Author Topic: Max Bruch  (Read 8829 times)

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Offline Leo K.

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2013, 10:34:35 AM »


Bruch. Symphony no.2.

A contrast of mood set against a change in orchestral colour rather than tempo. When a composer writes Allegro ma non troppo, it's open to a wide range of interpretation. James Conlon appears absolutely clear in his mind regarding the quality of the music, and how he wanted it played , particularly in matters of tempo, which, with instrumental balance, can make or break 19th century German orchestral repertoire.

Great artists are usually pretty uniformly great; good ones pretty uniformly good and great maybe once or twice in their lives if they get lucky. Artists who produce a good number of great works, as Bruch did, scraping the bottom edge of genius, and a good number of mediocre ones, are very uncommon. Bruch was a master of the Adagio. Bruch,who lived from 1838 to 1920, quite a long and productive life, and only the first violin concerto is performed with any frequency. I seem to like everything Bruch wrote. I adore the violin concertos along with the Scottish Fantasy. Bruch's slow movements are swarming with the lyricism of Schumann and Brahms.

I LOVE the 2nd movement of his Second Symphony in f minor. IMHO the symphonies may rank with the very greatest ever written, but who cares ? On their own terms, they're appealingly melodious, lively and straightforward works, in the Mendelssohian tradition. They're a sort of more robust and heavily scored Mendelssohn, but with Bruch's own distinctive personal stamp. Of the many works by Last night I listened to my excellent two CD set of the three symphonies of Max Bruch,with James Conlon and the Gurzennich orchestra of Cologne. These are delightful works. Why aren't they ever performed live ? The liner notes say that they were performed widely in Europe during Bruch's day, roughly the second half of the 19th century. But somehow, they vanished altogether from the repertoire, except for a handful of recent recordings.


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Re: Bruch's Truck- CAN U MAKE ME LOVE BRUCH?
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2014, 05:54:35 AM »
All I know is the Violin Concerto everyone programmes with Mendelssohn. What's the skinny on Bruch? He seems kind of "Gothic"?

Offline Brian

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2014, 05:59:54 AM »
snyprrr - apparently his choral music good, but so far all I've fallen in love with has been the chamber music, particularly this fantastic CD:

String Octet, Quintet, & Piano Quintet - excellent CPO label - almost 80 mins. of wonderful chamber music!



snyprrr

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2014, 06:27:37 AM »
snyprrr - apparently his choral music good, but so far all I've fallen in love with has been the chamber music, particularly this fantastic CD:

Yes, I saw your Post. Looks like a typically wonderful CPO! Is he mostly Major, or Minor?

Offline Pat B

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2014, 07:39:12 AM »
so far all I've fallen in love with has been the chamber music

I have figured it out! Brian:Bruch VC1::Pat B:Brahms VC

Scottish Fantasy and Kol Nidrei seem to be his next-most-popular works -- but I've only heard those and the three VCs. I wishlisted that cpo chamber disc.

Offline Est.1965

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2015, 05:34:09 PM »
 ;D
Suddenly I have taken an interest in Bruch, the result of hearing Litton and the Bergers accompany Benedetti in the first Violin Concerto (recorded live by the BBC early last year).  I have also taken a sudden interest in Benedetti as an outstanding virtuoso violinist for the same reason.  She did the same Bruch concerto with Belohlavek and the BBCSO at the last night of the Proms 2012, but despite the wonders of that performance, she outshone herself in Bergen, and trounced every other released performance I've made a point of listening to since...  Anyway...er...I forgot what more I was going to say on the matter...   :-[
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Offline Moonfish

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2019, 08:25:31 PM »
I watched and listened to Hilary Hahn performing Bruch's Violin Concerto #1 last night and it was mesmerizing. I find her playing outstanding, but I'm a bit biased. Besides, there is a reason why Bruch's VC #1 belongs in the realm of popular concertos in the repertoire. I wish that Hahn was recording more of her performances.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/KDJ6Wbzgy3E" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/KDJ6Wbzgy3E</a>
« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 03:05:14 PM by Moonfish »
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SymphonicAddict

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2019, 02:39:11 PM »
Count me as another fan of that gem. His other concertante works should be better known, though. The 2 other VCs are as good or even better as the most famous 1st one. In Memoriam Op. 65 is especially good, so is the Scottish Fantasy.

Offline Moonfish

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2019, 03:06:08 PM »
Count me as another fan of that gem. His other concertante works should be better known, though. The 2 other VCs are as good or even better as the most famous 1st one. In Memoriam Op. 65 is especially good, so is the Scottish Fantasy.

