Michael Hofstetter / Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra

Stuttgart Compositions

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It would certainly be possible to put together a recording that attempted to define the musical creativity of the German city of Stuttgart, but Stuttgart Compositions isn't it. Only two of the five composers on the album have more than a passing relationship with Stuttgart, and composers like Niccoló Jommelli and Carl Maria von Weber, who wrote major works there, are ignored. Instead you get Pachelbel's Canon, with its accompanying Gigue, which was probably not composed during Pachelbel's two-year sojourn in Stuttgart; the archetypical Mannheim composer Franz-Ignaz Beck; and an admittedly entertaining Fantasie aus Potpourri in G minor, Op. 94, composed by Johann Nepomuk Hummel several years after his dismal stay in Stuttgart. That leaves only a set of Variations for contrabass and string orchestra by Johann Joseph Abert and a modern work, the programmatic but not especially evocative A Stuttgart Imagination (2009) by Milko Kelemen, a professor at the Stuttgart Musikhochschule, as bona fide "Stuttgart compositions." The Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra under Michael Hofstetter is well drilled, but this is a collection of only moderately interesting music that doesn't make a great deal of sense when brought together.

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