Before the Austro-Hungarian composer Carl Goldmark conquered the international concert halls and opera houses with his Ländliche Hochzeit and Queen of Sheba, he initially attracted attention with some chamber compositions. When his overture after the drama Sakuntula by the great Indian poet Kâlidâsa then celebrated its premiere in Vienna in December 1865, the news of this masterfully designed, tonally beautiful music spread like wildfire beyond his home terrain. In view of this trailblazing success it is not surprising that Goldmark repeatedly returned to the overture form during the course of the next twenty-five years or so. Examples here include his reflections on the tragedies involving Penthesilea, the Queen of the Amazons (after Heinrich von Kleist), and the Greek poetess Sappho (after Franz Grillparzer) in one-movement works that may very much be termed variants of the symphonic poem. The three female protagonists of Goldmark’s overtures are heard here on CD along with his two Scherzos for
Orchestra – works in which the composer reveals his flirtatious side.