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

  1. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by MusicSybarite View Post
    Definitely there is a slight resemblance to both Mahler and Bruckner (the latter one only in the powerful brass fragments), and also I'd include Hindemith.
    Thanks for your post! Great to see the Albrecht-led recording of Prospero's Beschwoerungen! Since listening to Wellesz's first 4 symphonies, I have read that they were very influenced by Bruckner so am going to listen again. But maybe that is an overstatement?
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Mar-27-2018 at 16:55.

  2. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    Thanks for your post! Great to see the Albrecht-led recording of Prospero's Beschwoerungen! Since listening to Wellesz's first 4 symphonies, I have read that they were very influenced by Bruckner so am going to listen again. But maybe that is an overstatement?
    I think so. I can only detect some Bruckner's influence in terms of the certain heavy brass passages. The most important thing is that Wellesz does have a voice of his own, which I found quite engaging. I hope you can enjoy those symphonies as well.
    Last edited by MusicSybarite; Mar-27-2018 at 18:47.

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  4. #168
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    CORRECTION to post #166: I just listened to Wellesz's Third Symphony on YouTube and realize that I haven't listened to his first 4 symphonies at all(!), though I've heard several other orchestral and vocal works. My apologies.

    Anyway, the Third does have strong Bruckner characteristics: the full brass chorales, whole orchestra playing a single line in octaves, repeated violin open-fifth figure, wide melodic intervals. But the latter feature dissonant intervals, and harmonically there is much more dissonance and tonal adventure than in Bruckner. I love this work, because in my view Wellesz melds the various elements together into a strong personal statement -- the "voice of his own" as you say. I see the complete CPO set by Vienna RSO/Rabl from 2009 of all seven symphonies is available for $35.49. Nos. 5-7 are almost atonal and more dissonant.

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  6. #169
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    I knew you had your ears more trained than mine!

    A little correction: he composed 9 symphonies, not 7. As you say, the symphonies 5-9 are rather aggresive, much more dissonant.

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  8. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by MusicSybarite View Post
    I knew you had your ears more trained than mine!

    A little correction: he composed 9 symphonies, not 7. As you say, the symphonies 5-9 are rather aggresive, much more dissonant.
    Thanks for the correction, I think I'll order that 9-symphony set!

  9. #171
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    Oh horrors, to have came all this way without mentioning the terrific Symphony in F Major (1886) by Glasgow-born Eugen D'Albert (1864-1932), the outstanding concert pianist and composer. This work by the 22-year-old prodigy features attractive lyricism, notable harmonic and rhythmic twists, effective orchestration; the rousing finale perhaps plays to the gallery, but the work surely deserves modern-day performances. The problems: the composer's anti-British stance (later amended) following emigration and a successful career in Germany, and public disapproval of his succession of six wives (exceeding Felix Weingartner's five!). I still think the work is a keeper.

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  11. #172
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    Listened to Ewald Sträßer's Symphony No. 2 in D minor -- very much in the Mahler-Strauss mold but there is individuality there. Worth a listen. I see his piano concerto is recorded also so I might give that a listen as well as the first symphony. Clearly a fine symphonist.

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  13. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by MusicSybarite View Post

    In addition, I have other names worthy of investigating:

    From Austria
    -Karl Weigl (1881-1949)
    -Egon Wellesz (1885-1974)
    -Ernst Toch (1887-1964)
    -Marcel Tyberg (1893-1944)
    I'd never heard of Karl Weigl till receiving this list! The eminent Jewish Viennese composer, teacher, and duo-pianist was forced by the Nazi Anschluss of Austria to emigrate to the USA, where he continued to work under insecure conditions and with increasingly poor health. Nevertheless he continued to compose, over his lifetime completing six symphonies and several overtures. On YouTube there are only Symphony No. 1 (1908) and the third movement of Symphony No. 2, both with poor audio. So I haven't really heard Weigl, but my impression is that the First is very good. The Karl Weigl Foundation is fundraising for a new recording of the Second. I understand that Symphonies Five and Six are commercially recorded. Please could anyone add more info?

