LEOPOLD VAN DER PALS (1884-1966): Symphony No. 1 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 4, Frühling, Op. 14/1, Herbst, Op. 14/2, Wieland der Schmied, Op. 23.

Catalogue Number: 09U001

Label: CPO

Reference: 555 117-2

Format: CD

Price: $15.98

Description: Born in Russia to a Dutch father and a Danish mother, van der Pals had early lessons from Gliere and later studies in Switzerland with Alexandre Denéréas. After a period in Berlin and a second one back in Switzerland, van der Pals moved continuously around Europe’s sanatoriums seeking a cure for his wife’s ultimately fatal illness, so he was a perfect example of the adjective “cosmopolitan”. Completed on New Year’s Day in 1909 in Berlin, the symphony’s first movement has a Myaskovskian gloom and maybe distant echoes of Scriabin and Bruckner but the following scherzo seems like a glorious day in an Alpine landscape while a calm and peaceful andante gives way to a finale which struggles a bit with first-movement atmosphere before arriving at a confident conclusion. The tone-poems date from 1910-12 and add a piquant bit of Impressionistic color to a Straussian Germanic Romanticism; the two “seasons” pair made me think of the Finn Vaino Raitio’s shorter pieces in the genre. Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra; Johannes Goritzki.

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