International Record Review- Special feature on Hans Gal

The November/December issue of International Record Review features a 2 full-page feature on recent recordings of the music of Hans Gal, headlined by a review of our new recording of Triptych and the violin concerti. Martin Anderson is the reviewer.

“At last a CD devoted entirely to Gal’s orchestral music has recently been released, which contains the Concerto for Violin and Small Orchestra, op 39 of 1932, the Concertino for Violin and Strings, op 52, of 1939 and, sandwiched between them, the Tripych, subtitled “Three movements for Orchestra” op 100, written in 1970. The first thing that strikes you about the op 39 Concerto … is the sweetness of the melodic writing. Gal really knows how to make the violin sing, and its effortless cantabile soars above the orchestra for most of the opening Fantasia…

Triptych is “a work of astonishing vitality for one in his 80th year.  The Allegro resoluto “Impromptu” which opens the action sets out assuredly over striding basses, the pace maintained in the upper strings during a contrasting lyrical episode.  The middle movement is a Lament, but conductor Kenneth Woods takes the tempo indication, Andante, literally so that the walking pace keeps sadness at bay until the atmosphere darkens briefly at the end. The closing “Comedy” repeats the long-legged pacing of the “Impromptu”: Gal never allows his good spirits to sink into sentimentality.

…The op 52 Concertino betrays no sign of the troubled times in which it was writeen, you would hardly know it was the work of a many who had only recently escaped mortal danger….

In both concertos Annette-Barbara Vogel is sweet toned and reliable, always in tune despite the high registers Gal often asks of his soloist. The Northern Sinfonia and Woods bring rhythmic precision and textural clarity to their side of the recording

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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 www.kennethwoods.net

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