Author Topic: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen  (Read 4692 times)

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jlaurson

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Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« on: August 04, 2013, 05:38:14 AM »
Walter Braunfels will be one of the next big 're-discoveries', much in the way M.Weinberg has been over the last 10 years.

His music is undeniable, once the ears get a taste.



Notes from the 2013 Salzburg Festival ( 5 )
Walter Braunfels • Jeanne D'Arc
The Would-Be Future of Opera at Stake



http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/08/notes-from-2013-salzburg-festival-5.html

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2015, 06:34:15 PM »
Not posts besides Jens here?!?!? :o Well, let me add that every work I've heard from Braunfels (so far) has been absolutely first-rate. I only own the two recordings of orchestral works on Dutton, but I did manage to snag the CPO recording (w/ Dennis Russell Davies conducting) for a great price. Anyway, this composer should be better known as it's melodic, dramatic, and well-crafted music. There are also many moving moments in the works I've heard so far, especially the Adagio in the Piano Concerto.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Scion7

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Re: Walter Braunfel [1882-1954] -
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2015, 06:50:46 PM »
from the New Grove:

Braunfels, Walter
(b Frankfurt, 19 Dec 1882; d Cologne, 19 March 1954). German composer. At an early age he demonstrated strong musical gifts which were encouraged by his mother, a pianist who was a great-niece of Louis Spohr and a friend of Liszt and Clara Schumann. Braunfels began studying the piano at the age of 12 with James Kwast at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. He studied law and economics at the University of Munich, but after hearing a performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde under Mottl he decided to devote his energies to music. In 1902 he went to Vienna to study the piano with Leschetizky and after a year attained a level of virtuosity sufficient to enable him to pursue a successful career as a concert pianist for many years. He returned to Munich to study composition with Thuille, and also served under Mottl at the Nationaltheater. In 1925 he became co-director of the newly constituted Cologne Hochschule für Musik with the conductor Hermann Abendroth.
A determined opponent of the Nazis, Braunfels was removed from this post in 1933 on account of being half-Jewish. Although his music was officially proscribed during the Third Reich, Braunfels refused to leave Germany, withdrawing instead into self-imposed exile at Lake Constance where, in isolation, he continued to compose. In 1945 he was again summoned to Cologne in order to rebuild the Hochschule, and was made professor emeritus in 1950.
Like many composers of his generation, Braunfels was profoundly influenced by Wagner. But he was equally inspired by the orchestral virtuosity and fantasy of Berlioz’s music to which he paid homage in the orchestral piece Phantastische Erscheinungen eines Themas von Hector Berlioz (1917). His first breakthrough came with the opera Prinzessin Brambilla which enjoyed a successful première under Schillings in Stuttgart in 1909. The work, based on a story by Hoffmann, is a typical post-Wagnerian fairy tale opera in the manner of such contemporaries as Humperdinck, Klose and Pfitzner. A greater individuality is manifested in his second staged opera Die Vögel (1920), based on Aristophanes’ comedy. Here the romantic ardour and the sense of longing for unearthly spiritual values struck a chord in a Germany trying to recover from World War I. Enthusiastically championed by Bruno Walter in Munich, it quickly established a place in many German opera houses during the early 1920s. Further success came with his next opera Don Gil von den grünen Hosen (1924), a work distinguished for its skilfully conceived sequence of through-composed ensemble scenes coloured with elements of Spanish folklore.
By 1925 Braunfels ranked with Strauss and Schreker as one of the most popular of contemporary German opera composers. But his non-operatic compositions also gained considerable respect. Influential conductors such as Furtwängler performed the Phantastische Erscheinungen and the brilliant Don Juan: eine klassich-romantische Phantasmagorie (1923), while Abendroth gave the immensely successful premières of the Te Deum (1921) and the Grosse Messe (1926). In the latter works, Braunfels moved away from the late Romantic language of the early operas to a more austere neo-Baroque style, the massive sonorities of which almost recall those of Bruckner. This austerity became even more pronounced after Braunfels had been removed from his post in Cologne in 1933. During this period he was increasingly drawn to religious and mystical subjects, collaborating for example with the poet Paul Claudel on the opera Verkündigung, composed during the first years of the Nazi regime but first performed only in 1948. Near the end of World War II Braunfels turned to chamber music, composing three string quartets and a string quintet, works of great formal concentration which reveal the profound influence of Beethoven.
Although Braunfels was rehabilitated after 1945, his music no longer enjoyed the same level of esteem as in the 1920s. Considered old-fashioned and reactionary in the context of postwar musical developments, his work was quickly forgotten. However, a revival of interest in Braunfels took place during the 1990s with performances of Die Vögel in Bremen (1991) and Berlin (1994), and a subsequent recording of the opera released in 1996.

                                     Selected Works

  Chamber                                                Piano
=====================        ====================================

String Quartet, a, Op.60, 1944;              Kleine Kette, 6 pieces, op.55
String Quartet, F, Op.61, 1944;              Variations, op.46, 2 pianos
String Quintet, f, Op.63, 1944–5;           Toccata, Adagio, & Fugue in f, Op.43, organ 
String Quartet, e, Op.67, 1946–7           Kleine Stücke, op.24, pf 4 hands

Concerti
======================

Conc., op.49, Cello, orch, inc.;
Konzertstück, c, op.64, Piano, orch, 1946;
Musik, op.68, Violin, Viola, 2 Horns, str orch, 1947;
Symphonia brevis, op.69, 1948;
Hebriden-Tänze, op.70, Piano, orch, 1950–51
Piano Conc., A, 1911
Konzert fur Orgel, Knabenchor und Orchester, Op.38, 1927
Schottische Fantasie, op.47, va, orch, 1932–3;

  Orchestral
======================================

Orchester Suite, op.48, 1933–6;
Phantastische Erscheinungen eines Themas von Hector Berlioz, op.25, 1917
Serenade, E, op.20, chbr orch, 1909
Suite from Der gläserne Berg, op.39b, chbr orch, 1928
Carnaval Ov. to E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Prinzessin Brambilla, op.22, 1912
Sym. Variations on an old French children’s song, op.15, 1909;
'Don Juan' a Phantasmagoria for Large Orchestra (1924)
« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 12:36:57 PM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline springrite

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2015, 04:52:05 AM »
The only piece I know since it was one of the few western works being played in China when I was little, is the Skater's Waltz.
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

pjme

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2015, 05:09:28 AM »
That is a walz by mr. Waldteufel, Spring!



On You Tube one can find a good performance of Braunfels' Te deum from the Koncertgebouw and a recent recording of the rather odd, but fascinating concerto for organ, orchestra and (a brief appearance of a) boys choir.
I find some ofthe purely orchestral works a bit rambling... His chamber works I have to discover yet.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 05:14:50 AM by pjme »

Offline springrite

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2015, 06:21:49 AM »
Oops!
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline Scion7

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Re: chamber works
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2015, 10:52:30 AM »
The Quintet and the String Quartets are solid works.
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2015, 12:36:44 PM »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

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Walter Braunfels - future/upcoming/planned recordings?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2015, 12:40:04 PM »
I hope someone is working on the violin & viola concerto, the cello concerto, and others.  If anyone has read of such stuff coming down the pipe, please share.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 09:21:35 PM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

jlaurson

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Re: Walter Braunfels - future/upcoming/planned recordings?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2015, 04:11:40 PM »
I hope someone is working on the violin concerto, the cello concerto, and others.  If anyone has read of such stuff coming down the pipe, please share.

That would be VERY interesting, indeed. But they would have to be written first. There's an organ concerto and a piano concerto and a Konzertstueck quasi-Piano-Concerto... but neither one for Violin or Cello. (For which Braunfels composed little to nothing, incidentally.)

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2015, 06:28:34 PM »


Yes, this is one of the Dutton recordings I own and it is splendid. 8)
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Scion7

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Re: Walter Braunfels - future/upcoming/planned recordings?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2015, 09:10:26 PM »
That would be VERY interesting, indeed. But they would have to be written first. There's an organ concerto and a piano concerto and a Konzertstueck quasi-Piano-Concerto... but neither one for Violin or Cello. (For which Braunfels composed little to nothing, incidentally.)

^ Scroll back for what the New Grove has listed for him, either published or in manuscript.  Look under concerti.
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

pjme

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2015, 12:51:33 AM »
More information on Braunfels and his works published (or not) finished (or not) etc here: http://www.walter-braunfels.de/wb-html/deutsch/werkverzeichnis-2





Konzert für Orgel, Knabenchor und Orchester op. 38 (1927)
1.Fantasie10:49
2.Choral („Sei gegrüßet, Jungfraue, Wohnung Gottes, reinstes Licht“) – Interludium16:41
3.Fuge (mit Choral „Zion hört die Wächter singen“)08:49
Toccata, Adagio und Fuge f-Moll op. 43 für Orgel (1933–1942)
4.Toccata05:09
5.Adagio.07:16
6.Fuge07:55
Symphonische Variationen
über ein altfranzösisches Kinderlied op. 15 für Orchester (1909)
7.Variationen16:18


