not only for the music: its subject joined the Nazi Party in 1933 and succeeded Richard Strauss as head of the Reichs Musikkammer in 1935 and such composers are usually still shunned by record companies even 75 years later. But Graener always maintained friendly contacts with Jewish musicians and associates (the Turmwächterlied of 1939 was one of the last things published by the Jewish publisher Eulenburg while the 1944 Flute Concerto was commissioned by another Jewish publisher, Wilhelm Zimmermann, who managed to keep up his business throughout the war in ways still not completely understood) and this and his financial difficulties eventually led to his being pushed out and kept around merely as a figurehead of acceptable German music (but this allowed his compositions to be performed regularly - Knapperstbusch debuted his Wiener Sinfonie in November of 1941). Although usually referred to as an "epigone" of Brahms, nothing here sounds like Brahms or Strauss or Reger (OK, some Bruckner in the coda of the symphony); Graener's voice is simply that of a conservative composer from the same tradition who, to the very end, never advanced in style . The notes are by Knut Andreas, a young conductor whose 2008 dissertation on Graener was published the same year (in German, of course) and who conducted Die Flöte von Sanssouci and Wiener Sinfonie with his Collegium Musicum Potsdam symphony orchestra. Andreas Knoop (flute), Cornelia Grohmann (flute - concerto), Altenburg-Gora Philharmonic Orchestra; Eric Solén.