Adriano / Moscow Symphony Orchestra

Fritz Brun: Symphony No. 5; Symphony No. 10

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This second disc in Guild's series of recordings of the complete symphonies of Swiss composer Fritz Brun is every bit as good as the first. With tight and colorful readings, the singularly named conductor Adriano and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra give the Swiss modernist their all. Unfortunately, the music on this disc is likewise every bit as good as the music on the first disc, which is to say disappointing. Though Brun lived until 1959 and though the two symphonies on this disc date from 1929 (the Fifth) and 1935 (the Tenth), there are virtually no indications the music was written after 1890. There is, of course, nothing wrong with writing conservative music. Who would criticize Bach for using outdated forms? But Brun's music sounds decidedly uninspired. He exhibits a dull sense of rhythm and orchestration, and his approach to form can best be called phlegmatic. In listening to these works, one hopes for something to catch the ear and hold one's attention, but nothing does, and when the disc ends, nothing sticks in the memory. Though ably performed and capably recorded, the symphonies on this disc will likely appeal only to listeners who find Kurt Atterberg's symphonies to be the final word in musical modernism.

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