Peter
« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 02:27:33 AM by pjme »

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2015, 03:44:59 AM »
I was looking at Scion7's post of Braunfels' oeuvre and shouldn't Schottische Fantasie be listed under concerti? This feels like a viola concerto in all but a name. If I remember correctly, there's even a cadenza for the instrument (which the instrument, among other things, has a major contribution to the work as a whole).
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

pjme

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2015, 04:45:58 AM »
From the Braunfels website:

Solo instruments and orchestra / Soloinstrumente und Orchester

Hebridentänze op. 70 (1950–1951)
for piano and orchestra — 25’
2 2 2 2 – 4 2 1 1 – timp, perc, hp, str
première: 08/12/1952, Karlsruhe
Edition Gravis

Hexensabbat op. 8 (1906)
for piano and orchestra — 8’
3 3 3 2 – 4 2 3 1 – timp, perc, str
Family Archive

Konzert für Klavier und Orchester op. 21 (1911)
concerto for piano and orchestra (A major) — 30’
3 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1 – timp, perc, hp, str
première: 20/11/1911, Berlin. Siegmund von Hausegger, Walter Braunfels, pno
F. E. C. Leuckart Verlag

Konzertstück op. 64 (1946)
concerto for piano and orchestra (C sharp minor) — 16’
2 2 2 2 – 4 2 0 0 – timp, perc, str
première: 29/09/1946, Hamburg. Eugen Jochum / Walter Braunfels
Ricordi

Schottische Phantasie op. 47 (1932–1933)
for viola solo and orchestra — 30’
2 2(+bass cl) 2 – 4 2 1 0 – timp, hp, str
première: 06/12/1933, Winterthur. Walter Braunfels / Oscar Kromer
Robert Forberg / Ricordi

Sinfonia concertante op. 68 (1947)
for violin solo, viola solo, two horns and string orchestra — 30’
première: 04/1949, Hamburg. Eugen Jochum
Edition Gravis

Tag und Nachtstücke(1933–1934)
for oblig. piano and orchestra — 30’
2 2 2 2 – 4 2 2 0 – timp, perc, hp, str
(posthumous work, formerly op. 44)
Family Archive
« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 06:44:50 AM by pjme »

Offline Scion7

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2015, 12:37:18 PM »
changed
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

jlaurson

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2016, 01:24:23 AM »
Latest on Forbes.com:
Classical CD Of The Week: Revelation Of A Mystery Play

Alongside Mieczysław Weinberg (Passenger and especially Idiot), Walter Braunfels is the greatest
among least known opera composers. (Needless to say, he was given an overdue chapter in the
new, second edition of Surprised by Beauty, Robert Reilly’s “Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of
20th Century of Music” for which it was my privilege to contribute this particular chapter.) Record-
ings of Jeanne D’Arc and at last a new recording of The Annunciation show Braunfels at his best...


http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/04/20/classical-cd-of-the-week-living-history-mozart/


« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 04:59:01 AM by jlaurson »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2016, 03:11:51 AM »
I can recommend the disc below (should it appear). The late Sinfonia Brevis is a powerful/valedictory work with echoes of Mahler, Bruckner, Reger and Hindemith. It is a powerful gritty and monolithic type work. The Suite from 'The Glass Mountain' is a charming and atmospheric fairy-tale type work which reminded me a bit of Josef Suk. The earlier Symphonic Variations on a French Children's Song (1909) is excellent too - I like every work on this disc.

« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 04:03:00 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2016, 03:22:38 AM »
Latest on Forbes.com:
Classical CD Of The Week: Revelation Of A Mystery Play

Alongside Mieczysław Weinberg (Passenger and especially Idiot), Walter Braunfels is the greatest
among least known opera composers. (Needless to say, he was given an overdue chapter in the
new, second edition of Surprised by Beauty, Robert Reilly’s “Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of
20th Century of Music” for which it was my privilege to contribute this particular chapter.) Record-
ings of Jeanne D’Arc and at last a new recording of The Annunciation show Braunfels at his best...


http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/04/20/classical-cd-of-the-week-living-history-mozart/



That link didn't work. That said, I think you wanted this one:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/05/04/classical-cd-of-the-week-revelation-of-a-mystery-play/#58443b3b4970
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

jlaurson

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2016, 04:59:18 AM »
That link didn't work. That said, I think you wanted this one:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/05/04/classical-cd-of-the-week-revelation-of-a-mystery-play/#58443b3b4970
Damn,  you're right. Thanks for pointing it out and correcting.