Julius Burger: Orchestral Music

Catalogue No: TOCC0001
EAN/UPC: 5060113440013
Release Date: 26.06.2007
Composer: Julius Burger
Artists: Maya Beiser, Michael Kraus, Radio Symphonie Orchester, Simone Young

Julius Burger, born in Vienna in 1897, studied with Franz Schreker in Berlin in the 1920s, establishing a successful career as conductor and accompanist before the advent of Hitler sent him into US exile in 1938; he died in New York in 1995. His music – in which one can hear something of Schreker and Korngold, his exact contemporary, as well as echoes of Mahler and Zemlinsky – shows a mastery of the late-Romantic orchestra. The two songs on this CD display an exquisite sense of melody, and his Cello Concerto – the slow movement of which was dedicated to his mother, who was murdered on her way to Auschwitz – shares with Bloch’s Schelomo a concern with Jewish melisma.

Michael Kraus, baritone
Maya Beiser, cello
Radio Symphonie Orchester, Berlin, orchestra
Simone Young, conductor

Listen To This Recording:

  1. Stille der Nacht, for baritone and orchestra
  2. Scherzo for Strings
  3. Cello Concerto

  4. I. Allegro
  5. II. Adagio
  6. III. Allegro vivace
  7. Variations on a Theme of Karl Philipp Emanuel Bach

  8. Theme, Andante grazioso
  9. Variation I, Energico
  10. Variation II, Allegro moderato
  11. Variation III, Lento
  12. Variation IV, Presto alla breve
  13. Variation V, Giusto tempo
  14. Variation VI, Vivace
  15. Variation VII, Andante sostenuto
  16. Variation VIII, Allegretto, grazioso
  17. Variation IX, Allegro
  18. Variation X, Adagio
  19. Variation XI, Scherzo (Presto)
  20. Coda, Solenne
  21. Legende, for baritone and orchestra

6 reviews for Julius Burger: Orchestral Music

  1. :

    ‘The booklet is informative, though timings for the Cello Concerto are oddly quite wrong. This is a composer who is well remembered by these fine recordings.’

    —Patric Standford, Music & Vision

  2. :

    ‘It is then a real coup for Toccata Classics to be issuing this notable music. The comprehensive annotation, photographs, first-class sound (capturing ideally Burger’s luminous scoring) and the wholly excellent performances further ensure that this issue gets a ‘record of the year’ status. No question!’

    —Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost and Found

  3. :

    ‘All the performances are outstanding. The recording is first class as well and Toccata’s documentation serves as a model for how an unknown composer should be presented in biographical and musical form. […] A composer well worth getting to know, especially in performances as expert as these.’

    —Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International

  4. :

    Burger’s Cello concerto is a remarkable work of richly expressed emotional depth that fully exploits the cello’s huge range from its high viola-like tones to its deepest bass notes. From the very opening you are in the presence of a seriously great work for the cello and the fact that it is hardly known is such a crying shame. It is to be hoped that this recording will help popularise it, especially among cellists, for if they were to programme it, it stands a real chance of gaining recognition more widely as it obviously richly deserves to do. […]

    As a glimpse of the variety of music that Julius Burger composed, this is another valuable disc from Toccata Classics and if there are many more of his compositions awaiting recording let’s hope they will not wait too long before they are. The recordings are excellent and the performers too; Michael Kraus has a wonderful voice perfectly suited to this repertoire, while Simone Young marshals her forces with great command making for great performances. I loved the disc and I am sure you will too!’

    —Steve Arloff, MusicWeb International

  5. :

    ‘Two works for baritone and orchestra frame the CD’s contents. Both are from circa 1919 and both are astonishingly beautiful pieces: eloquent, deeply felt, and full of imagery […]. Both settings are vivid and imaginative, superbly orchestrated, and beautifully sung by Michael Kraus. Two real discoveries; enchanted and richly expressive […] everything here is inspired […] the wholly excellent performances further ensure that this issue gets a ‘record of the year’ status. No question!’

    —Colin Anderson, Classical Source

  6. :

    ‘The climax [of Stille der Nacht] is like the coming together of Wagner, Richard Strauss, and Korngold in radiant rhapsodic rapture. If you’re into orchestral songs of indescribable romantic richness and effusion, you cannot be without this CD. Bürger is indeed posthumously lucky to have the voice and vocal artistry of Michael Kraus to bring these songs to light and to life. […]

    Here is a three-movement, large-scale cello concerto, over 32 minutes in length, that definitely deserves to be inducted into the mainstream repertoire, though it would be hard for any cellist to surpass the magnificent performance given by Maya Beiser. […]

    Bürger’s variations are amazingly diverse and masterfully orchestrated.

    Not one of the works on this disc, not even the brief Scherzo for Strings, is less than thoroughly engaging, engrossing, and enjoyable. And to that I’d add enthralling for the songs. Nor is anyone involved in these performances, from baritone Michael Kraus and cellist Maya Beiser to conductor Simone Young and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, anything other than exemplary. Exceptional too is the recording, which comes across with a wide and deep soundstage, superb separation of instruments, and visceral sonic punch. I don’t know how much else, if anything, there is of Julius Bürger’s music, but this belongs in the collection of everyone who appreciates late romantic to postromantic, large orchestral scores.’

    —Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Magazine July/August 2013

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