Carl Maria von Weber wrote only two symphonies, both as a young man of approximately 21 years of age. Both of these works were composed with a deliberate nod -- maybe even imitation -- of Haydn, as Weber's patron was extremely fond of Haydn's works. The fruits of his labors are somewhat immature works that neither fully resemble Haydn nor are particularly "Weber-esque." Notable conductor Claus Peter Flor -- who has worked with nearly ever major American orchestra, as well as many of the great ensembles abroad -- joins the lesser-known Wiener Concert-Verein in an attempt to imbue Weber's early symphonic attempts with new life and interest. The results are mixed. The orchestra is at times well balanced, but occasionally the strings are completely drowned out by the overly exuberant wind players. Similarly, intonation is at times quite acceptable only to fall victim to occasional bouts of sloppiness. Flor does everything in his power to keep the performance vibrant and interesting, but even his ambitious tempos aren't enough to create a truly memorable symphonic listening experience. The final work on the album is the Op. 79 Concertstuck for piano and orchestra. Here, the recorded sound of the piano is lacking, almost giving the impression that the instrument is in a different room than the rest of the orchestra.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Symphony No. 1 in C major, J. 50 (Op. 19)|
|Symphony No. 2 in C major, J. 51|