FELIX WOYRSCH (1860-1944): Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Minor, Op. 70, 3 Böcklin-Phantasien, Op. 53.
Catalogue Number: 03Q001
Reference: 777 923-2
Description: Unlike the simpler, mellower Second (08O001), the Third of 1928 moves back toward the direction of the Dionysian First. Its key, in the words of an 18th century German poet, is useful for expressing "anxiety, oppression, brooding despair, blackest melancholy", and the emotional turmoil is there but the mood is active, struggling, rather than passive. The big orchestra occasionally will suggest Mahler and Bruckner but Woyrsch was not a hide-bound conservative; this music is not far from the music of Schreker and Zemlinsky. The Böcklin fantasies consist of three of the same four paintings Reger picked for his similar work: "The Isle of the Dead", "The Hermit" and "The Play of the Waves". Woyrsch's work's premiere (1910) preceded Reger by more than two years and the similarities of approach and atmosphere are striking. This was probably the composer's most-performed composition; when the Hamburg Radio Orchestra selected a Woyrsch work to play at the centenary of his birth, they picked this triptych. Oldenburg State Orchestra; Thomas Dorsch.