This CD features four imposing "patriotic" orchestral works by the Master of Bayreuth Richard Wagner (1813-1883), all of which are notable for their rarity and surprising dissimilarity to the operatic masterpieces upon which the composer's reputation is based. Most interestingly, three of the four works presented in this compilation articulate the nationalism of countries other than Germany - an activity not usually associated with the artistic giant who has gone down in history as Adolf Hitler's favorite composer.
Wagner's expansive "American Centennial March" was commissioned by the city of Philadelphia for the exposition held there in 1876 in honor of the hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence; the "Polonia Overture" was inspired by events of the Polish Rising of 1831; the "Rule Britannia Overture" was constructed around Thomas Arne's song of the same name; and the "Kaisermarsch" was written for the triumphal celebrations held in Berlin following the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War.
All four pieces are performed by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Varujan Kojian, a musical protégé of Hans Swarovsky and Zubin Mehta. Interest in German- and especially Wagnerian music remains intense in the Far East, and in Asia these art forms remain unencumbered by the ideological baggage that often attends their performance in the West. This technically- and artistically superb CD is accompanied by an eight page booklet with text in English, German and French.
Complete Contents Include:
Polonia Overture WWV 39 (1836)
American Centennial March WWV 110 (1876)
Rule Britannia Overture in D major WWV 42 (1836)
Kaisermarsch WWV 104 (1871)
Total Playing Time: 46:11
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