Author Topic: Joseph Marx  (Read 9847 times)

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kristopaivinen

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Joseph Marx
« on: April 28, 2008, 01:21:42 PM »

Joseph Marx (1882–1964)

Anyone know this guy? Our time knows very little of him, but I heard his music was hugely admired by contemporary musicians.
Riccardo Chailly remarked:
»How could such a major composer fall into oblivion?«
Even Wilhelm Furtwängler acknowledged his talent in 1952:
"Joseph Marx is the leading force of Austrian music."

I've only heard a clip of his Herbstsymphonie on Youtube. Sounds very lovely, and I'd like to hear more, but I don't know where to find more, before I go and buy lots of records.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 01:33:32 PM »
The only Marx recording I have is his Piano Concerto, played by Marc-André Hamelin in the Hyperion Romantic Piano Concerto series (coupled with a Korngold concerto).  Information on Hyperion's website, here.  Haven't listened to it much; recall liking but not loving it as much as the Korngold coupling.

Also heard a soprano in recital recently with a beautiful and interesting Marx set.

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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 02:46:30 PM »
The record label ASV did a Marx series a year or two back with the Bochum Symphony Orchestra conducted by the American conductor Steven Sloane. 

I bought three CDs in the series-

CD DCA1137-Symphonic Night Music, Idyll-Concertino on the pastoral fourth, and Spring Music(forming the Nature Trilogy)

CD DCA 1158-Old Vienna Serenades for large orchestra, Partita in Modo Antico for string orchestra, and Sinfonia in Modo Classico for string orchestra

CD DCA 1174-the Romantic Piano Concerto, and Castelli Romani for piano and orchestra with David Lively as soloist.

I have to say that I found the Romanticism rather overpowering in its cloying sweetness(rather like over-indulging in huge quantities of Viennese gateaux!). Not unpleasant-far from it-but just too rich for my palette. I found myself nodding off to sleep during most of these pieces.

There is an excellent website devoted to the music of Joseph Marx-

http://www.joseph-marx.org/

Sadly(I suppose) the planned recording of the Herbstsymphonie(Autumn Symphony) has been cancelled by ASV. Maybe CPO will take it up?

« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 02:57:27 PM by Dundonnell »

Offline The new erato

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 09:34:20 PM »
The string quartets on a cpo disc is well worth it, and shows how he developed through his long career, they're quite different in style and quite far between (in terms of compositional dates)...IIRC.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2008, 04:41:10 PM »
The guy who runs the Joseph Marx website linked above-Berkant Haydin-has now got both CPO and Chandos onboard with recording projects. Chandos will release a cd next month containing Marx's choral works together with some orchestral songs-

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/NR_January09/CHAN10505.htm

CPO has just released a cd of Marx orchestral music, while chamber, instrumental and vocal cds are planned. I would expect the Herbstsymphonie to be recorded soon.

Although I am not a particular fan of the music(as I said above), it just goes to show how successful a persistent one-man campaign on behalf of a particular composer can be!! Haydin's website is a model of its kind :)

Offline jimmosk

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2008, 07:55:09 PM »
Berkant's also a very affable, friendly person (via email, at least -- we've never met in person).  I'm certain he'd love it if you emailed him to ask about Marx, and give you lots of information and recommendations.

-J

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The Unknown Composers Page:  http://kith.org/jimmosk/TOC.html
« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 11:22:26 PM by Que »
Jim Moskowitz / The Unknown Composers Page / http://kith.org/jimmosk
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"On the whole, I think the whole musical world is oblivious of all the bitterness, resentment, iconoclasm, and denunciation that lies behind my music." --Percy Grainger(!)

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2008, 07:18:11 AM »
Berkant's also a very affable, friendly person (via email, at least -- we've never met in person).  I'm certain he'd love it if you emailed him to ask about Marx, and give you lots of information and recommendations.

-J

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Jim Moskowitz
The Unknown Composers Page:  http://kith.org/jimmosk/TOC.html


That is nice to know :)

Unfortunately, although I admire Berkant Haydin's industry, enthusiasm, persistence and success in promoting the music of Joseph Marx I am not a great lover of the music itself :( As I said above, it is just TOO romantic, too sweet, too honeyed for my tastes.

