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

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orfeo View Post
    . . . Schmidt deserves a mentioning in regards to this topic (as does Robert Fuchs, by the way) . . .
    The music of Robert Fuchs (1847-1927) is seldom heard, but I find quite a bit to admire in his three symphonies. With Fuchs and von Herzogenberg, commentators usually note the influence of Brahms who was a friend of both -- but surely that shouldn't disqualify them from being performed! (By contrast Draeseke was in his early years a proponent of Wagner.) In my view Fuchs's Symphony No. 1, op. 37 is the best of the three, from the excellent opening movement onwards. Symphony No. 2, op. 45 illustrates a problem with Fuchs, which is his lack of consistency. The opening movement is poor and has no ideas, but things get much better after that. In the Symphony No. 3, op. 79 the second movement is an especially engaging theme and variations, a form in which Fuchs (like Brahms) excelled. Teaching composition at the Vienna Conservatory, Fuchs had an extraordinary series of A-list students -- that fascinates me!
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Nov-24-2017 at 22:31.

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  3. #122
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    Neglected German and Austrian orchestral composers and works of the late romantic era -- a milestone!!!

    Having pushed ahead to complete this stage of listening with Robert Fuchs, I'm happy and relieved we have come this far since the thread began August 15, 2017! Thank you again to all TalkClassical contributors, who have made this thread possible and helped it along. With to date 121 replies/likes and 3,757 views (a lot by me to be sure!), we have shown that there is a lot of interest in neglected composers from the particular era and area! Concerning further components of TalkClassical, I notice several of the same names in the Classical Music Discussion Polls on the new Unheralded Composers contests. There are Composer Guestbooks on some composers discussed here; others are yet to be added.

    I will continue posting, but no longer in a directed or directing manner. Please bring news and thoughts on new recordings. We could expand now to include concertos and orchestral songs, or that topic could be another thread. Or there may be other directions to take. For Americans, best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving holiday! Here in Canada I'll be watching our annual Grey Cup football championship on Sunday. Auf Wiedersehen, let's meet again soon!

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  5. #123
    Senior Member Templeton's Avatar
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    Joseph Marx's gorgeous and very rarely performed 'An Autumn Symphony/Eine Herbstsymphonie' received its UK premiere last night, ninety-five years after it was first performed in Vienna. Better late than never. Below is my review from this site, as well as two more professional ones:

    Latest concerts

    https://bachtrack.com/review-marx-au...-november-2017

    https://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/...-a3705856.html

    It was a real privilege to be present on such a momentous occasion.

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  7. #124
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    I would have loved to have been there at the Royal Festival Hall! Good to see your reviews and the others. The reviews in the mainstream dailies are short and don't really say very much, but I think Marx's instrumental music deserves more in-depth consideration. I'm going back to listen again.

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  9. #125
    Senior Member Templeton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    I would have loved to have been there at the Royal Festival Hall! Good to see your reviews and the others. The reviews in the mainstream dailies are short and don't really say very much, but I think Marx's instrumental music deserves more in-depth consideration. I'm going back to listen again.
    Thanks Roger. Here are some other reviews that have been issued subsequently. You may have to register, in order to access the full texts but this is free and the sites are genuine:

    https://www.ft.com/content/390de03e-...a-d9c0a5c8d5c9

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/c...hall-rctxnnwgn

    https://www.theguardian.com/music/20...n-philharmonic

    There is a really terrific review on another classical music forum site but unfortunately I believe that it is against this forum's rules to post the link, so apologies.

  10. #126
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    I don't know if he's been mentioned but Ernst Krenek is definitely another Austrian composer whose compositions are neglected. His music is challenging but there are many moments of beauty also - part Schoenberg, part Mahler. There is a huge catalog of music waiting to be discovered. His Symphony No. 2 is monumental, Mahlerian in scope. His chamber music, particularly the string quartets are worth rediscovering also. Perhaps the jazz-inspired opera Jonny Spielt Auf is what people know him for but I don't know if there has been a recent staging of this work but if audiences like Weill they certainly would enjoy this opera.
    Last edited by cougarjuno; Dec-02-2017 at 14:08.

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  12. #127
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    God I love how Von Hausegger's Nature Symphony comes to an end. Utterly fantastic.

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  14. #128
    Senior Member Eramire156's Avatar
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    On listening to Fuchs first, I hear not only Brahms, but hints of Berlioz. I look forward to listening his other two symphonies.

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  16. #129
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    Default Close of Autumn Symphony

    Quote Originally Posted by Templeton View Post
    Thanks Roger. Here are some other reviews . . .
    Thanks, Templeton, for the reviews -- will check them out. In the meantime, I would like to mention to readers that the Autumn Symphony by Joseph Marx really is a beautiful symphony in four movements. It is complex. The texture is full and doesn't change a lot. One needs to make an effort to focus on the melody, but that is the key to following the form of the work. The harmony is lush and adventurous. The orchestration is opulent and loaded with novelties. A clearer place to start is the last five minutes of the last movement, "Autumn Poem." It is a gorgeous R. Straussian (Rosenkavalier) type of close that I've listened to over and over with pleasure.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Dec-03-2017 at 22:01.