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  15. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    I'd never heard of Karl Weigl till receiving this list! The eminent Jewish Viennese composer, teacher, and duo-pianist was forced by the Nazi Anschluss of Austria to emigrate to the USA, where he continued to work under insecure conditions and with increasingly poor health. Nevertheless he continued to compose, over his lifetime completing six symphonies and several overtures. On YouTube there are only Symphony No. 1 (1908) and the third movement of Symphony No. 2, both with poor audio. So I haven't really heard Weigl, but my impression is that the First is very good. The Karl Weigl Foundation is fundraising for a new recording of the Second. I understand that Symphonies Five and Six are commercially recorded. Please could anyone add more info?
    It looks like Thomas Sanderling and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra recorded both on the BIS label. Both are available on Amazon. There also appear to be some choral recordings too, as well as a piano and violin concerto. Looks like they are available via streaming too.
    Last edited by Templeton; Apr-02-2018 at 16:35.

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  17. #175
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    Turning now to Felix Woyrsch (1860-1944) (Ewald Strasser is yet to come)! Woyrsch's Symphonic Prologue to Dante's Divina Commedia (1891) seems more like a symphonic poem than a prologue to me, although naming it as such would have been impertinent with respect to Dante's monumental masterpiece. Without having checked other sources I sense the following in the upload on YouTube:

    0:00 Inferno. As a church music director Woysch might have been inhibited from getting too diabolical -- anyway it wasn't the 20th century yet! The composer strikes me as a Brahms follower, though towards the beginning of the Purgatory, there is a Tchaikovskian outburst. With the Purgatory at 9:56, in a steady-paced chorale style there are contrasts, many key changes, and glimpses of heaven -- with a nod at least to Parsifal. At 17:55 Paradise may have been achieved! Anyway I find Woyrsch's spiritual side convincing.

    In his First Symphony(1907), from 35:20 onward there are similarities to the Symphonic Prologue to Dante's Divina Commedia (see the gunnar frederickson upload on You Tube -- by the way does anyone own the Hamburg Symphony recording?).
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Apr-10-2018 at 17:04.

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  19. #176
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    [QUOTE=MusicSybarite;1391545]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) [QUOTE]



    Well, we've started with Woyrsch, and I know Emil von Sauer as a great pianist, and I recognize some composers' names without knowing their music, so it should be fun. The last-named had Nazi affiliations.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Apr-10-2018 at 17:12.

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  21. #177
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    Recently I've listened to a piece by Paul Graener called Turmwächterlied. Wow! This is a tremendous work! A work firmly established in the soaring post-romantic tradition (something I love). I would dare to say that it is of a heroic tone. The orchestration, the themes, the development, etc. have impressed me.

    Last edited by MusicSybarite; Apr-11-2018 at 06:28.

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  23. #178
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    More to Come

    While collecting my thoughts on Paul Graener the person, I'm looking forward to hearing Turmwaechterlied. Also to come are Woysch's First Symphony, Ewald Strasser, & Ignaz Bruell including new up loads . . .

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  25. #179
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    At first Woyrsch's Symphony No. 1, Op. 52 in C Minor (1907) struck me as rhythmically stiff and influenced by Brahms -- specifically his First Symphony -- in key and style. But after four hearings, its virtues are what remain with me. In the slow movement's opening, tonality shifts in the Wagnerian manner; then it features an attractive oboe melody that continues in an extended line and with a counter-melody. In the intriguing third movement a funereal processional style prevails through the clear-cut melody and variations (as in the corresponding movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony); only its fast triple-time middle section is scherzo-like. The long introduction to the finale prepares a triumphant emergence of C Major, including later on a wonderful ethereal passage as in Woyrsch's Prologue to the Divine Comedy (see previous post).

    I find the work, though very conservative for its time, grows on me and somehow I like it very much.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Apr-16-2018 at 21:00.

  26. #180
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    Roger, buy the Hyperion disc with von Sauer’s Piano Concerto No. 1. It’s fantastic! It’s worth it just for the Cavatina alone. And you get Scharwenka’s Piano Concerto No. 4, which is excellent as well.

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