Frankel: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 6; Mephistopheles’s Serenade and Dance

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COMPOSERS: Frankel
LABELS: CPO
WORKS: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 6; Mephistopheles’s Serenade and Dance
PERFORMER: Queensland SO/Werner Andreas Albert
CATALOGUE NO: 999 242-2
In the last 15 years of his life, after a prolific career writing scores for films (including The Battle of the Bulge), Benjamin Frankel composed the eight symphonies that constitute such a significant contribution to postwar British music. Although he was scrupulous in his use of the 12-note system, the symphonies are no chilly exercises in form. As the Queensland Symphony Orchestra under Albert eloquently demonstrates, Frankel uses the technique to great harmonic and even melodic effect, creating a striking and moving sound-world more reminiscent of Berg’s generosity than Webern’s minimalist austerity, for example. This disc should be compulsory listening for those who decry all modernism as elitist and barren. William Humphreys-Jones

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