cpo has been active on behalf of Carl Reinecke for many years now, and our releases of selected concertos and chamber compositions by him have demonstrated that this often unappreciated composer may have modeled his music on Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Brahms but did not copy them. Following our release of his Dornröschen (Sleeping Beauty), our latest CD with Die wilden Schwäne (The Wild Swans) after a poem based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale shows that genuine musical treasures may also be discovered in the field of Reinecke's »fairy-tale poems.« This highly romantic music of the highest compositional craftsmanship seems destined once again to win our listeners' hearts. A single tone opens the music. Like a gong it announces the beginning of the enchantment, a journey into the world of legend transporting the listener to a romantic landscape with old castles in ruins and telling a story of days long gone by. Two winding figures in the piano treble ensue, and then it begins, the fairy-tale poem The Wild Swans. After sixteen musical numbers it ends on the same basic tone on which it began, now naturally in the major color, for here too the rule is »All's well that ends well!« Reinecke vividly and colorfully employs all sorts of different creatures in his rendering of the narrative – and the smaller the creatures, the livelier the music. The musical depiction of the two thrushes who help the mice during the liberation of the captive Elfriede is especially fascinating – but how they do come across: here the birds, vainglorious and self-lovingly haughty, are the bosses! Carl Reinecke adds some other instruments to the piano in what for him is an unusual combination: harp, two horns, and violoncello. The musical concentration producing overall cohesion and a unified effect is supplied by the piano. The Wild Swans, a little opera for a home setting, is also a work impressively demonstrating the great importance attached to private group performance in the middle-class world of the nineteenth century.