Author Topic: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism  (Read 1109 times)

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Online jessop

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Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« on: January 22, 2017, 07:50:38 PM »
To set a couple of guidelines to the kind of music I want to hear I guess one might say: composers whose careers were and notable works were mostly from after Wagner's death. I absolutely love the kinds of things I hear from this bizarre climax of harmonic complexity that the 19th century built up to and I would like to explore some more.......I particularly love the German and Austrian composers from this time in music as well.

Things I like very much already:

Schoenberg's first string quartet, Gurre-Lieder and some other early works
All of Mahler
Elgar's Falstaff and a few other orchestral works
Operas and tone poems by Strauss
The symphonies of Rangström
Schreker's Kammersymphonie and a few other works of his I have heard
Puccini
Diepenbrock's Im grossen Schweigen
Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances
Pejacevic's Symphony in F sharp minor
and the relevant Sibelius compositions

I particularly enjoy Strauss and Schreker and Schoenberg............where can I go next?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 07:59:21 PM by jessop »

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2017, 08:01:36 PM »
Franz Schmidt's symphonies, especially the Second and Fourth, are post-Brucknerian monuments of Austrian sturdiness, filled with chromaticism.

Maybe Reger, but much of his music lacks in memorable ideas, despite its harmonic daring and contrapuntal prowess.  I like the string quartets and the Clarinet Quintet more than the orchestral music or the concertos.

Online jessop

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2017, 08:14:31 PM »
I am checking out Schmidt's 2nd.......the orchestration seems very dense so far......like he is trying to put everything in the foreground! Actually it is rather a funny piece :laugh:

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2017, 08:48:33 PM »
Have you heard any Zemlinsky or Szymanowski?

Online Jo498

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2017, 12:11:12 AM »
Reger's is often not very melodic music but very important as "link" between Brahms and Schoenberg. The clarinet quintet, the two great piano variation sets and maybe also the orchestral variations are more accessible than most of the rest. (Those variations all obviously profit from depending on nice melodies not by Reger...) Also some of his organ and choral music is still performed regularly in Germany. He composed A LOT, considering that he died at 43.

Another German "too late"-romantic is Hans Pfitzner (who was such a curmudgeon that he fell out with the Nazis despite being a nationalist and antisemite). Probably his most famous work is the opera "Palestrina".
There is also a haunting large scale cantata "Von deutscher Seele", a few more operas as well as concertos, two? symphonies and chamber music. I am not familiar enough to give recommendations, though. cpo has most of the orchestral and chamber music and there are several prominent recordings of "Palestrina", one with Schreier on Berlin and one on DG (probably oop). BUt overall Pfitzner's music is not well served on disc because hardly anyone cares about it except in Germany and Austria and even here not many.
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I knew the night had gone.
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Against the drums of dawn.
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Online ritter

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2017, 09:01:36 AM »
....
Another German "too late"-romantic is Hans Pfitzner (who was such a curmudgeon that he fell out with the Nazis despite being a nationalist and antisemite). Probably his most famous work is the opera "Palestrina".
There is also a haunting large scale cantata "Von deutscher Seele", a few more operas as well as concertos, two? symphonies and chamber music. I am not familiar enough to give recommendations, though. cpo has most of the orchestral and chamber music and there are several prominent recordings of "Palestrina", one with Schreier on Berlin and one on DG (probably oop). BUt overall Pfitzner's music is not well served on disc because hardly anyone cares about it except in Germany and Austria and even here not many.
Hans Pfitzner's music has the uncanny ability to attract the ire of most defenders of the avant-garde (although, for once at least, Pierre Boulez is not to blame  ;)). Charles Rosen made this witty remark (in print, as a footnote to his 1998 paper Who's afraid of the Avant-Garde, and also in a speach held at The City University of New York, available on YouTube--the underlining is mine):

