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Thread: Neglected German and Austrian orchestral composers and works of the late romantic era

  1. #151
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    Default Hugo Wolf's Penthesilea

    After listening to the early symphonic poem Penthesilea (1883-85) by Hugo Wolf (1860-1903) I have a much better idea of who he was, and recommend listening to the piece. It shows a composer whose harmony, orchestration, and mood-setting (e.g. Penthesilea's Dream) are all convincing and up-to-date for his time. (All these factors of course are important in his uniquely beautiful lieder, including the 20 for which he prepared exquisite orchestral versions.) I prefer the slower sections of this work, finding the excellent energy of the more rousing passages is not matched by interesting melody and development.

    The old recordings on YouTube by the Vienna Philharmonic/Gerdes and the Staatskapelle Berlin/Suitner do not cut it in my view. The more recent Paris Orchestra/Barenboim and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Horst Stein seem better from the taster tracks -- maybe there should be a new version considering how crucial this composer is. Incidentally there are also symphonic works by Goldmark, Draeseke, and Othmar Schoeck (German Swiss) based on the Pentheselia legend.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Jan-30-2018 at 20:22.

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  3. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    Incidentally there are also symphonic works by Goldmark, Draeseke, and Othmar Schoeck (German Swiss) based on the Pentheselia legend.
    Correction: the Othmar Schoeck work is an opera.

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    Fanny Mendelssohn, composer chamber music and vocal works, and perhaps Johann Strauss I, composer of the Radedzky March, were both greatly overshadowed by far more famous family members. Of course, during the Romantic period, men particularly ignored contributions of women, so Fanny really hadn't a chance.

  5. #154
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    Another neglected German-Austrian composer, whose Symphony in A major I found rather interesting: Leopold Damrosch (1832-1885). The symphony is possibly very traditional, nothing new, but it was rewarding enough.

    In addition, I have other names worthy of investigating:

    From Germany
    -Woldemar Bargiel (1828-1897)
    -Albert Dietrich (1829-1908)
    -Robert Radecke (1830-1911)
    -Philipp Scharwenka (1847-1917)
    -Felix Woyrsch (1860-1944)
    -Wilhelm Berger (1861-1911)
    -Emil von Sauer (1862-1942)
    -Georg Schumann (1866-1952)
    -Ewald Strässer (1867-1933)
    -Hermann Bischoff (1868-1936)
    -Paul Graener (1872-1944)

    From Austria
    -Karl Weigl (1881-1949)
    -Egon Wellesz (1885-1974)
    -Ernst Toch (1887-1964)
    -Marcel Tyberg (1893-1944)

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  7. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by MusicSybarite View Post
    From Austria
    -Karl Weigl (1881-1949)
    -Egon Wellesz (1885-1974)
    -Ernst Toch (1887-1964)
    -Marcel Tyberg (1893-1944)
    MusicSybarite, thanks for your suggestions. Like many others I find Marcel Tyberg's Third Symphony (1943) to be his best, with four excellent movements. To me the first movement has at times a "vocal" quality conveying the composer's individuality -- he's not just a "sub-Bruckner imitator." The finale builds effectively to an exciting close! The Second Symphony (1927) also has some very fine passages, though I think the Scherzo is too repetitive.

    JoAnne Falletta is an outstanding conductor who has made a number of excellent recordings including the Tyberg works with the Buffalo Symphony on Naxos. Her championship of Tyberg's music has made it possible for us to hear these compositions, which survived his death at Auschwitz and miraculously re-surfaced years later.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Feb-07-2018 at 15:00.

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  9. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    MusicSybarite, thanks for your suggestions. Like many others I find Marcel Tyberg's Third Symphony (1943) to be his best, with four excellent movements. To me the first movement has at times a "vocal" quality conveying the composer's individuality -- he's not just a "sub-Bruckner imitator." The finale builds effectively to an exciting close! The Second Symphony (1927) also has some very fine passages, though I think the Scherzo is too repetitive.

