WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln/Howard Griffiths


Ries: Concert OverturesCPO 777 609-2 ****

The New Grove suggests Weber’s Der Beherrscher der Geisterof 1811 as the first true concert overture, shorn of connection to an actual performance of a dramatic work. That would make Ferdinand Ries (1784-1837) an early arrival in the field. He wrote his first two concert overtures – Don Carlosand the Ouverture bardique(with solos for two harps!) – in 1815. Ries studied with Beethoven and Albrechtsberger, and is now best known as one of the authors of the first biography of Beethoven. The five overtures here are imposing pieces, and the Grand Festival Overtureand Victory Marcheven comes complete with military kish-boom and piccolos. The Ouverture dramatique L’Apparitionof 1836, however, is bound to sound limited to anyone familiar with Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Howard Griffiths does the music proud. See url.ie/94zb