Felix Draeseke’s works immediately reveal that he was a glowing admirer of Liszt and Wagner and a remarkably gifted creator of expressive harmonic designs and far-ranging melodic lines. Here Draeseke accomplished the feat of combining these powerful expressive means with classical forms. MDG is now rereleasing Draeseke’s Sinfonia Tragica, Piano Concerto, and Symphony No. 1 in a special edition featuring performances by the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra in the historic Wuppertal Hall. The first release marked a discographic milestone. One important factor contributing to this sensation was surely the Blüthner grand piano from which Claudius Tanski quite literally wrested the wildly virtuosic solo part. The original aliquot stringing produces an overtone richness completely lacking on today’s instruments. Draeseke’s work is transformed into a magnificent miracle of color with breathtaking tones situated between rosy fragrance and feverish madness. Today even classical music experts would not know quite how to describe Draeseke, but during his lifetime he was most highly esteemed. The great Richard Strauss premiered Draeseke’s prologue to Kleist’s Penthesilea (also included on this recording), and his own music was strongly influenced by Draeseke. The overture to the opera Gudrun also celebrated a sensational success when it was premiered in Hanover. However, Draeseke’s Sinfonia Tragica overshadowed everything else: it met with a triumphant reception and was included on the repertoire lists of all famous conductors well into the middle of the twentieth century. And deserved this place – as the present MDG program impressively demonstrates! Moreover, when a so very smoothly functioning musikal ensemble like the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra under George Hanson, who was then its principal conductor, takes on this multilayered music, then a fascinating listening experience is guaranteed. Then there is the fact that it is performed in one of the world’s most marvelous concert halls. Even discriminating music lovers go into raptures – and now you can join them!