Author Topic: the forgotten violin concertos - part 1: Introduction  (Read 1400 times)

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violinconcerto

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the forgotten violin concertos - part 1: Introduction
« on: April 03, 2016, 02:14:46 AM »
If you look into the concert programs of major orchestras, violin concertos always are an important and quasi necessary part of a season. But the performed repertoire centers mainly around a few dozen works. There are different reasons for that which I don't want to discuss and which are hardly going to change. But the tragic side effect is, that the thousands of other violin concertos more and more disappear from the music world's sight. It is no revolutionary conclusion that among these “disappearing works“ are master pieces which just had no success due to bad circumstances. For this reason it would be an important goal to preserve documents about these "disappearing“ compositions to give future musicians the chance to study them and bring them to life at a later point in time. To reach this goal it would be important to create something like a "violin gathering point“ where information and documents like scores and recordings are archived and made available for studies.

Over the past 15 years I researched about the compositions for violin concertante in the 20th century to build exactly this "violin gathering point“. I collected information about nearly 13‘000 compositions and published them in a gratis encyclopedia titled "The 20th century violin concertante“.



Additionally I searched for recordings of these compositions. This led to an extensive sound archive with recordings of more than 6000 compositions.

In case of scores, the music publishers and music information centres do a good job. Therefore I focussed on unpublished scores which are not well represented through the mentioned institutions or out of print copies. I collected hundreds of such scores, so the "violin gathering point“ already and really exists – it is my archive!

link to my website: www.tobias-broeker.de
I would like to invite you to stop by at my website, look into my book or my recommendation list of neglected masterpieces for a start.

this in an ongoing blog, so more to follow..

Offline EigenUser

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Re: the forgotten violin concertos - part 1: Introduction
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2016, 02:19:38 AM »
If you look into the concert programs of major orchestras, violin concertos always are an important and quasi necessary part of a season. But the performed repertoire centers mainly around a few dozen works. There are different reasons for that which I don't want to discuss and which are hardly going to change. But the tragic side effect is, that the thousands of other violin concertos more and more disappear from the music world's sight. It is no revolutionary conclusion that among these “disappearing works“ are master pieces which just had no success due to bad circumstances. For this reason it would be an important goal to preserve documents about these "disappearing“ compositions to give future musicians the chance to study them and bring them to life at a later point in time. To reach this goal it would be important to create something like a "violin gathering point“ where information and documents like scores and recordings are archived and made available for studies.

Over the past 15 years I researched about the compositions for violin concertante in the 20th century to build exactly this "violin gathering point“. I collected information about nearly 13‘000 compositions and published them in a gratis encyclopedia titled "The 20th century violin concertante“.



Additionally I searched for recordings of these compositions. This led to an extensive sound archive with recordings of more than 6000 compositions.

In case of scores, the music publishers and music information centres do a good job. Therefore I focussed on unpublished scores which are not well represented through the mentioned institutions or out of print copies. I collected hundreds of such scores, so the "violin gathering point“ already and really exists – it is my archive!

link to my website: www.tobias-broeker.de
I would like to invite you to stop by at my website, look into my book or my recommendation list of neglected masterpieces for a start.

this in an ongoing blog, so more to follow..
This is a really nice idea! Of course, this is a problem with all types of repertoire (not just violin concertos), but it is nice to see it get recognized. Is there any reason you chose to focus on violin concertos (as opposed to other forms)? Do you have plans to look into other types of neglected works?
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Offline Dax

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Re: the forgotten violin concertos - part 1: Introduction
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2016, 03:32:47 AM »
I notice that you've listed a few Albanian concertos: here's a recording of one which is unlisted.

https://www.sendspace.com/file/q4abjt

It's by Thoma Gaqi (b1948) and translates as Concerto-Poem "Youthful vigour (1976) = Poemë-Konzert "Vrull rinor". There are many non-concerto works by Albanian composers: it's a genre in which they have tended to excel. I have several recordings of such works written during the communist era; also some scores and some arrangements I've made for violin and piano. Ditto for the occasional concerto IIRC.

violinconcerto

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Re: the forgotten violin concertos - part 1: Introduction
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2016, 03:49:17 AM »
Hello Dax,

I know the concerto you mentioned and own two recordings of it. Maybe you found my "lost scores?" site on my website on which I list all the works where I don't know where to find scores. So if you can tell me where I can scores of Albanian violin compositions, I would be delighted to hear and get your help! I know of several Gaqi works but miss a lot of useful information for these works (you see many blank spaces for these works in my book, p. 769 ff.), so if you know more I would be happy to include the information!

