Author Topic: Charles Martin Loeffler  (Read 3656 times)

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Offline Benny

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Charles Martin Loeffler
« on: January 26, 2008, 08:54:29 PM »
Who would think that this composer, Charles Martin Loeffler (1861-1935) was born near Berlin, of two German parents? His music does not reveal the slightest hint of any German or Austrian influence. It sounds "French" and "Russian," perhaps with a touch of turn-of-the century Americana, but definitely more European than the music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes.

Something happened during his childhood. His father was arrested for political reasons and incarcerated, in Prussia, for the rest of his life. As his biographer wrote, this can explain why Loeffler went to "great lengths" to dissociate himself completely with his country of origin:
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That Loeffler seemingly falsified his birthplace is proof of his hostility toward Germany; in fact, he went to great lengths to disassociate himself from the country he believed claimed his father's life (Karl Löffler suffered a stroke while imprisoned by the Prussian government). Instead, Loeffler aligned himself with France by asserting French nationality and acquiring French manners and tastes. Ultimately, he chose America as his permanent residence, becoming a citizen in 1887 as well as one of the greatest protagonists of impressionistic music in the United States.

He did not compose much music but after listening to a few works, such as his late Memories of my childhood: life in a Russian village, his Poem for orchestra (on Verlaine's La bonne chanson), his Pagan Poem (after Virgil), his Music for four stringed instruments, and his two Rhapsodies for oboe, viola, and piano, it is very much apparent that this American (he became a naturalized citizen) was a very gifted composer.

Loeffler lived on a small farm in Medfield, MA. He was very much involved with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a good friend of Gabriel Fauré.
"The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind."
(Albert Camus)

Harry

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2008, 06:56:42 AM »
I have a bit of his music, so I will dive into my collection to find what sort of a composer he was. :)

pjme

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2008, 01:29:38 PM »
I agree : Loeffler is quite unique.

"Pagan poem" ( for orchestra with pianosolo, cor anglais and off stage trumpets) is really an assured work and is individual in flavour.
Stokowski's version has appeared and dis-appeared over the years in diffrent guises. It does sound its age ,of course and this brillant score could do with a crisp and contemporary rendition.
EMI France issued a recording (mono) in the Rarissimes series , Manuel Rosenthal conducting ( combined with Glazunov, Scriabin etc). - but I haven't heard that one.

My favourite recording is on New Worlds Rec. and features the INdianapolis SO / John Nelson . With Neil Rosenshein ,tenor in 5 Irish fantasies and Jennie Hanson, viola d'amore, as soloist in La mort de Tintagiles. Really lovely music . Evocative and mysterious in the Irish songs, dark and brooding in the symphonic poem.




Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2009, 06:21:25 AM »
One thing about this wonderful forum site is that it allows me to purge my musical passons for others either to endorse or to repute.  I was (in all places) You Tube; and, they actually had recorded a chamber work, "L'Etang de Charles Martin Loeffler."  Loeffler has indeed been a favorite since I heard and procured on LP "A Pagan Poem," decades ago.  Snce then I bought "La Mort de Tintagelis," a wonderful worl composed around 1903, I believe.  I'm not too familiar with his many chamber works, as I tend to favor strictly orchestral or pianistic titles. Again, it's my love of impressionistic nuances which define many early 20th century music, including Loeffler's contributions.  His music is strictly Gallic, from what little info I have on his life. He came to the U.S., to Boston, I believe, and he became very much involved in the musical life there.  It's all on the internet. I think that one of my ongoing Loeffler favorites, including those mentioned, is "Memories of a Childhood Village." Hardly ever performed.  Lovely, diaphonous music.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 06:28:42 AM by schweitzeralan »

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 04:37:59 AM »
One thing about this wonderful forum site is that it allows me to purge my musical passons for others either to endorse or to repute.  I was (in all places) You Tube; and, they actually had recorded a chamber work, "L'Etang de Charles Martin Loeffler."  Loeffler has indeed been a favorite since I heard and procured on LP "A Pagan Poem," decades ago.  Snce then I bought "La Mort de Tintagelis," a wonderful worl composed around 1903, I believe.  I'm not too familiar with his many chamber works, as I tend to favor strictly orchestral or pianistic titles. Again, it's my love of impressionistic nuances which define many early 20th century music, including Loeffler's contributions.  His music is strictly Gallic, from what little info I have on his life. He came to the U.S., to Boston, I believe, and he became very much involved in the musical life there.  It's all on the internet. I think that one of my ongoing Loeffler favorites, including those mentioned, is "Memories of a Childhood Village." Hardly ever performed.  Lovely, diaphonous music.


