Goldmark: Rustic Wedding Symphony, Op 31; Overture – Der gefesselte Prometheus, Op 38

Reviewed on Tue 24 May, 2016

The Rustic Wedding Symphony’s highlight midway is a lyrical garden scene, with side glances at Bruckner and a yearning simplicity of expression rich in potential charm.

With Beecham, Bernstein and Toscanini (in excerpt) as selected forerunners, any candidate in the Goldmark ‘Rustic Wedding’ stakes has to cut the mustard. Frank Beermann and his Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie stack up fairly well, especially in the ‘Wedding March’ first movement (in reality a set of variations) and the vigorous dance-finale. The Symphony’s highlight midway is a lyrical garden scene, with side glances at Bruckner and a yearning simplicity of expression rich in potential charm. Here what’s ideally needed is a wash of tonal colour applied with a light brush, which is where Beermann and his band rather fall short. The phrases don’t rise or fall quite as they should, whereas the overture Prometheus Bound finds Beermann charting conflict and occasional repose with a sure hand, his orchestra responding with some very vivid playing. I’m reminded of the Symphonic Prologue to a Tragedy by Goldmark’s younger contemporary, Max Reger, and that’s quite a compliment. Reger was born in 1873 by the way, Goldmark in 1830. They died within a year of each other. Excellent sound, and unusually detailed notes by Eckhardt van den Hoogen.
–Rob Cowan