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Thread: Robert Volkmann

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    Senior Member Joachim Raff's Avatar
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    Default Robert Volkmann

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    After studying piano and organ with his father and music with Anacker, Volkmann studied composition with Becker in Leipzig where he heard Mendelssohn and met Schumann. By 1841 he had settled in Budapest where he remained for the rest of his life with only one exception, a three year stay in Vienna. He became quite cognisant and understanding of the Hungarian national fervour in music and founded the Hungarian National Music Academy in 1875 with Liszt and Erkel. Composing in almost all forms of music his songs were inspired by folk traditions of Hungary and his instrumental works became very important. His "String Serenade, no. 3," and "B-flat minor Piano Trio" were particularly significant particularly the trio which was lauded by Liszt, Wagner and Bulow. The most interesting aspect of Volkmann's compositions was his implementation of rhythmic structures as he continuously shifted accents and meters.

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    Senior Member Joachim Raff's Avatar
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    Recommended listening:

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    Here's another note-spinner from Germany who had technique to spare, wrote very congenial music that is perfectly listenable - and utterly forgettable. Years ago a conductor I was playing with decided that amateur orchestras shouldn't try to play Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky - it's too difficult for non-pros. So he brought in the parts for Volkmann's First Symphony. After we got through it, he closed the score and said "well, now I suppose we know why this isn't played any more. Pretty and pretty boring". We passed the parts in and it was back to Beethoven!

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