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Bruch was famed in his lifetime for his large-scale choral works, but perhaps best known today for his Violin Concerto No. 1 (8557689; also Violin Concertos Nos. 2 & 3: 8557793) Kol Nidrei and Schelomo (8550519)
He also composed three symphonies. The First, dedicated to Brahms and indebted to Mendelssohn and Schumann, was well received at its première.
The weighty Second was dedicated to the violinist/composer Joseph Joachim. The symphony echoes the music of Beethoven and Brahms and features the beautiful Adagio second movement with lyrical solos for several instruments.
Max Bruch: Symphony No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 28
I. Allegro maestoso
II. Scherzo: Presto
III. Quasi fantasia: Grave
IV. Finale: Allegro guerriero
Max Bruch: Symphony No. 2 in F minor, Op. 36
I. Allegro passionato, ma un poco maestoso
II. Adagio ma non troppo
III. Allegro molto tranquillo
15th April 2010
“[The Second is] densely scored and expressively wrought, especially in the central slow movement, which explores some darkly intense territory before achieving a peaceful resolution...the performances under Michael Halász seem sensitive and committed…”
“...the First Symphony's Mendelssohn-like Scherzo movement...spins with quicksilver deftness...there's real engagement with the darker lyrical world of the Second Symphony's slow movement”