Bausznern: Chamber music, Vol 2 – Berolina Ensemble, Maria Bengtsson (soprano) – MDG

A little known composer in some very fine recordings make this trip worthwhile

Bausznern: Chamber music, Vol 2 – Berolina Ensemble – Waldemar von Bausznern: Quintet for Piano, Violin, Clarinet, Horn & Cello, 8 Kammergesange for Soprano, String Quartet, Flute & Clarinet, String Trio -Maria Bengtsson (soprano) Berolina Ensemble – MDG Scene 948 2071-6 Multichannel 5.1 SACD ****:

Waldemar von Bausznern (1866-1931), who as a composer is not a household word, grew up in Transylvania, and quite early developed an interest in the folk music of his Hungarian surroundings. He was influenced by the New Germans, educated in the Brahms tradition in Berlin, and went on to develop a most highly individual personal style that is always good for surprises. However, it seems to have been too far outfor the conservative Berlin public of his times, whose members evidently were irritated by its great artistic freedom. So the composers music was seldom performed and consequently, seldom heard.

Thats mostly fixed now, with this second volume of his music. Both of the works presented are very interesting, yet both have different styles and to my ear, sound much more modern than the era in which they were composed.

I listened to these works in stereo; some high quality Focal headphones, and of course in multi-channel surround. I cant fault the recording in any way, and you can hear the sound of the instruments reflected off the walls of the performing venue. Its a really fine recording.

Bausznerns works deserve a wider hearing, and kudos to MDG for giving us these high quality SACDs. Im sure Bausznerns reputation will grow as more listen to his interesting compositions.

Recommended.

–Mel Martin

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