FRITZ BRUN (1878-1959): Symphony No. 5 in E Flat, Symphony No. 10 in B.
Catalogue Number: 12K001
Reference: GMCD 7320
Description: Brun's Fifth (1929) is music for adults. Enter, sit down and pay attention. This is probably one of the best symphonies ever to appear on Records International's cover. Written at a time when Brun was feeling pessimistic about Swiss audiences paying proper attention to their own composers, he produced a craggy, pessimistic, emotionally draining work firmly in the great Germanic symphonic tradition, not sparing the dissonance where he felt it was needed and operating in the most traditional series of forms: a granitic, pulverizing Chaconne for the first movement whose sense of inexorable momentum may remind some collectors of some of Robert Simpson's music yet to be written; a haunted little three-minute nocturnal scherzo with the tempo indication "hunted, fantastic"; a slow movement intended as a funeral ode to the recently deceased Swiss composer Hermann Suter which could almost stand alone as Brun's Death and Transfiguration, only much more realistic than Richard Strauss; and a "fast and furious" finale which takes the Chaconne's theme and creates an impressive fugue. Amazing. But equally amazing is the optimistic, now relaxed, now calmly reflective, now genuinely boisterous Tenth of 1953: plainly Brun had, as a septuagenarian, come to terms with his life, his music and his career and looks back on it all as can only an elder statesman with tons of hard-won experience. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Adriano.