In saying that, I would be intrigued to hear the Herbstsymphonie when it is finally recorded-as I am sure it will be :)

Offline BerkantHaydin

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2008, 06:02:14 AM »
Hi guys,
This is Berkant Haydin, and I'm very glad of having found this forum. Hi Jim (Moskowitz), nice to meet you again! Jim and me, we have exchanged a lot of rare piano concertos in the past (once there was a time when I burned 50+ CDRs a month for other collectors...). Regarding my mission of rediscovering and establishing Joseph Marx's music in the world's concert halls and recording business, things have changed a lot since I founded the Joseph Marx Society in April 2006 which has 60 members from all over the world now. (According to Marx's popularity in the world of music lovers and record collectors, the society should already have hundreds or thousands of members but perhaps it's better to protect Marx's obscurity since we don't want him to become a part of the mainstream music agenda.) There are a lot of major conductors who seem to be interested in doing the premiere recording of the Herbstsymphonie and to perform it. You must also check out the upcoming Chandos disc of Marx's choral works and orchestral songs which was the most top-class and expensive Marx project I've ever been involved with.
I wish I had enough time to support the rediscovery of so many other neglected composers but there's just not enough time. Running the Marx Society absorbs much of my free time.
Yesterday I listened to Florent Schmitt Psaume and the Requiem by Delius, extremely good music, closely related to Marx's music.
All best wishes & a wonderful new year for everybody
Berkant

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2008, 06:12:21 AM »
Good heavens! I am glad now that I said such nice things about you in my earlier posts on this thread ;D ;D I shall now have to go back to play my Marx cds again to see if I can revise my slightly less than total enthusiasm for the music itself :)

I have the Chandos cd of the Marx choral works on order though :) I look forward to hearing them!

And if/when the Herbstsymphonie is finally recorded I shall purchase that as well :)

Delighted to have you here :) :)

Offline BerkantHaydin

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2008, 07:34:49 AM »
Well, everybody's got a different personal taste, so it is actually no problem if you find Marx not fascinating enough, perhaps due to an overload of sweet-scented melody in some of his works such as his songs and most parts of his piano concertos, for instance. However, if one studies his entire oeuvre thoroughly one will find a lot of tragic elements and a strong Wagnerian dramaticicm and especially an intense Scriabinesque apocalypticism. Most parts of the 75-minute Herbstsymphonie, the dramatic passages of the cantata Herbstchor an Pan (which can be found on the upcoming Chandos disc) and the first movement of the Nordland-Rhapsodie are the best examples for it. So, at the end of the day, I would say that Joseph Marx was a kind of Austrian Delius with a strong Scriabinesque impact.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2008, 09:35:07 AM »
Hi guys,
This is Berkant Haydin, and I'm very glad of having found this forum. .......................

Berkant - welcome to the GMG Forum - hope that you'll enjoy and continue to contribute!  :D

I just have the Marx disc of the SQs which I do enjoy, but from looking briefly (promise to revisit) at your website, there seems to be plenty of recordings available (now & in the future) - thanks for your input! Dave  :)


Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2008, 10:27:02 AM »
Well, everybody's got a different personal taste, so it is actually no problem if you find Marx not fascinating enough, perhaps due to an overload of sweet-scented melody in some of his works such as his songs and most parts of his piano concertos, for instance. However, if one studies his entire oeuvre thoroughly one will find a lot of tragic elements and a strong Wagnerian dramaticicm and especially an intense Scriabinesque apocalypticism. Most parts of the 75-minute Herbstsymphonie, the dramatic passages of the cantata Herbstchor an Pan (which can be found on the upcoming Chandos disc) and the first movement of the Nordland-Rhapsodie are the best examples for it. So, at the end of the day, I would say that Joseph Marx was a kind of Austrian Delius with a strong Scriabinesque impact.

It is interesting that you acknowledge the possible "overload of sweet-scented melody" in the piano concertos. Obviously, I do not yet know the Herbstsymphonie or the Cantata to which you refer but what you say about "strong Wagnerian dramaticism" is encouraging :) Unfortunately, the Nordland Rhapsody is the one other orchestral work by Marx missing from my collection.

I shall focus on the "Wagnerian dramaticism" rather than the "kind of Austrian Delius with a strong Scriabinesque impact" since, while I love Wagner, I am not a great admirer of either Delius or Scriabin ;D

Offline BerkantHaydin

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2008, 05:03:48 PM »
To SonicMan: The string quartets, especially the modo antico and modo classico, are strongly uncharacteristic of Marx's music although the cpo release truly is a wonderful disc. As I wrote in the liner notes there, these quartets were written as a monument for protecting the high culture in Nazi-threatened Europe and as a technical guideline for young composers, but were tragically misinterpreted by some circles of the Austrian avantgarde movement as old-fashioned music by a reactionary composer.

