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

  1. #76
    Member Eramire156's Avatar
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    The conservative catholic writer Robert R. Reilly is the author of the book Surprised by Beauty: A Listener's Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music covering many of the composers mentioned in this discussion, and while l hardly agree Reilly politically, myself being a lapsed catholic, gay and left leaning, find his musical writings informative.Roger Knox come back to us soon.
    Last edited by Eramire156; Oct-08-2017 at 20:37.

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    This has probably been mentioned already, but I think that Joachim Raff deserves more attention. I would recommend his 5th symphony as a way to get into his music.
    What's so incredible about Raff is that his symphonies, while not generally works of genius, are never boring.

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    Decades ago, there was very little known about Raff and hearing his music was almost impossible. Two symphonies, 3 and 5, the piano concerto and that was about it. Now it's incredible! All of the symphonies have been recorded at least twice, the 5th many times. A huge amount of chamber music available, the violin and cello concertos, and a healthy amount of piano music. And it's about time! He was hugely important and popular in Europe and the US up until around 1900. Even Mahler and Toscanini played him. The 5th is the most popular for good reason, but the 3rd sure has its charms. I just wish more orchestras would be adventurous enough to play some of it live!

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    Is anyone familiar with Emil von Reznicek? His symphonies, chamber music, and other works are worth looking into!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    The 5th is the most popular for good reason, but the 3rd sure has its charms. I just wish more orchestras would be adventurous enough to play some of it live!
    mbhaub -- Thanks for your Raff recommendation and comments! I've been listening to the 3rd Symphony (Bamberg SO), which strikes me as both a nature symphony and a fantasy symphony. (Those orchestral types need particular investigation.) The first time it struck me as well-written and orchestrated but conventional. Now I realize that Raff was significant in his own right. I like the work very much overall, but wish it were 15 minutes shorter. The long march- or dance-like sections in the first and last movements may just be what people liked then, influenced by the opera, ballet, operetta and light music of the time. Will check out the 5th Symphony too.

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    Too bad only the 4th symphony seems to be available online with good quality

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    [QUOTE=rw181383;1330766]Is anyone familiar with Emil von Reznicek? His symphonies, chamber music, and other works are worth looking into![QUOTE]

    Sorry, completely missed him and his music! Emil von Reznicek (1860-1945) was born in Vienna, the same year as Mahler, was an intimate of the Richard Strauss circle, and held important positions.

    Let us give his orchestral works a listen and see what we think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eramire156 View Post
    The conservative catholic writer Robert R. Reilly is the author of the book Surprised by Beauty: A Listener's Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music covering many of the composers mentioned in this discussion, and while l hardly agree Reilly politically, myself being a lapsed catholic, gay and left leaning, find his musical writings informative.Roger Knox come back to us soon.
    Thank you, Eramire156 -- I look forward to reading this book (the revised edition from 2016) when time allows. I think that people on this thread are coming from different backgrounds but all find that the music discussed is worth hearing.

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    If I may add another composer, the Austrian Ludwig Thuille (mainly known for his Sextet), wrote one symphony and a piano concerto. Here’s his Symphony in F major:




    P.S.
    If you have time, listen to his Piano Quintet in E-Flat major!
    Last edited by rw181383; Oct-17-2017 at 04:33.

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    Ok, just one more...Thomas Schmidt-Kowalski (1949-2013). Completely out of this threads time frame, but I had to mention him. Not only is he already neglected, he felt that Romanticism in music transcended time. Have a listen to Symphony No. 3 (2000!!!):





    Last edited by rw181383; Oct-17-2017 at 04:57.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bestellen View Post
    Too bad only the 4th symphony seems to be available online with good quality
    Bestellen -- 4th Symphony by Raff: which orchestra, conductor and label?
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Oct-17-2017 at 21:28.

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    [QUOTE=rw181383;1331552]If I may add another composer, the Austrian Ludwig Thuille (mainly known for his Sextet), wrote one symphony and a piano concerto. Here’s his Symphony in F major[Quote]

    rw181383 -- Let's give lots of love to the first commentator on Ludwig Thuille or Emil von Reznicek (not me)!
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Oct-17-2017 at 21:33. Reason: name poster

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    I can't decide if I like von Reznicek or not, currently listening to his dance symphony, his ironic symphony did make me smile, I won't dismiss him out hand and give another listen.

    Readers of this thread might be interested in the following site: Unsung composers

    http://www.unsungcomposers.com/forum/index.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    Bestellen -- 4th Symphony by Raff: which orchestra, conductor and label?
    I'm not sure what that means. A quick search on Youtube and it seems that all of the Tudor recordings of the Raff symphonies are there. Maybe Youtube isn't "good" quality. There is a better fourth, though. It's on Hyperion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    Decades ago, there was very little known about Raff and hearing his music was almost impossible. Two symphonies, 3 and 5, the piano concerto and that was about it. Now it's incredible! All of the symphonies have been recorded at least twice, the 5th many times. A huge amount of chamber music available, the violin and cello concertos, and a healthy amount of piano music. And it's about time! He was hugely important and popular in Europe and the US up until around 1900. Even Mahler and Toscanini played him. The 5th is the most popular for good reason, but the 3rd sure has its charms. I just wish more orchestras would be adventurous enough to play some of it live!
    Thank you mbhaub -- I'd never thought about this before, but in connection with Raff's excellent 5th (Lenore) symphony I read recently that he put a lot of thought into fitting the program and the symphony structure together. So having the first two movements depict Love's Happiness, lively then tender, sets up the doom-laden action of the gothic ballad's story of Lenore and Wilhelm for the 3rd and 4th movements. In the story of the 3rd movement march the lovers meet and part, the army approaches and leaves. In the 4th there are a terrifying to destruction, brief recollections of life, and a final apotheosis. The 3rd movement march parallels the "human movement" (minuet, scherzo, waltz) of the conventional symphony); the 4th movement gallop, etc. parallels the "fast finale" of the conventional symphony. There are also parallels to opera. During my studies absolute music was king and program music scorned as naive; we weren't allowed to use our imaginations, that wasn't scholarly. The earlier scorn of historical musicologists is one reason Raff hasn't been played. Even in a long symphony, imagination helps you get into it!

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