Best,
Tobias

Offline Dax

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Re: the forgotten violin concertos - part 1: Introduction
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2016, 04:28:34 AM »
Thanks Tobias. Will look out what I have and PM you.

violinconcerto

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the forgotten violin concertos - part 2: Introduction
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2016, 09:43:22 AM »
On my website www.tobias-broeker.de I am running a „Violin Gathering Point“, a project to cumulate information and documents about all compositions for violin concertante written in the 20th century.

This sort of project is highly important to requicken and support the lesser and unknown compositions of this genre. Beside different other reasons ignorance about repertoire is a main cause for pestering the same violin concertos over and over again. If you know 50 violin concertos, you can only choose from them. So broad knowledge about repertoire is necessary to widen your view and make well-founded decisions.
The following problem is to find the sheet music of lesser known violin concertos. The publishing houses just have their „big and new names“ in print, so sometimes it is even hard to find published scores of older violin concertos. Other violin concertos exist only in manuscript, but where it is archived? And if you know this fact, it takes time and efforts to get a copy. That all is annoying and tedious and many a violinists stop here and return to the common repertoire.

So how can my „Violin Gathering Project“ help in this situation? I can provide support for nearly all aspects of the problem. All the available help (documents as well as „personal assistance“) is free of charge, the whole site is also ad-free. Here is what you get:

1) comprehensive information about the existing repertoire
e-book „The 20th century violin concertante“ - nearly 13'000 compositions listed with basic data, can be downloaded here: link to e-book

2) personal recommendations of neglected, but nevertheless outstanding repertoire
check out here: link to my recommendations list

3) sound archive for most of the compositions to get a first impression
due to copyright issues not available online

4) score archive to study rare repertoire
overview on my score archive: my score library
links to public scores: public scores

5) preservation of original manuscripts
actually you can find full scores of the following works for the first time in history (check    out the Wikipedia articles to each composer - they sound unfamiliar, but they are serious, notable and once distinguished composers).
Scores can be found here: manuscripts as free pdf-scores

Ernest Schuyten (1881-1974): Violin concerto
Carlos Veerhoff (1926-2011): Double violin concerto
Charles Francis Hamlin (1874-1946): Violin concerto
Helmut May (1929-2013): Several violin compositions
Gerald Walenn (1871-1942): Harlequinade for violin and orchestra
Bruce Steane (1866-1938): Concertstuck for violin

and several other compositions without violin concertante like chamber music for strings by Arthur Dennington, Herbert Griffiths, Carl Ueter, etc

violinconcerto

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Re: the forgotten violin concertos - part 1: Introduction
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2016, 05:16:30 AM »
On my website www.tobias-broeker.de I am offering a „Violin Gathering Point“ about the compositions for violin concertante of the 20th century. The aim of this violin center is to promote the uncommon repertoire.

To support uncommon repertoire one has to find out the „common repertoire“. So what are the best-known compositions for violin concertante of the 20th century? Some years ago I posted a poll about this question on different classical music forums (I think this included) and from that time on checked with similar lists or questions that come up from time to time.

Here is the aggregation of all these lists:

There is a bunch of violin concertos that is always mentioned, so this seems to be the „standard 20th century violin concerto repertoire“ (in alphabetical order):

Samuel Barber
Bela Bartok No.2
Alban Berg
Benjamin Britten
Ernest Chausson „Poeme“
Edward Elgar
Aram Khachaturian
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Sergei Prokofiev 1+2
Maurice Ravel „Tzigane“
Dmitri Shostakovich 1+2
Jean Sibelius
Igor Stravinsky
Karol Szymanowski 2
William Walton

Additionally the following works received a handful to single mentions, so this could be called the „extended circle of standard repertoire“:

John Adams 1
Bela Bartok 1
Ernest Bloch
Havergal Brian
Gang Chen & Zhanghai He „Butterfly lovers VC“
John Corigliano VC
Ernst von Dohnanyi 1+2
Henri Dutilleux
Philip Glass
Alexander Glazunov
Sofia Gubaidulina 1
Karl Amadeus Hartmann
Hans Werner Henze 1
Paul Hindemith VC + Kammermusik No.4
Vagn Holmboe VC
Leos Janacek
Dmitri Kabalevsky
György Ligeti
Witold Lutoslawski „Chain 2“
Bohuslav Martinu 1+2
Gian Carlo Menotti
Nikolai Miaskovsky
Carl Nielsen
Krzysztof Penderecki 1
Max Reger
Wolfgang Rihm „Gesungene Zeit“
George Rochberg
Miklos Rozsa
Alfred Schnittke 1-4
Arnold Schönberg
William Schuman
Karol Szymanowski 1
Toru Takemitsu „Far calls. Coming, far!“
PeterisVasks
Ralph Vaughan Williams „The lark ascending“
Kurt Weill

Lists always have the effect on readers to question or disagree. If you feel protest surging up, please have the following in mind: I just asked about the violin concertos which are best-known. So the ranking above does NOT mean that the mentioned violin concertos are „the best“ or „the most important“. It just says: If you take part in the actual classical music life (CDs, radio, concerts) you most likely come across these pieces sooner or later, if you like them or not.

The conclusion for me is: I can leave these works alone, there is enough support for them (and therefore I don't want to argue if violin concerto X should be added to this list or Y must be deleted - all of these standard works are out of my main interest). The more pressing question is: Which other little to unknown interesting violin concertos exist?

more to follow...

violinconcerto

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Re: the forgotten violin concertos - part 4: Ernest Schuyten
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2016, 03:57:27 AM »
In my research about the compositions for violin concertante of the 20th century I focus on different aspects of the topic: data, recordings, scores and also original manuscripts. This all builds a „Violin Gathering Point“ and can be studied in detail on my website www.tobias-broeker.de. This time I would like to introduce the violin concerto by Ernest Schuyten.

Ernest Schuyten is a name you most likely never stumbled upon in your life. But this ignorance of Ernest Schuyten is deplorable, because he is an important figure in musical life of New Orleans and even the US.

Ernest Schuyten was born 1881 in Belgium. He studied violin and composition at the conservatories of Brussels and Antwerp and emigrated to the US in the early 1910s. Ernest Schuyten settled in New Orleans and immediately took part of the musical life there. He founded and conducted different orchestras and in 1919 also founded a music conservatory. This conservatory was later incorporated into the Loyola University and formed the College of Music and Fine Arts. Ernest Schuyten became the first dean of the Music College and under his leadership the college was the first in the US to offer a Bachelor of Music for voice or an instrument.



Ernest Schuyten always composed music for all genres during his lifetime. But in 1969 his successful life became a fateful twist by the name of Hurricane Camille. The hurricane hit the New Orleans area and killed the son and grandson of Ernest Schuyten together with most of his musical papers. The granddaughter of Ernest Schyuten told me that the loss of the two men was so tragic for Ernest Schuyten, that he didn't care about his musical compositions and never returned to composing music. He died a few years later in 1974 in Louisiana.

Due to the Hurricane Camille incident only a few compositions of Ernest Schuyten have survived. I was lucky to find the only existing manuscript of the Violin concerto by Ernest Schuyten some time ago. The work was written around the year 1932 and the composer intended to write a typical three movement concerto. During the compositional process Ernest Schuyten decided to cut down the work to just one movement. He omitted the existing second and never started a third movement. So finally the work is called „Violin concerto in one movement only“.
The work received its world premiere most likely in December 1932 by Ella de los Reyes (violin), the Loyola College of Music Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the composer. No other performance of this work could be evidenced.


Ernest Schuyten in front of the Loyola College of Music Symphony Orchestra. The concertmaster on the left is Ella de los Reyes.

The concerto is scored for a full symphonic orchestra and is still in the Romantic idiom. The solo violin plays nearly all the time of the concerto and forms and develops the melodies while the orchestra gently supports the work of the soloist. The concerto is a beautiful example of the Romantic violin concerto from the end of this era and surely will find admirer nowadays. So Gil Shaham get your violin ready!

The full score of the work can be found at my website for gratis download http://www.tobias-broeker.de/rare-manuscripts/.

You can find more on Ernest Schuyten at his Wikipedia article here which I wrote as well.


more to follow...

Offline aukhawk

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Re: the forgotten violin concertos - part 1: Introduction
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2016, 08:14:09 AM »
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