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PICHL: Symphonies

Composer(s):Pichl, Wenzel
Artist(s) Mallon, Kevin, Conductor • Toronto Chamber Orchestra
Period(s) Classical (1750-1830)
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.557761
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

In his lifetime Wenzel Pichl was esteemed as one of the foremost European composers of the age. A friend of Dittersdorf, whose works exerted a strong influence on his development, Pichl wrote symphonies that rank among the most interesting of the period. The symphonies featured on this recording, all of which were composed in the 1760s and take as their subject mythical figures from classical antiquity, reveal a composer of flair and technical resourcefulness.

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Review By Giv Cornfield, Ph.D.,The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics,January 2007

Kudos to Naxos for unearthing this lovely music by a virtually unknown but worthy composer, and giving it such an excellent performance by Mallon and his Torontonians. In the mid-18th century Pichl was highly esteemed. An educated, urbane man, his music reflects his erudition and rates well alongside his contemporaries, like J.C.Bach, Haydn and even Mozart.

Review By Kenneth Page,Limelight Magazine,May 2007

Here are four symphonies, representing the muses of epic poetry, tragedy and history, and the goddess of hunting composed by Pichl when he was in his late 20s. The briefly thunderous opening to Calliope sets the mood straight away. So much energy is bound up in this music! Bubbling strings and enthusiastic winds bottled up for two and a half centuries, suddenly released like some ancient genie. All these works are in major keys, so the overall feel is one of celebration. We’re hearing Pichl the positive thinker, not the woeful despondent. Despite the symphonies’ names, however, these are not pictorial works. Diana summons up no fanciful images of goddesses swanning around loosing arrows at woodland fawns. Whether you could successfully place each


Review By David Denton, Naxos,January 2007

That influential patron of the arts, Empress Maria Theresia, is said to have preferred the music of Vaclav Pichl to that of Mozart, which may be stretching a point in Pichl's favour. But she would surely have enjoyed his Sinfonias in preference to Haydn if she had heard these Toronto performances. An exaggerated claim? Well just try the opening track and you will see what I mean - maybe not late Haydn but every bit as good as his middle period symphonies. Pichl's life began in 1741, and having been employed as an orchestral violinist, he moved from his Czech homeland in 1777 to take up a similar post in Italy, where most of his twenty Sinfonias were composed. He was to return to Vienna for the last nine years, dying in 1805 with a life span



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