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Phillip Scott
Fanfare, November 2019

Capriccio’s Braunfels series continued apace… Gregor Bühl’s performance of this monolith is colorful, vivid, and absolutely complete. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Karl F. Miller
Fanfare, November 2019

Bühl and the orchestra give highly sympathetic and informed performances. There is great sensitivity in their playing, and their musicianship is impeccable. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Ralph Graves
WTJU, September 2019

Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz directed by Gregor Buhl does a fine job with both works. Buhl seems to approach each score on its own terms. He draws a warm, creamy sound from the orchestra for “Apparitions.” And has the same ensemble play in a reserved, slightly astringent fashion for the sinfonia.

Braunfels was one of many German composers whose career was derailed by the Nazis. Recordings like this help bring his remarkable music back into the light. © 2019 WTJU Read complete review

Steven Kruger
Fanfare, September 2019

This new release forms part of an ongoing Braunfels series on Capriccio by these very musicians. The performances are warm and well thought out. The sound is lovely. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Phillip Scott
Fanfare, September 2019

Here is another recording of the music of Walter Braunfels (1882–1954) by the team responsible for the highly impressive disc of his works for piano and orchestra, released last year.

Both works, particularly the Berlioz variations, deserve a place in the concert repertoire. These enjoyable performances make the strongest possible case for them. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

James H. North
Fanfare, September 2019

Written more than 30 years after the Apparitions, it [Sinfonia brevis] is far more concentrated and consistently engrossing. The orchestration is rich and lush, again suggesting Schreker and Zemlinsky. So does the harmony; this 1948 symphony could have been written in 1910, before two world wars sabotaged the New Romanticism. The Adagio has a touch of Wagner; the notes claim Parsifal, but I hear sudden outbursts from the Ring.

Capriccio’s recorded sound is up to its normal high standards—the words sweet and liquid come to mind. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Don O’Connor
American Record Guide, July 2019

…This is the first recording of the complete Fantastic Apparitions of a Theme by Hector Berlioz, as it’s actually called.

Aside from hearing the Berlioz Variations in their splendid entirety, the interpretations here are also worthy. Buhl leads them with dramatic motion, pointing up their considerable orchestral flair. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

The Northern Echo, May 2019

This seventh volume in Capriccio’s Braunfels Edition again demonstrates the considerable range of Braunfels’ colourful music. © 2019 The Northern Echo

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, May 2019

Devotees of Braunfels’s music who already have the CPO disc ought, I think, to consider stretching the budget to acquire this Capriccio CD in order to hear the Fantastic Apparitions complete. If you’re coming new to the work then the completeness of Bühl’s performance—and its excellence—means that this is the one to choose.

These very good recordings of two important Braunfels scores are very welcome additions to the composer’s burgeoning discography. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, March 2019

Who would have thought that the music of Walter Braunfels would now be enjoying a modest revival on disc after languishing in the shadows for so long? This is the second modern recording (complete here) of his Fantastical Apparitions of a Theme by Hector Berlioz, which is his key piece. The Nazis declared Braunfels’ music ‘degenerate art’; and when post-war Germany largely rejected tonal music, with arbiters of taste declaring any form of romantic music (almost the whole pre-war aesthetic) to be tainted, he again suffered neglect. This seventh volume in Capriccio’s Braunfels Edition again demonstrates the considerable range of Braunfels’ colourful music. © 2019 Classical CD Choice

Records International, March 2019

Second recording of the 51-minute Berlioz orchestral spectacular from 1914-17, a huge canvas for Braunfels’ musical experimentation, into which he also plainly pours much personal experience—the tenth through twelfth of the “Appearances” apparently refer to the composer’s experiences during World War I. Also the second recording of the 1949 symphony, a four-movement, 33-minute work completely tonal but full of anxiety, anger and discord, the shades of Richard Strauss and, especially Mahler and Bruckner constantly flitting around this compelling and often electrifying cri de cœur. © 2019 Records International

Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, February 2019

In this CD, however, the opening work is based on Mephistopheles’ “Une puce gentile” from La damnation de Faust, and is very colorful indeed. This is its first full recording.

It also helps that Gregor Bühl is a very energetic conductor who clearly likes this music and gives it all he has. Leaning on Berlioz, Braunfels managed to create a piece nearly as colorful as his model if not quite as spiky in its orchestration as his model. © 2019 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review

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