Author Topic: Johann Rufinatscha (October 1812–May 1893)  (Read 983 times)

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Offline Scion7

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Johann Rufinatscha (October 1812–May 1893)
« on: October 16, 2015, 04:41:38 PM »
(temporary) - from the English untrustopedia (Wiki):

Rufinatscha was born in 1812 in Mals (Austria, now in the Italian province of South Tyrol). At the age of 14 he came to Innsbruck, where he studied the piano, violin, and musical study at the conservatory. After that he settled in Vienna, where he would remain for the rest of his life.
During his lifetime he was most prominent as a teacher of piano and harmony in Vienna. Rufinatscha seems to have spent most of his life teaching rather than composing actively, which would explain why he composed relatively few pieces. He knew Johannes Brahms and composed a number of works (including several symphonies) during the period in which Brahms refused to publish any symphonic works. While predicted by contemporaries to become a major composer of his day, this did not turn out to be the case, and as such he is still relatively obscure. However, as a music teacher he was influential; among his pupils were composers such as Ignaz Brüll and Julius Epstein. He died in 1893 in Vienna.
Rufinatscha is recognised as one of Tyrol's most important composers of the 19th century. His works can be said to form a connection between those of Franz Schubert and Anton Bruckner. Shortly before his death Rufinatscha decided to donate the manuscripts of his compositions to the Tyrolean provincial museum, where they remain to this day.


Orchestral                                                          Chamber
=========================               ======================

Symphony No. 1 in D (1844)                                   String Quartet in Eb  (1850)
Piano Concerto  (1850)                                           Piano Trio in Ab  (1868)
Symphony No.2 in Eb  (1840)                                  Piano Quartet in c  (1836)
Serenade for Strings                                               String Quartet in G  (1870)
Symphony No.3 in c  (1846)                                    Piano Quartet in Ab  (1870)
Overture - "Inner Struggle"
Symphony No.4 in b  (1846)
Dramatic Overture  (1878)                                     Piano music
Symphony No.5 in D  (1850)                                 ======================
Overture - "The Bride of Messina"  (1850)                  Piano Sonata No.2 in C, Op.7  (1855)
                                                                            Piano Sonata in d, Op.18  (1880)
                                                                            6 Character Pieces, Op.14  (1871)
                                                                            Sonata for 4-hands in D  (1850)


Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

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Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

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Re: Johann Rufinatscha (October 1812–May 1893)
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2015, 04:47:01 PM »
We had a quiz on the old board where I successfully identified him. Ah - the glory days of youth.

Seems like quite an interesting chap really, and I certainly will buy the disc. As for this being the first recording, I think that’s wrong. The Tiroler Landesmuseum have been selling some private recordings of his music in their shop!

From the Chandos blurb:

This is Volume 1 of a planned series of three, bringing to life the rarely heard but colourful music of the Austrian composer Johann Rufinatscha. The works presented here have never been recorded before, and are performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda, an exclusive Chandos artist – a partnership of long standing, noted for the precision and fullness of their sound as well as for the strength of their musical interpretations.

Although very little is known of Johann Rufinatscha today, in his time he held an established place in Vienna’s highest musical circles and enjoyed considerable acclaim for his orchestral, chamber, and piano works, some even predicted for him a stellar future. He was a respected teacher and a great friend of Brahms who was not a man to suffer musical fools gladly. The music of Rufinatscha, represented here by two later works, is rich and dramatic, with expressively charged melodies running throughout. His orchestral works are ambitious in scale, strong in content, and suggest a confident, refreshingly unfettered musical mind. Still, his output tailed off strikingly after he completed his Sixth Symphony (recorded here), and he increasingly devoted his energies to teaching, especially piano and harmony, in which he exerted a significant influence – pupils included the pianist Julius Epstein and the pianist-composer Ignaz Brüll.

We do not know what prompted Rufinatscha to write his Overture The Bride of Messina, but at fourteen minutes it would not have been the prospect of a theatrical performance. The overture is far too large – in more senses than one – to function successfully as a curtain raiser. It’s a substantial and very powerful piece that sums up the storyline of Friedrich Schiller’s play Die Braut von Messina perfectly. The richly contrasted opening sets the overall tragic mood of the opera, while the tellingly tender lyrical theme, set on violas and cellos, that follows is symbolic of Schiller’s character Beatrice who is loved by two brothers, neither of whom is aware that she is in fact their sister. The conflict that builds between the brothers throughout is portrayed through characteristically fine trumpet writing.

Symphony No. 6 is an accomplished and richly contrasted work that bears no sign of a composer in decline or about to face it. Nonetheless, it is one of the very last works that Rufinatscha composed before dedicating his time solely to teaching. Following an imposing, Schubert-inspired opening tutti, a bracing Allegro con fuoco takes centre stage. Then follows a melodic and infectious Scherzo, and a sombre Largo coloured by clarinets, bassoons, violas, and cellos, before the finale builds to a resolute and rousing conclusion that only leaves us wondering: What happened to Johann Rufinatscha?

He died.   ;)

Seriously, another good composer swept under the rug of general public opinion.
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

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Re: Johann Rufinatscha (October 1812–May 1893)
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2015, 05:07:11 PM »
^ On reconsideration, he did sort of recede into the background, pursuing a teaching career for the majority of his time.
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kishnevi

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Re: Johann Rufinatscha (October 1812–May 1893)
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2015, 05:12:35 PM »
The connection to Brull is encouraging.  Brull is another composer almost no one knows but everyone should.
Amazon shows these two, plus a serenade for strings only offered as MP3, which seems to be one of the Tyrolean Museum CDs mentioned in erato's post.  The second CD is also from the same source.



Offline Scion7

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Re: Johann Rufinatscha (October 1812–May 1893)
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2015, 05:37:35 PM »
I wish his chamber recordings could go thru a major distributor like Amazon - they are just too pricey.
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Offline listener

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Re: Johann Rufinatscha (October 1812–May 1893)
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2015, 06:18:37 PM »
Here's a link to the Tyrol museum site: http://shop.tiroler-landesmuseen.at/cd-dvd/musikmuseum.html
for some of the piano music, Serenade for Strings and Symphonies 2,3 & 6 (use the search button)
The Piano Concerto and Symphonies 1 & 5 that I bought last year appear to have gone out of print.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 06:22:41 PM by listener »
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Offline Scion7

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Re: Johann Rufinatscha (October 1812–May 1893)
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2015, 07:56:23 PM »
Yes, the 2 volumes of orchestral music I got for $5 each out of Charlotte, NC - used in mint condition - last summer.

So'z I am still waiting some day to hear his chamber pieces ... the Davidson station doesn't have them in their library. 
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 07:57:57 PM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.