Highly Emotional Music by Laks and Jarnach
Hartmut Rohde became the new artistic director and conductor of the Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra of Wroc³aw (Breslau) at the beginning of the 2014/15 season. Their debut CD featuring symphonic works by Simon Laks and Philipp Jarnach is now being released on cpo. The decision to combine these two composers may seem to be quite arbitrary, and at first glance their origins and musical impulses seem to be very different. »On a second look, however, interesting parallels come into view and make their joint presentation appear to make very good sense. Both grew up during a period of dramatic historical change prior to World War I and enjoyed promising career beginnings in the 1920s, which many important performances document for Simon Laks in France and for Philipp Jarnach in Germany. Both experienced the establishment of dodecaphony, its expansion into serial music, and the first experiments in the field of electronic music. However, both also had in common a strong commitment to the preservation of traditional tonal language. As moderate moderns they firmly believed in the viability and expandability of musical principles that had developed over the centuries and above all in the irrevocability of tonality as the animating and energizing source constituting the substrate of musical design. Moreover, these principles included homophony and polyphony beginning with the seventeenth century, the rhetorical doctrine of the affections, the flow of melos, and the spirit of the historically transmitted compositional genres. Their music is highly emotional, crafted with supreme skill, rich in associations, and fascinatingly diverse in expression« (Hartmut Rohde).