To Dundonnell: I guess you would really like the exceptional Herbstsymphonie (which is still not available on disc) and the early cantata "Herbstchor an Pan" for its wildly pathetic power and dramatic brass sections even if you're not a fan of Scriabin's.  ;)

The discs of the ASV series, despite its invaluable contribution to the rediscovery of this repertoire which marked the beginning of the international Renaissance of this composer, is not unconditionally recommendable. For instance, if someone likes the Marx concertos I absolutely recommend the broadcast recordings (courtesy of the Bayerischer Rundfunk) performed by Jorge Bolet (Romantisches Klavierkonzert) and Hans Petermandl (Castelli Romani) which allow a much deeper and more transparent insight into the composer's intention and technique than the ASV recording. If someone likes the "Nature Trilogy", I rather recommend the Austrian broadcast performances conducted by Karl Etti and the Vienna SO in the 1970s and 80s. Nevertheless, the ASV discs obviously appeal to a lot of music lovers in the world, nothing else matters.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2008, 05:42:37 PM »
To SonicMan: The string quartets, especially the modo antico and modo classico, are strongly uncharacteristic of Marx's music although the cpo release truly is a wonderful disc. As I wrote in the liner notes there, these quartets were written as a monument for protecting the high culture in Nazi-threatened Europe and as a technical guideline for young composers, but were tragically misinterpreted by some circles of the Austrian avantgarde movement as old-fashioned music by a reactionary composer.


Berkant - thanks for your response - just checked my CD of the SQs, and indeed you wrote the liner notes - I'm impressed!  Please provide some further recommendations for a 'novice' like me to Marx's music - I'm mainly an instrumental listener, and prefer chamber works, but larger orchestral pieces are fine, too!  Looking forward to your posts in this thread!  Dave  :)

Offline BerkantHaydin

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2008, 04:42:10 AM »
I would recommend the 1st violin sonata released by PAVANE, please check out Disc No. 18 in the Discography section of my website:

http://www.joseph-marx.org/en/discography.html#Chamber

The remaining chamber music (all piano quartets, a huge piano trio and the 2nd violin sonata) plus the unpublished solo piano and organ works will be recorded as a world premiere by cpo in 2009, also the quite rarely performed songs for medium voice. I also recommend the solo piano CD that was released by Chandos, performed by Tonya Lemoh.

As I wrote yesterday regarding the orchestral works, some expert listeners say that parts of the ASV series may not be referred to as reference recordings; this might indeed partially be true for Vol. 1 (Nature Trilogy), Vol. 2 (even though this Orchestral Songs disc received a GRAMMY nomination) and Vol. 4 (the Piano Concertos). Incidentally, my own role in the planning and production of the ASV series which was much more extensive than just writing the liner notes is described to some extent in the Recording Projects section of my Marx website). Therefore, the Joseph Marx Society is working on alternative recordings which will hopefully present the composer in a more perfect light.

I also suggested the almost cinematographique Nordland-Rhapsodie to cpo. Mr. Schmilgun is strongly interested in making Marx's not-yet-recorded works available as soon as possible. And finally, as mentioned previously, there are a couple of major conductors who apparently would like to perform or record the Herbstsymphonie.

But for the moment, I would strongly recommend the forthcoming Chandos release of Marx's choral works and orchestral songs (CHAN 10505). On this disc, you'll find not only the magnificent cantata "Herbstchor an Pan" (Autumn Chorus to Pan) as a premiere recording, but also first recordings of some choral works that were orchestrated (i.e. arranged for mixed choir and orchestra) by myself and the Vice President of the Marx Society, Stefan Esser. The sound world of Herbstchor an Pan and the orchestral songs will be most appealing to many listeners but we still hope that our orchestral versions of the other choral works (including "Ein Neujahrshymnus") will also find a few friends out there.

Offline BerkantHaydin

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2008, 06:29:20 AM »

Additionally I would recommend the recent cpo recording of the symphonic poems, see disc No. 2 in the Discography section of my website:

http://www.joseph-marx.org/en/discography.html#Orchestral

jlaurson

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2008, 08:20:52 AM »
Marx Rocketh!


Chamber Music You Didn’t Know You Love ( 2 )

Quote
Loving Marx is a wonderfully unpolitical thing to do, at least if it is the composer and influential teacher Joseph Marx (1882 - 1964) that is the object of our admiration. And if you like romantic music that runs the gamut from chromatically twisted to old-fashioned to unabashedly melodic (including some close encounters with the saccharine end of ’sweet’), then Marx is likely a composer you’d want to hear.


Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2008, 01:58:27 PM »
Marx Rocketh!


Chamber Music You Didn’t Know You Love ( 2 )



Yes, it's that "saccharine end of 'sweet'" that I have the problem with :) But I am looking forward to hearing the Chandos recording of the choral works!

As I said earlier, the Marx website is a model of how a composer's website should be organized :)

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2009, 03:06:02 AM »
Bumping this thread for the sake of Schweitzeralan.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

jlaurson

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Re: Joseph Marx
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2009, 03:10:42 AM »
Bumping this thread for the sake of Schweitzeralan.

Funny you should have done this today. I JUST (as in: 2 hours ago) got my copy of Marx's orchestral songs (Chandos, Belohlavek) in the mail.

Marx, Joseph / Orchestral Songs & Choral Works / BBCSO&C, Christine Brewer, Jiri Belohlavek