Album: Thomas Zehetmair, Northern Sinfonia, Franz Schubert, Hans Gál: Kindred Spirits (Avie)

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The Independent Culture

Notwithstanding Hans Gál's lengthy residence in Britain – initially in flight from Nazi persecution, later by choice – Thomas Zehetmair here regards him as the epigone of the grand Viennese classical tradition that was effectively snuffed out by the Second World War.

It's hard, however, to initially discern any direct relation between Schubert's Sixth, the Little C major Symphony, and Gál's First Symphony from 1927, presented here in its world premiere recording. Compared to the melodic grace and light, ebullient charm of Schubert's work, Gál's seems a darker piece, perhaps reflective of his struggle to develop his own modernist approach outside serialism but as it progresses, it acquires a certain exuberant appeal.

DOWNLOAD THIS Symphony No 6 in C; Symphony No 1 in D