The Flemish Connection, Vol 9DANIEL STERNEFELD (1905-1986): Symphony No. 1 in C, Four Interludes and Finale from the Opera Mater Dolorosa, Elegy, Variations on "Frère Jacques" for Brass and Percussion.
Catalogue Number: 06L012
Reference: KTC 4029
Description: Sternefeld's symphony is a three-movement work whose first two are full of the anger, anxiety and desperation a Jewish composer would feel in occupied Belgium in 1942 but its finale, based on an old beggar's song ("If you help yourelves, then God will help you free yourselves from the tyrant's bonds and fetters") turns the symphony into a work of rebellion and, in its choral-like finale, triumph. The 20 minutes of music from the 1935 opera are vividly redolent of its subject matter: a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about a mother trying to get Death to give back her child. Both these pieces were recorded by Marco Polo 14 years ago (long out of print). The Elegy is a paraphrase on the Kol Nidre (1931) and is an early example of Sternefeld's remarkable orchestrational skills (especially low brass and winds) while the 1954 variations on the popular song are as bright, witty and cheeful as you might think. Brussels Philharmonic; Arturo Tamayo.