Author Topic: Karl Holler(1907-1987)  (Read 2839 times)

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Offline Dundonnell

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  • Edmund Rubbra(1901-86)
Karl Holler(1907-1987)
« on: April 08, 2008, 03:25:10 PM »
I do seem to post a lot about obscure composers!

I think that I mentioned Holler before in a thread about German composers of the 1930s. Holler was born in Bamberg in 1907 and studied organ, piano, cello, and conducting as well as composition. He taught in Munich from 1933-1937, Frankfurt 1937-1946 and Munich again 1949-1972. He was President of the Munich Hochschule fur Musik from 1954 until 1972.

I chanced upon a CD which DGG issued some time ago of historic recordings by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Eugen Jochum of Holler's Symphonic Phantasie for Orchestra on a theme of Girolamo Frescobaldi and his Sweelinck Variations for Orchestra. These works seemed to me to be the work of a highly proficient composer working in the tradition of Paul Hindemith but influenced-to a certain degree-by French music as well.

Holler intrigued me as a German composer who had continued the traditions of Romanticism both before the war and beyond in a country where such traditions had become very unfashionable. Holler wrote two violin concertos, two cello concertos, a piano concerto, an organ concerto, a good deal of chamber music, music for the organ and choral works. He also wrote two big symphonies(1942-46 and 1973) which-to my great surprise-have actually recently been recorded by a German label with which I was totally unfamiliar-Ambitus.
I have(of course) ordered them directly from the company itself.

I wonder if anyone out there has any other knowledge of Holler?

pjme

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Re: Karl Holler(1907-1987)
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2008, 12:39:37 PM »


2 CD's! So these are very large/long works? Please keep us informed. I'm always interested in unknown music - so look forward to some comments.

Etcetera / Klara has issued this week a "portrait" Cd of Flemish composer/conductor Flor Alpaerts (1876 - 1954).The Flemish radio Orchestra (soon = Brussels Philharmonic) is conducted by Michel Tabachnik.

If you like opulent late Romanticism à la Richard Strauss with a good dose of Debussy ,Rimsky,Wagner and Respighi thrown in, you might like two big symphonic poems : Pallieter ( after a famous Flemish novel), and the James Ensor suite .Further : a sentimental romanza for violin & orch., a capriccio and a Summer idyll for orch. - It was a bit much to listen to in one go ( in my car) - but nice!

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Karl Holler(1907-1987)
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008, 03:12:42 PM »
The symphonies are not overly long in fact. The publisher Schirmer's website says that the 1st symphony is 40 minutes long and the 2nd is 34 minutes long. Don't know why they couldn't fit onto 1 CD.

The 2nd incidentally is subtitled "Huldigung an Mozart"(Homage to Mozart). It will be interesting to find out what this means in practice.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Karl Holler(1907-1987)
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2008, 04:18:32 PM »
In the event it turned out that Holler's 1st Symphony is 51 minutes long and the second 36 minutes. That is why they have to go onto 2 discs.

Are they worth hearing? Sadly, not really! I regret to say that I found them both wholly unmemorable. Sub-Hindemithian, academic, a strange mixture at times of faux Bruckner and jazzy influences. The 2nd at least has the merit of relative brevity! Not unattractive with the classicism that is implied by the subtitle 'Homage to Mozart'. The 1st was a work Holler laboured over for some time during the war. I am afraid that I laboured to keep up interest while listening!

Ah well, at least I know now!