"Conspiracy theories are generally absurd. Some years ago a critic in The New York Times wrote that there was a conspiracy to prevent the music of Hans Pfitzner from being perfomed. I remember wondering how one could join such a splendid conspiracy. Of course, the simple truth, then as now, is that of the small number of people who were acquainted with the music of Pfitzner, many of them did not care for it."  ;D

As for Von Deutscher Seele, I'm afraid I don't know the work, but do recall Adorno (who actually admired the poet Eichendorff, whose poems are set in the cantata) having written some very scathing comments about the piece. Of course, if you wish to explore late romanticism, Adorno should most certainly not be your guide  ;). I should look up the Keilberth recording of this piece... even if the last time I listened to Pfitzner's Piano concerto I found it indescribably ugly  ::)

Franz Schmidt, as opposed to Pfitzner , did garner the respect of many of his colleagues who had entirely opposite aesthetic views (Ernst Krenek, for instance). Apart from the symphonies, his massive oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln is as post-romantic as it gets, and is actually very impressive.

« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 09:36:53 AM by ritter »
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Offline Spineur

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 09:13:38 AM »
I would suggest Ernest Bloch.  One always think to his  Schelomo, or his hebraic suite, but he also composed some beautiful late romantic music such as his opera MacBeth, his chamber music (the quintett especially), the piano works and the songs.

Another late romantic composer of interest is Frank Bridge up to WWI included.  And of course Sir Edward Elgar, which music is so romantic.
A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 09:33:45 AM »
Pfitzner must have been a very unpleasant person, probably also insecure; I think there is an anecdote about an encounter with Mahler where the latter was also quite scathing. Although German wikipedia says that Mahler praised of some of Pfitzner's music. Walter conducted the premiere of "Palestrina" and also thought highly of the piece.
And Pfitzner himself ranted wildly against the early 20th century avantgarde, so it is hardly surprising that their later defenders did not much care for him (plus his general antimodernism and antisemitism). Nevertheless, he was a major figure in the 1900-30s and I'd say that "Palestrina" is probably at least as important as anything by Franz Schmidt.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Cato

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 09:36:18 AM »
Have you heard any Zemlinsky or Szymanowski?

They were among my first thoughts!

Scriabin's later sonatas (IV-X) and last three symphonies.

Busoni's works: Piano Concerto, Doctor Faust, and the Violin Concerto.
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Online North Star

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2017, 09:37:23 AM »
Scriabin
Othmar Schoeck: Elegie
Abel Decaux: Clairs de lune
Suk: Things lived and dreamed, About Mother
Busoni: Elegies, Sonatinas
Ysaÿe: Sonatas for solo violin
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 09:49:13 AM by North Star »
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Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2017, 09:42:26 AM »
Pfitzner must have been a very unpleasant person, probably also insecure; I think there is an anecdote about an encounter with Mahler where the latter was also quite scathing. Although German wikipedia says that Mahler praised of some of Pfitzner's music. Walter conducted the premiere of "Palestrina" and also thought highly of the piece.
And Pfitzner himself ranted wildly against the early 20th century avantgarde, so it is hardly surprising that their later defenders did not much care for him (plus his general antimodernism and antisemitism). Nevertheless, he was a major figure in the 1900-30s and I'd say that "Palestrina" is probably at least as important as anything by Franz Schmidt.

Mahler conducted the premiere of Die Rose vom Liebesgarten, though he was very critical of the obscurity of the libretto's symbolism and not entirely positive about the music (which is more than one can say about his opinion of his dear friend Bruno Walter's compositions).  Despite his antisemitism and aversion to Mahler's music (which one has to recall was seen as the very incarnation of avant-garde before Schoenberg gained precedence), Pfitzner recalled Mahler as the best conductor he had ever worked with.

Palestrina has some nice things in it, but Pfitzner's music hasn't done much for me.  At least the parts I've heard haven't.

