Author Topic: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen  (Read 4613 times)

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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2017, 11:28:43 AM »
The 10 Best Classical Recordings Of 2016
An extra spot on the Top 10: #11 Braunfels: http://bit.ly/Forbes_Best_Classical_Recordings_2016_New


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Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2017, 10:30:22 PM »


Right now, I'm finishing listening to the Te Deum. Splendid music, a piece of art. It conveys a heartwarming sense of grandeur, something contemplative that raises the spirit. The beginning of Aeterna fac is pure beauty, a subtle song of angels. The ending of the work couldn't be less than glorious.

Another great discovery this year.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2017, 09:38:35 AM »
I very much like Braunfels' Piano Concerto which has been recorded by Dutton. I must explore more of his music!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2019, 07:44:33 PM »


I share the sentiment of Kyle in liking the Piano Concerto. That work is simply fantastic! This should go to the category 'Pieces that have blown you away recently'. There is a positive energy permeating the work that you feel your spirit raised. And what about the 2nd movement? One of the greatest I've heard recently, clearly majestic! The 3rd movement has a theme based on the 18th century song Marlbrough s’en va-t-en guerre, which is pretty catchy.

If you haven't heard it yet, do yourself a favor and give it a try!

Offline Christo

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2019, 11:57:19 PM »
It begins to dawn on me - too slowly, because too little concerned with German composers in general - that we're dealing here with yet another major rediscovery.  ???
CPO will be releasing another revelationary disc, next month - I found the trailer very helfpful: https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/orchesterwerke/hnum/8930842

… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2019, 10:49:54 AM »
Interesting! Let's hope this recording of the Berlioz Apparitions is complete (the cpo recording of it omits a part as far as I'm concerned). The back cover is too small for further details.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 10:52:43 AM by SymphonicAddict »

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2019, 11:11:56 AM »
Interesting! Let's hope this recording of the Berlioz Apparitions is complete (the cpo recording of it omits a part as far as I'm concerned). The back cover is too small for further details.

It IS the first complete recording!

Offline André

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2019, 12:07:39 PM »
What part is missing from the CPO disc ? Timings are almost identical (difference of slightly over 1 minute).

Offline André

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2019, 12:20:54 PM »
I found it: it’s the 9th Apparition.

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2019, 12:25:18 PM »
You beat me! Yes, it is.

Offline André

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2019, 06:36:53 PM »
From the WAYL thread:

Quote


So recognizably Braunfels... the Mass is a huge work, some 15 minutes longer than Bruckner’s 3rd Mass and as long as Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. Patient, inexorable unfolding, head-spinning curls of incense-laden harmonies, unexpected melodic turns. Just when I was thinking the Credo was nice but overlong, too reverential, blissfully unaware of the dramatic opportunities arising from the familiar text, comes the stunning conclusion with its volutes of sound and stomach punching last chord. Wow ! That Credo is as long as the combined next 5 sections, in which Braunfels sends us in all kinds of directions, making up for the quasi-static pace and emotional fixedness that preceded. He achieves a kind of musical updraft, a whirlwind of aural sensations. Quite intoxicating.

Excellent performance from the mixed choirs (incl. an important contribution from the children’s chorus), orchestra and soloists (very important parts for the soprano and bass). Very good sound, a little bit distant for my taste. Recorded in the Philharmonie, Berlin - not my favourite venue by far, but the sense of space is tangible and is to be counted an asset in such a big work. The enthusiastic program notes are by our own Jens F. Laurson  ;) and make for an absorbing read. Many influences seem to have been detected by commentators. I will add another one: Schubert’s E Flat Mass D. 950, another huge choral work where time seems suspended and proves to be much more than the sum of its (sometimes elusive) parts.

Offline André

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2019, 09:32:53 AM »
Cross-posted from the WAYL thread:

Quote


Like Hindemith and Reger, Braunfels was a past master at the art of the orchestral Variations. The Fantastic Apparitions on a Theme of Hector Berlioz is presented here minus the 9th "apparition" (variation). Why? There was room on the disc to include it. The notes don’t explain except to mention that it was "often the case in performances of the work". That's a lame excuse if you ask me. I guess I’ll have to seek out the newly issued Capriccio disc to hear it.