Yes, I get a sense of that his works are underperformed. I was hoping to listen to some of the chamber works as well.
"Every time you spend money you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want...."
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2019, 03:38:07 PM »
A chamber work of his I like is the Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, op. 83.  It can be found in a good recording (2015), along with some of Bruch's other chamber works, on RCA Red Seal:


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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2019, 03:47:19 PM »
Yes, I get a sense of that his works are underperformed. I was hoping to listen to some of the chamber works as well.

As San Antone recommended, the 8 pieces for clarinet, viola and piano deserve several listens. In addition, this CD is wonderful:



The String Octet is the jewel on the crown. Bruch at his best.

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2019, 05:53:44 PM »


The String Octet is the jewel on the crown. Bruch at his best.

Do you know how the octet/quintet performances compare to the Nash Ensemble on Hyperion?

Offline kyjo

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2019, 07:33:58 PM »
Oddly enough, I've never quite liked the ever-popular 1st VC and think there are better Romantic VCs out there that aren't played nearly as often (Goldmark, Karlowicz, Rontgen, etc.). I prefer the 3rd VC and the Scottish Fantasy. I also enjoy the Eight Pieces for clarinet/viola/piano and remember liking the 3rd Symphony and Suite on Russian Themes. I must listen to the Octet which I haven't heard thus far. My favorite Bruch work of all, without a doubt, is the Concerto for Two Pianos. What a stunning work (in the chocolatey, dark key of A-flat minor!), completely inspired from beginning to end. I'm shocked it's not much better known. The scintillating recording by Katia and Marielle Labèque is required listening for anyone!
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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #33 on: October 17, 2019, 08:22:25 PM »
Do you know how the octet/quintet performances compare to the Nash Ensemble on Hyperion?

No, I don't. I only have the cpo recording. The sound quality and performance on that CD is just lush and intense, quite fitting my tastes!

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2019, 01:20:46 AM »
The composition dates trouble me.  This music post-dates The Rite of Spring by several years, and yet vividly recalls the world of Brahms and Mendelssohn as though the rest had never happened.  As a dinosaur myself and proud of it, I know how easy it is to lose credibility if you don't keep up, and I guess that is what has happened in the case of Max Bruch.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2019, 01:46:32 AM »
Bruch was staunchly conservative. AFAIR he supposedly called Richard Strauss' music "musical social democracy" (apparently a scathing dismissal). But I also think that the chamber music on the cpo disc is very attractive and at least as good as the better known Bruch, such as the 1st violin concerto, Scottish Fantasy or the double for clarinet/viola.
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 Florestan

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2019, 03:35:51 AM »
Bruch was staunchly conservative. AFAIR he supposedly called Richard Strauss' music "musical social democracy" (apparently a scathing dismissal).

He was not alone.

Prokofiev recalled that even the most innocent musical innovations drove the conservative Lyadov crazy. "Shoving his hands in his pockets and rocking in his soft woollen shoes without heels, he would say, 'I don't understand why you are studying with me. Go to Richard Strauss. Go to Debussy.' This was said in a tone that meant 'Go to the devil!'"[2]

In 1908, by the age of 54, Moszkowski had already become a recluse as he began to suffer from poor health. His popularity began to fade and his career slowly went into decline. He stopped taking composition pupils because "they wanted to write like artistic madmen such as Scriabin, Schoenberg, Debussy, Satie ...".[4]

"Visând, întrezărim prin doruri –
latente-n pulberi aurii –
păduri ce ar putea să fie
și niciodată nu vor fi."

--- Lucian Blaga

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Max Bruch
« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2019, 04:55:48 AM »
I have to hastily correct myself, since by co-incidence the CPO disc fell through my letterbox this morning (used, costing next to nothing) and I've had time to rip it and listen to the Octet.  I wrote:
... This music post-dates The Rite of Spring by several years, and yet vividly recalls the world of Brahms and Mendelssohn as though the rest had never happened. ...

But listening to the Octet and the first-movement in particular, it is clearly post-Wagnerian in texture even if the form and structural gestures are more classical in style.  In fact I was much reminded, in the first movement, of Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht (which pre-dates the Octet by 20 years).  I guess Richard Strauss (about whose music I know nothing really) would be a fairer point of comparison than Mendelssohn.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear in the 2nd movement, a funeral march - I'm always a sucker for one of those!

Do you know how the octet/quintet performances compare to the Nash Ensemble on Hyperion?

Without answering the question - the Nash disc was very well received I think, and it seems to me it is a better programme, omitting the Piano Quintet which is an earlier work, in favour of another String Quintet which is more contemporary with the other two late pieces.  I would have bought that rather than the CPO if it had cropped up at a comparable (very low!) price.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2019, 05:00:28 AM by aukhawk »