I'm going to surprise myself by being the first to mention Korngold, who in his pre-Hollywood period especially was a very accomplished and serious composer.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 09:44:06 AM by Mahlerian »

Online ritter

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2017, 09:47:41 AM »
Scriabin
+1
Quote
Othmar Schoeck: Elegie
if you haven't fallen asleep halfway through  ;D--which would make you miss the beautiful final lied Der Einsame
Quote
Abel Decaux: Clairs de lune
A big +1...I thank you again North Star for having brought this to our attention some time ago
Quote
Busoni: Elegies, Sonatinas
A huuuge +1 (but really borderline between late romantic and modern, I'd say)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 09:57:11 AM by ritter »
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Offline Spineur

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2017, 09:52:45 AM »
Ysaÿe: Sonatas for solo violin
Actually I find indeed many romantic idioms in Ysaÿe and Chausson music, but impressionism is also very present.  Another contemporary romantic (and friend) is César Frank.

A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2017, 09:59:22 AM »
Actually I find indeed many romantic idioms in Ysaÿe and Chausson music, but impressionism is also very present.  Another contemporary romantic (and friend) is César Frank.
The sonatas are from 30 years after Franck's death, though.
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Online ritter

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2017, 10:08:30 AM »
Pfitzner must have been a very unpleasant person, probably also insecure; I think there is an anecdote about an encounter with Mahler where the latter was also quite scathing. Although German wikipedia says that Mahler praised of some of Pfitzner's music. Walter conducted the premiere of "Palestrina" and also thought highly of the piece.
And Pfitzner himself ranted wildly against the early 20th century avantgarde, so it is hardly surprising that their later defenders did not much care for him (plus his general antimodernism and antisemitism). Nevertheless, he was a major figure in the 1900-30s and I'd say that "Palestrina" is probably at least as important as anything by Franz Schmidt.
Yes, Palestrina of course is a major work, and does deserve to be known.

But it wasn't only the avant-gardists who attacked Pfitzner. Hans Knappertsbusch, who was on friendly terms with the composer (and we mustn't forget they both signed the infamous manifesto against Thomas Mann in 1933--und Richard Strauss war auch dabei, among others) and conducted the première of Pfitzner's last opera Das Herz (The Heart) is supposed to have said it should be titled "Der Darm" ("The Bowel"), as it contained so much sh*t.  ;D
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 10:10:01 AM by ritter »
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Offline Spineur

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2017, 10:11:56 AM »
The sonatas are from 30 years after Franck's death, though.
But Franck's violin sonata, was a wedding present for Eugène Ysaÿe.  So they were indeed very close friends.
A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2017, 01:25:00 PM »
And the, of course, there's the tragic figure of Siegfried Wagner, decidedly a minor composer, but one whose music IMHO displays something that I can only refer to as "honesty" in its absolute rejection of anything remotely forward-looking. His (many) operas are an acquired taste, and mostly have ludicrously convoluted librettos. But there is some orchetsral stuff that, even if I haven't listened to it in ages, I think fits squarely into the post-romantic category: the tone poems Sehnsucht and Glück, the Violin concerto, the Symphony in C major...
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Online jessop

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2017, 02:26:30 PM »
Have you heard any Zemlinsky or Szymanowski?
Szymanowski I adore, Zemlinsky I haven't heard much of yet. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

Offline Florestan

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2017, 02:46:34 PM »
I say, go Scandinavian!

Erkki Melartin, Wilhelm Stenhammar, Christian Sinding, Hugo Alfven, Kurt Atterberg, Carl Nielsen, Nathanael Berg...

For off-the beaten-track German LR, try Felix Weingartner's SQs and Symphonies.

And of course, the usual suspects of British and French LR should keep you busy for a (very long) while.

Oh, and did I mention Ernst von Dohnanyi?

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Re: Please recommend some Late-Romanticism
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2017, 12:57:00 AM »
Zemlinskys "Lyrische Sinfonie" is an interesting parallel to Mahler's Lied von der Erde and his second quartet is a similarly large-scale piece as Schoenberg's 1st. He also wrote a bunch of operas, I saw two of them (Florentinische Tragödie and Der Zwerg) in Berlin about 10 years ago. His music is to my ears considerably more modern than several others mentioned in the thread.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

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