Be that as it may, the work is very substantial at almost 50 minutes. The theme in question is the impish "Flea Song" from La Damnation de Faust. Amazing how it lends itself to all kinds of moods and transmogrifications. 

The op. 20 Serenade is a 4 movement work in a standard symphonic cast. Maybe Braunfels wanted to avoid the term ‘symphony’, but that’s pretty much what we have here, if maybe on a small scale for a late-romantic german work. The RSO Wien under Russell Davies play very well and the 2001 recording is spacious and very natural.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2019, 10:21:56 AM »

The Fantastic Apparitions on a Theme of Hector Berlioz is presented here minus the 9th "apparition" (variation). Why? There was room on the disc to include it. The notes don’t explain except to mention that it was "often the case in performances of the work". That's a lame excuse if you ask me. I guess I’ll have to seek out the newly issued Capriccio disc to hear it.

Yes you do. And then read in the enthusiastic liner notes, why it was left out in the first place. :-)

Offline André

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2019, 01:26:00 PM »
Cross-posted from the WAYL thread:

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Verkündigung (The Announcement) is neither an oratorio nor an opera, but a mystery play based closely on the Paul Claudel play L’Annonce faite à Marie. The action takes place in the Middle Ages (more precisely around 1430) and centres around the character of Violaine. Her childlike simplicity and innocence are met with mistrust, rejection and, ultimately, death. It is mystical, symbolic pietist stuff. Anyone with a liking for Honegger’s Jeanne au bûcher (also written by Claudel) will have a head start appreciating the work.

Braunfels’ music is often achingly beautiful, especially in the long Prologue and the last two acts (III-IV). This performance does the work proud at all levels. Russell Davies conducts fervently and the singing is never less than first rate, simply glorious in the case of Andrea Trauboth’s ardent Violaine. The sound from the Cologne Radio (live, 1992) is clear and spacious. There is a more recent version from the Bavarian Radio (also live, from 2012) but I can’t imagine it beating this one.

Gramophone has a good recension on the work and present recording. The author is spot on about the potential for polarization of Verkündigung: reactions ranging from ‘a cult piece’ for some to ‘boring’ or even ‘repulsive’ for others.

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/braunfels-verkündigung
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 04:18:10 AM by André »

Online ritter

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2019, 11:40:51 PM »
Polarisation potential indeed, André  ;) (and good day to you). This was my reaction some months ago:

First listen to this rarity:



Walter Braunfels’s Verkündigung is a setting (in German translation) of Paul Claudel’s mystery play L’annonce faite à Marie, and thus can be seen as a reflection of i) the composer’s fervent Catholicism  after his conversion  from Protestantism, ii) the allure Claudel’s verse had for composers (cf. Honegger and Milhaud), and iii) the to me rather surprising positive reaction to Claudel’s oeuvre in Germany (I remember once seeing a huge tome dealing with “Paul Claudel and the German Stage” in a bookstore in Berlin, but the subject matter was really too specialised for me to look into it any further).

This opera was completed in “internal exile” in 1935, but only premiered in 1948 (performances under the Nazi regime were out of the question  >:(,  as Braunfels was partly of Jewish descent). To be honest, I don’t find Claudel’s (early) play very alluring (a medieval story of self-renunciation, involving leprosy and the resurrection of a dead child), and Braunfel’s late-romantic style, with a declamated singing line, becomes rather tedious. The best bits IMHO are some orchestral passages and accompaniments, but these are unfortunately few and far between. One reviewer of another, more recent recording, points out that the work is almost entirely uninfluenced by Wagner, but I can’t help but thinking that long stretches of it do remind me of Wagner (Siegfried, that is, not Richard  ;)). Wagner junior’s usually pagan medievalism sounds uncannily similar to Braunfel’s Christian one... ::)
I’m glad you enjoyed Verkündigung it more than I did, in any case.  :)
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 12:19:06 AM by ritter »
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Offline André

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Re: Walter Braunfels' Bullpen
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2019, 04:20:50 AM »
I had read your comment when shopping for the work  :).

I suspect that the vast majority of listeners will fall into the ‘boring’ camp. :D