Well, too bad.  Loeffler created some great moments, at least for me. May he rest in peace!

karlhenning

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 05:02:20 AM »
I'd never heard of him before reading Joseph Horowitz's Classical Music in America: A History of Its Rise and Fall (which in its paperback reprint lost the chicken-little subtitle).  I've been low-level curious about Loeffler since, haven't actually sought him out yet.

sul G

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2009, 05:30:52 AM »
Among other things there's a curious and rather beautiful pair of Rhapsodies of his on IMSLP which I used to have on disc too, though heaven knows where that disc is now. If I had to compare it to anyone it would be Griffes, purely on the strength of it being American impressionism with 'Europe' still dripping through it; the textures are rather Griffes-like too. Here it is. But it might be worth checking out the other Loefller stuff on IMSLP too.

sul G

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2009, 05:32:59 AM »
(Especially as one of them is the aforementioned La Mort de Tintagiles in full score  8) )

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2009, 02:27:09 PM »
(Especially as one of them is the aforementioned La Mort de Tintagiles in full score  8) )

Good! He is recogized. a significant musician and composer.

pjme

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2009, 03:23:19 PM »


This is an excellent record. "La mort de Tintagiles" hovers a bit between German late -Romantic extravagance and early French Impressionism. The use of a solo viola d'amore gives the symphonic poem a dark, yet poetic touch.
I find the 5 Irish fantasies for tenor and orchestra more personal. Masterly and refined orchestration, exquisite tone painting and structural balance.
Pagan poem is another great score - there's a classic Stokowsky recording and a (mono) version by Manuel rosenthal on a EMI Rarissimes CD
From Amazon :
Those familiar with my reviews on Amazon know of my love for classical music series (Original Masters, Great Conductors of the Century, etc.), and one that I have started collecting recently is the French Import "Les Rarissimes" ("The Rarities") on EMI. These 2CD collections feature the works of various conductors and performers from the dawn of the LP era, thankfully at a budget price. This set showcases conductor Manuel Rosenthal leading his beloved Paris Philharmonic Orchestra in five delightful works. Unfortunately, only two of the selections here are making their CD debut -- Ibert's Concertino and Debussy's Rapsodie, both for Saxophone, with Marcel Mule as soloist. It should be noted that the other three performances -- Scriabin's The Poem of Ecstasy, Loeffler's A Pagan Poem, and Glazunov's Raymonda Ballet Suite -- have been previously available on a now out-of-print (and often absurdly expensive) CD in EMI's old "Full Dimensional Sound" series. All of the recordings here are in mono and the sound quality is good but not stellar. In all, these are fair Rarities at a great price -- a rare treat these days so enjoy!

Loeffler's chambermusic for strings ( on Naxos) is equaly good. Loeffler is an esthete, an Art Nouveau artist . I'm sure that those who like Magnard, Chausson, Reger, Debussy and Koechlin, will enjoy the music of this refined compôser.

nut-job

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2009, 03:44:55 PM »
I have this LP



I think I paid a dollar for it.  It's quite good, too bad it was never transferred to CD (like most of the Mono Mercuries).

Don't know why my image disappeared.  It is Griffes, Pleasure Dome, White Peacock, Loeffler, Memories of Childhood, Poem for Orchestra.  Howard Hanson, Eastman-Rochester Symphony, Mercury Olympian LP (mono). Probably 1955 or thereabouts.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/music/0506/classical/mono/griffes.jpg
You might have to open it in a separate browser.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 06:35:52 PM by nut-job »

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2009, 05:59:07 PM »
Belatedly agreeing with Peter's assssment of the music on the New World Records cd :)

Don't despair, schweitzeralan!  It may take some of us a day or two to catch up and reply to a thread on a favourite composer but we get there in the end :)

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2009, 06:41:40 PM »
Belatedly agreeing with Peter's assssment of the music on the New World Records cd :)

Don't despair, schweitzeralan!  It may take some of us a day or two to catch up and reply to a thread on a favourite composer but we get there in the end :)

Thanks guys.  Loeffler's just one of my favorites. Glad he's not cast into oblivion.

pjme

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Re: Charles Martin Loeffler
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2015, 11:14:59 AM »


I've mentioned several times that I do like C.M.Loeffler's music - lush harmonies and melodies, somewhere between late Romanticism and Impressionism.

Has anybody discovered this new Dutton CD already. I look forward to La villanelle du diable which has an organ part. The violinpieces seem very tempting aswell.

Peter