Weber: Symphonies; Bassoon Concerto; Invitation To The Dance


Karen Geoghegan (bassoon), BBCPO/JuanjoMena, Chandos CHAN10748 ****

Weber’s symphonies, written for the small court orchestra of Duke Eugen Friedrich of Württemberg in 1807, are full of good things: buoyant energy, virtuosic solos, distinctive orchestration. But they’re neglected, perhaps because they pale in comparison with the sophisticated mood-painting of Weber’s mature opera overtures. Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena takes a brisk approach to these infectiously spirited works, so much so that the very brief finale of the second symphony almost sounds as if it’s ended too soon. Karen Geoghegan is the lively soloist in the Bassoon Concerto, and Berlioz’s orchestration of the Invitation to the Dance is done with sinewy strength.