Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Michael Schonwandt – Klenau: Symphony No. 9 (2016) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Paul von Klenau – Symphony No. 9 – Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Michael Schonwandt (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:28:39 minutes | 1,52 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Dacapo-Records.dk | Booklet, Front Cover | © Dacapo Records, Copenhagen
Recorded live at DR Koncerthuset, Copenhagen, on 20-21 March 2014

Paul von Klenau’s (1883-1946) grandiose Ninth Symphony in eight movements was composed in Copenhagen 1945 as his last major work; an extraordinary fusion of a Requiem with Latin text and a traditional symphony for orchestra, choir and four soloists. The manuscript then lay unknown for more than fifty years until it appeared in the 2001 discovery of a large collection of Klenau manuscripts in Vienna, and not until March 2014 – after a thorough editing by The Royal Library in Copenhagen – did it receive its first performance by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Schønwandt. This world premiere recording presents the full symphony; a magnificent opus of both tonal, atonal and even twelve-tone passages, very far removed from the style that predominated in the post-Nielsen Danish music of the 1940s.

Accomplished but almost forgotten Danish composer Paul von Klenau (1853-1945) left Denmark and emigrated to Germany of all places in the 30s – he was just in time for the beginnings of WW II. He seemed to be quite ambivalent about Hitler’s ascension. Before the war he became involved with Schoenberg and company, but only became entirely enslaved by Degenerate Art around that time. Like so many composers, he used the techniques, mostly melodically (never harmonically), as he saw fit. For the most part, his music is traditionally tonal with unexpected voice leadings in a style palatable to unsoiled German listeners.
There are actually 10 completed symphonies, but he renamed the last one Symphony 9 in honor of Beethoven (but not in honor of people who can count). It was written at the end of the war and his life (1945). It’s essentially a Requiem blended with an overall symphonic concept. The text is expanded with a line reminiscent of Kant about the stars being above philosophy. The work is filled with choral passages reminiscent of Beethoven, with plenty of skillful fugal writing. It is considered the longest symphony written by a Danish composer. Any influence of Mahler is conspicuously absent, but Bruckner is omnipresent.
This is basically the standard four-movement romantic symphony with a robust sonata form opening with plenty of counterpoint, a Brucknerian scherzo complete with rustic trio, a rousing Teutonic march (which might disturb some), and an expansive Brucknerian Adagio, with some pregnant references to that composer’s Ninth. The finale states that “dreaming of heroic deeds we wish to take up arms while fighting for peace”. Interpreting this might or might not prove the key to a potentially sinister background of this work, but in the end this is an impressive example of the genre. One could almost call it a neglected masterpiece if it weren’t for some of the background implications. Its odd but interesting blending of genres and influences make it a must for the curious. -American Record Guide, Allen Gimbel

Paul von Klenau (1883-1946)
Symphony No. 9 (1945)
1 I. Allegro 9:26
2 II. Requiem. Andante 12:40
3 III. Allegro molto vivace 9:25
4 IV. Andante. “Estne haec vitae discrepantia sempiterna” 16:47
5 V. Allegro (Tempo di marcia, vivace) 10:23
6 VI. Adagio 10:04
7 VII. Misericordia. Sehr leidenschaftlich bewegt 1:27
8 VIII. Ruhige Viertel. “Stella lucet per coelum” 18:37

Steffen Bruun, bass
Cornelia Ptassek, soprano
Susanne Resmark, mezzo-soprano
Michael Weinius, tenor
Danish National Concert Choir
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Michael Schønwandt, conductor