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  18. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Templeton View Post
    There is a really terrific review on another classical music forum site but unfortunately I believe that it is against this forum's rules to post the link, so apologies.
    Frankly, Templeton, I found your review more informative and interesting than the others. From my reading, there are two versions of the Herbstsymphonie, the original (80 minutes?) and the 55-minute version with cuts made by Joseph Marx to help get more performances. The latter version is used on the ASO/Botstein recording. I don't know for sure which version you heard but one reviewer said it timed at 80 minutes. Regarding my comment #129 about the close of the finale, I'll just say again that one needs to take each movement separately, section by section, before judging the whole. For example, before the close the finale is a set of dances with an interlude or two, each forming a section. The negative reviewers skip over all of the above and just say the work is too long, etc.; That was my first impression -- a big long sonic bath -- but now I'd say in the finale one needs to consider each dance, how they do or don't fit together, and what the composer seems to be projecting overall -- and do the same with the previous three movements, before publishing any criticism.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Dec-04-2017 at 22:23.

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  20. #131
    Senior Member Templeton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    Frankly, Templeton, I found your review more informative and interesting than the others. From my reading, there are two versions of the Herbstsymphonie, the original (80 minutes?) and the 55-minute version with cuts made by Joseph Marx to help get more performances. The latter version is used on the ASO/Botstein recording. I don't know for sure which version you heard but one reviewer said it timed at 80 minutes. Regarding my comment #129 about the close of the finale, I'll just say again that one needs to take each movement separately, section by section, before judging the whole. For example, before the close the finale is a set of dances with an interlude or two, each forming a section. The negative reviewers skip over all of the above and just say the work is too long, etc.; That was my first impression -- a big long sonic bath -- but now I'd say in the finale one needs to consider each dance, how they do or don't fit together, and what the composer seems to be projecting overall -- and do the same with the previous three movements, before publishing any criticism.
    Thank you, Roger, for your kind words, although I would still assert that most/all of the other reviews provide far more educated and informed insights into both the concert and the piece.

    You brought to light some very interesting points. I had not realised that Marx produced two versions of this symphony, which would explain the differences between the sole recording and the LPO performance, although I am sure that the latter was still only just over an hour rather than the eighty minutes, suggested by one of the newspaper reviews. You make another really good point, in suggesting that the listener takes each movement individually and I would add to this that 'An Autumn Symphony' is one of those compositions that benefits from repeated listening. As you correctly note, an initial impression can be of a 'big long sonic bath', which does not do the work any kind of justice. I would be interested to know just how much prior knowledge any of the more negative reviewers had of this piece, prior to their reviewing the concert and whether further listening may have improved their perspectives.

    Thank you again for this and for all of the fascinating information that you are bringing to this thread and the forum overall. All the best.

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  22. #132
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    [QUOTE=cougarjuno;1356238]I don't know if he's been mentioned but Ernst Krenek is definitely another Austrian composer whose compositions are neglected. QUOTE]

    Thanks for your advocacy of Krenek! I wonder if it would be a good idea to have a separate thread on neglected "modern" or "modernist" music by composers like those named in post #117, rather than include them with their late romantic contemporaries on this thread. This is an important distinction. Agree with all your points otherwise.

  23. #133
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    [QUOTE=Templeton;1357610 You make another really good point, in suggesting that the listener takes each movement individually and I would add to this that 'An Autumn Symphony' is one of those compositions that benefits from repeated listening. Thank you again for this and for all of the fascinating information that you are bringing to this thread and the forum overall. All the best. /QUOTE]

    A very rough outline of Eine Herbstsymphonie, 4th movement, Autumn poem (1921) -- timings refer to American Symph. Orch./Leon Botstein recording:

    A. DANCE SECTION
    Dance 1 (36:50-38:34): Gigue in 6/8 time, minimalist effect in higher sounds
    Dance 2 (38:35-40:41): Oom-pah bass, 4/4 time
    Dance 3 (40:42-43:46): Gigue in 6/8 time returns with tune in middle strings
    Dance 4 (43:46-45:19): Fast, in mixed 5/8 and 4/8 metres, uses gypsy scale

    B: "SONG SECTION"
    SONG AREA 1 (45:20-48:27): Transitions into 4/4 time (adagio) with the big opening tune and Wagnerian style, & cuckoo song heralds . . .
    SONG AREA 2 (48:28-54:58) Oboe and high strings, Romantic adagio continues, builds to climax . . .
    CODA (54:59-58:52) The sublime Richard Straussian ending referred to in an earlier post

    My comment regarding 2 versions of Eine Herbstsymphonie: I'm not sure now. The 4th movement discussed here is from 1921. Marx revised it (mainly the earlier part) in 1946, and published it separately as Feste Im Herbst or Autumn Revelries. But the length is similar. Re different lengths of the symphony overall we need to find out more about what the Leon Botstein/ASO cuts were.

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  25. #134
    Senior Member Eramire156's Avatar
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    Some of the program notes for concerts by the American symphony orchestra can be found at their website.Here is the link for the Marx's symphony

    http://americansymphony.org/eine-her...symphony-1921/

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  27. #135
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    I've been lately returning to Max Bruch. Not a single weak work recorded! Monumental symphonies, very good string quartets and concertos.

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