Johan Wagenaar (1862-1941, Dutch)

It must have been Ricardo Chailly who put Johan Wagenaar on my map (Decca 425-833-2), and Chailly can be lauded for bringing to the international public’s attention those late-Romantic Dutch composers (Diepenbrock is another one) during his tenure at the helm of the Concertgebouw Orchestra.

But so far the one Wagenaar work I’ve reviewed is his Cyrano de Bergerac Overture op. 24, recorded by Willem Mengelberg for Telefunken in April 1942 and reissued by Teldec, Willem Mengelberg Concertgebouw Orchestra: Niederländische Komponisten. Works of Valerius/Wagenaar, Dopper, Röntgen, Hendrik Andriessen, Rudolf Mengelberg, Wagenaar, Marnix von St. Aldegonde/Mengelberg. Teldec 243 723-2 (1988). sounds to me like a crossbreed of Puccini and Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel. Entertaining, but not very original. I have more Wagenaar in my collection, including a live Mengelberg recording from October 1940 of his Taming of the Shrew Overture (De getemde feeks) op. 25, but reviews pending.

Comments are welcome