Author Topic: The Discourse of Distler's Dilemma  (Read 1025 times)

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snyprrr

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The Discourse of Distler's Dilemma
« on: August 17, 2016, 12:43:44 PM »
I just accidentally erased my OP. So, anyhow,... here's the Hugo Distler Thread! :'( I am now listening to a first class Concerto for Harpsichord and String Orchestra (1935) that seems quite compelling to me.Great playing too on YT.

Known mainly for his Choral Music, Distler committed suicide (1908-1942) instead of being forced into the army... odd he isn't more well known for this alone...
« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 07:32:48 AM by snyprrr »

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: Distler's Discourse
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2016, 01:22:31 PM »
He committed suicide from 1908 to 1942? (:

snyprrr

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Re: Distler's Discourse
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2016, 07:32:12 AM »
He committed suicide from 1908 to 1942? (:

took a while to bleed out :o




Listened to some Choral Music... quite nice and moving...

Offline André

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Re: The Discourse of Distler's Dilemma
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2017, 03:37:11 AM »
A very interesting figure. Like Britten he was a conscientious objector. I'm surprised to see so many discs available (organ or a capella vocal music, mostly). And there are plenty of youtube clips, too. There seems to be a tiny but devoted following in his home country. I'm curious to hear his music. I see Snyprr and Sarge listened to his harpsichord concerto. The work had been banned by the nazis. Wonder what it sounds like.

Short but interesting article here:
http://www.overgrownpath.com/2006/11/hugo-distler-forgotten-victim-of.html


And a longer one here:
http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi1584.htm
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 03:40:49 AM by André »

snyprrr

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Re: The Discourse of Distler's Dilemma
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2017, 11:06:47 AM »
Wow, Thread's only a year old...


Distler,... I DID enjoy that Harpsichord Concerto,...


move along, nothing to see hear

pjme

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Re: The Discourse of Distler's Dilemma
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2017, 12:01:20 PM »


A great loss - one always wonders what "might have been"...

I really like that crazy last movement of the harpsichord concerto : variations on Samuel Scheidts 'Ei du feiner Ritter', a rythmical  "tour de force", a moto perpetuo that gets really quite wild!

Afaik, he wrote no large orchestral works , other than the concerto. He was indeed mainly a composer of choral music.

P.

Offline André

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Re: The Discourse of Distler's Dilemma
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2020, 10:28:08 AM »
Cross posted from WAYL2 :



This cd of Distler’s choral music contains one of his better known works, Totentanz. Here’s the historical/literary context of the work, straight out of the wiki article on the work:

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Totentanz (Danse Macabre), Op. 12/2,[1] is a composition of 14 motets by Hugo Distler which he composed in 1934 for Totensonntag. The work was inspired by the medieval Lübecker Totentanz. The music is interspersed with twelve spoken texts. The motets are scored for a four-part choir a cappella, while the texts can be recited by one or more speakers. The text for the sung parts is taken from the Baroque poem Der Cherubinische Wandersmann by Angelus Silesius. The spoken stanzas were written by Johannes Klöcking, a contemporary of Distler

Distler’s position in the german liturgical/musical life ensured his work had a certain exposure and influence. Indeed, his church music is still regularly played and recorded in Germany. On this recording from the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, the parts of the play are taken by professional singers but also by the Mayor of Leipzig and the Pastor of the Thomaskirche, where J.S. Bach was Cantor (and is buried in the nave). These are mundane but important details, as they shed light on the importance of what is a very ancient tradition in the germanic world and the cultural and religious filiation Distler was a part of.

The disc is completed by some of the many motets written by Distler. This is music of intense spiritual devotion. Lest that be construed as a synonym for terminal boredom, I can attest it is not the case. Distler writes in a very clear, lucid, transparent idiom allied to rythmic lightness. Another quote from the wiki article helps place his style and influence in its proper context:

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He is now recognized as "one of the most significant German composers of his generation".[1] He is often associated with other German neo-Baroque choral composers, including Johann Nepomuk David, Ernst Pepping and Wolfgang Fortner.[5] One of Distler's most prominent students, who carried on many of his rhythmic and harmonic innovations, was Jan Bender. Distler's style was spread by choirs in Germany and abroad during the years after World War II, stimulating and influencing other later composers.

A conscientious objector and nazi critic, Distler resisted the draft and committed suicide in 1942. His reputation has always been high in Germany. A professional choir bears his name and a postage stamp was issued for the 50th anniversary of his death in 1992: