Leopold Damrosch: Orchestral Music

Catalogue No: TOCC0261
EAN/UPC: 5060113442611
Release Date: 2015-08-07
Composer: Leopold Damrosch
Artists: Azusa Pacific University Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Russell

The Prussian-born conductor-composer Leopold Damrosch (1832–85) built his reputation through the orchestra he founded in Breslau, emigrating in 1871 to the USA, where he founded a number of important musical institutions in New York and became chief conductor at the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. These spirited student performances reveal that the same sense of adventure informed his own music, heard here in its first recordings. At the heart of his only symphony, which sits between Brahms and Wagner, is a dark and powerful funeral march. The disc opens with a jubilant overture which takes an excited lead from Wagner’s Meistersingers and closes with a bonne bouche in the form of Damrosch’s orchestration of a Schubert favourite.

Azusa Pacific University Symphony Orchestra; Christopher Russell, conductor

Listen To This Recording:

  1. Festival Overture in C, Op. 15
  2. Symphony in A major: I Poco andante – Allegro vivace con fuoco
  3. Symphony in A major: II Intermezzo scherzando: Vivace con leggierezza
  4. Symphony in A major: III Quasi Marcia: solenne
  5. Symphony in A major: IV Allegro vivace assai
  6. SCHUBERT orch. DAMROSCH: Marche Militaire, D733, No. 1

2 reviews for Leopold Damrosch: Orchestral Music

  1. :

    ‘[Christopher Russell] gets extraordinary playing from the Azusa Pacific University (APU) Symphony Orchestra.’

    —Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost and Found

  2. :

    ‘The ability of record companies to spring surprises on the public is always pleasant, and here Toccata Classics gives us the opportunity to hear what must be one of the very first American symphonies. […]

    The woodwind playing […] is superbly executed and well observed by the recording. Add to this the committed conducting of Christopher Russell, and booklet notes which are both informative and substantial, and we have here an issue which is of rather more than purely documentary interest. […] Perhaps American professional orchestras might care to look at [the symphony] now that Azusa Pacific have broken the trail. […]

    This label’s restless exploration of the outermost fringes of the repertory is always fascinating, and the Damrosch symphony here deserves rather more than polite intellectual interest.’

    —Paul Corfield Godfrey, MusicWeb International

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