This is the latest disc conductor Gregor Bühl has made of music by the early-mid 20th-century German composer Walter Braunfels (1882-1954). Braunfels’ great triumph was his 1920 opera Die Vögel (The Birds). It was a favourite of Hitler, who asked him to write an anthem for the fledgling Nazi Party. Being Jewish, he refused. From the 1930s, Braunfels was persona non grata. His style was out of fashion after the War and his early success forgotten, but in recent times his music has been rediscovered.

Braunfels
These works are all early. Two precede The Birds: the Serenade Op. 20, and Ariel’s Song, Op. 18 (based on Shakespeare’s Tempest), both from 1910. They are romantic in style and quite lovely. The prelude to Don Gil of the Green Breeches (an unsuccessful comic opera) is a character piece á la Till Eulenspiegel , and lots of fun. The five-movement Divertimento for Radio Orchestra of 1929 shows...