Stefan Dohr / HansJörg Schellenberger

Carl Maria von Weber: Symphonies No. 1 & No. 2; Concertino for Horn; Concertino for Oboe

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Carl Maria von Weber is best remembered for his opera, Der Freischütz, as well as for a handful of overtures, and his clarinet concertos have become mainstays of the repertoire. Yet the bulk of his music has become semi-neglected, that is, performed now and then but not promoted enough to ensure permanence in the concert hall. Fortunately, Weber's two symphonies have received modest coverage on CD since the 1980s, and other works are emerging as ensembles revive and record overlooked masterpieces from the early Romantic era. This 2011 release on Camerata presents the Symphony No. 1 in C minor, the Concertino for horn and orchestra in E minor, the Concertino for oboe and wind ensemble in C major, and the Symphony No. 2 in C major, giving a good representation of Weber's orchestral style and virtuosic treatment of solo instruments. Conductor and oboist Hansjörg Schellenberger leads the Münchner Rundfunkorchester and performs as soloist, and he is joined by Stefan Dohr on horn. The performances of the symphonies are capably played, and the concertinos serve as agreeable showpieces with a light, cheerful tone. A more polished orchestral sound would have been desirable, and fuller reproduction would have done wonders for the album's appeal, but the musicians' efforts are certainly above average. The disc is still worthwhile because of the relative scarcity of Weber offerings.

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