Classical CD Reviews on Hans Gal Violin Concerti and Triptych for Orchestra

There is a new and perceptive review of the new Gal CD at Classical CD Reviews by critic Gavin Dixon here

….Gál’s aesthetic is inherited directly from the tail-end of the Austro-German Romantic tradition. His musicbears many similarities with that of Franz Schmidt, although not the long, lyrical melodic lines that characterise so much of Schmidt’s orchestral music. Franz Schreker is another similar Viennese voice, although Gál (thankfully) avoids the excesses of Schreker’s neurotic Expressionism. In fact, it is difficult to deduce much about Gál’s personality or temperament from this music. He was presumably a very calm, centred man, for whom music came from within, rather than through conscious reactions to external stimuli. How else to explain the stylistic similarities of these three works, the Concerto written before his flight from the Nazi’s, the Concertino written in London during the war, and the Triptych written towards the end of his life, in Edinburgh in 1970….

….the lightness of the composer’s touch combines yet again with a rock-solid compositional technique, with very listenable results. The performances and the recording are of a consistently high standard. The Northern Sinfonia …… are probably better than anything he ever heard in this country. But most importantly, both orchestra and conductor Kenneth Woods are sensitive to the lightness of the textures and always elegantly balance the soloist. Annette-Barbara Vogel is about the most ideal exponent a composer could hope to have. She, too, maintains that delicate balance between thematic rigour and lightness of touch, often through very gradual changes of tone colour and a coherent approach to phrasing. Her low register is particularly impressive, a rich, immediate sound, but never overpowering or unduly woody. These works all border on the textures of chamber music at times, and the intimacy that Vogel achieves brings those quiet textures up close. This is her second Hans Gál project; her first was a disc of Violin Sonatas, also on Avie (AV2182). If you’ve heard that and were impressed, and I understand most were, then buy this. You won’t be disappointed.

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at

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