    JoAnne Falletta is an outstanding conductor who has made a number of excellent recordings including the Tyberg works with the Buffalo Symphony on Naxos. Her championship of Tyberg's music has made it possible for us to hear these compositions, which survived his death at Auschwitz and miraculously re-surfaced years later.
    In addition, the Piano trio in F major is another compelling work. I like it much. In some passages it reminds me of the Brahms's Piano quintet (which I love too).

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  11. #157
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    Always nice to check this thread about my favourite "genre". Today I learned about Marcel Tyberg.

    Thanks MusicSybarite and Roger!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny View Post
    Always nice to check this thread about my favourite "genre". Today I learned about Marcel Tyberg.
    Thanks MusicSybarite and Roger!
    Thanks for your comments Lenny! Just realized that to my embarrassment Rudi Stephan (1887-1915) has been left out of this thread. Not only does the composer of Musik fuer Orchestra in einem Satz and Musik fuer Orchestra capture moods such as "danger" wonderfully, but his sense of harmony, melody and growth are just spot on. His work and life completely and irrefutably destroy once and for all the idea of post-romantic music as "decadent," "languorous," etc.; his music crackles with life but he died in WW1 action in 1915. YouTube titles have screwed up the distinction between the above two works, and if anyone can help out with this confusion please post!

    I think this has been raised before somewhere, but apparently there is also Marcel Tyberg's Symphony No. 1; Buffalo Symphony conductor Joan Falletta has the score but so far has not programmed or recorded it. If there's anyone who can shed some light , please do!
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Feb-22-2018 at 02:51.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MusicSybarite View Post
    Another neglected German-Austrian composer, whose Symphony in A major I found rather interesting: Leopold Damrosch (1832-1885). The symphony is possibly very traditional, nothing new, but it was rewarding enough.

    In addition, I have other names worthy of investigating:

    From Germany
    -Woldemar Bargiel (1828-1897)
    -Albert Dietrich (1829-1908)
    -Robert Radecke (1830-1911)
    -Philipp Scharwenka (1847-1917)
    -Felix Woyrsch (1860-1944)
    -Wilhelm Berger (1861-1911)
    -Emil von Sauer (1862-1942)
    -Georg Schumann (1866-1952)
    -Ewald Strässer (1867-1933)
    -Hermann Bischoff (1868-1936)
    -Paul Graener (1872-1944)

    From Austria
    -Karl Weigl (1881-1949)
    -Egon Wellesz (1885-1974)
    -Ernst Toch (1887-1964)
    -Marcel Tyberg (1893-1944)
    It's amazing, the number of symphonic composers from this era and culture whose works have been edited, performed, recorded. Earlier I made some tart remarks about opinionated musicologists, but the ones who do the real musicological work of finding scores, documents, and recordings and helping us understand them are a great blessing. At the same time the sheer bulk may intimidating. So I just take on one composer at a time and Toch is next. Don't know much of his music but his book The Shaping Forces of Music is a classic for musicians. If anyone would like to explore another composer for us, please do!
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Feb-22-2018 at 03:06.

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    It's nice to see an appreciation for the Buffalo Philharmonic and JoAnne Falletta. I purchased the Naxos recordings of Tybergs' 2nd and 3rd symphonies 3 or so years ago. I also reviewed them (under a slightly different handle) on Amazon. I too, feel that the 3rd is a very fine work, worthy of the standard repertoire. Kudos to Maestro Falletta for helping to bring this wonderful music to light.
    Last edited by KJ von NNJ; Feb-22-2018 at 03:08.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KJ von NNJ View Post
    It's nice to see an appreciation for the Buffalo Philharmonic and JoAnne Falletta. I purchased the Naxos recordings of Tybergs' 2nd and 3rd symphonies 3 or so years ago. I also reviewed them (under a slightly different handle) on Amazon. I too, feel that the 3rd is a very fine work, worthy of the standard repertoire. Kudos to Maestro Falletta for helping to bring this wonderful music to light.
    The 3rd symphony is really good! Lush, lively, very mahlerish in a good way. I like the schertzo a lot.

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