The Music Room > Composer Discussion

Joachim Raff

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carlos:

I've some v.c. and chamber works. All boring. Except a really
beautiful string octet, a splendid work IMHO next to Felix's
masterpiece.

Hector:
Bernard Herrmann was a great admirer and a reason why Unicorn were able to get him to conduct a recording of the 'Lenore' symphony.

The Lenore legend is only referred to in the last movement.

Sadly, we are heavily reliant on recordings and the buying or broadcasting of these recordings if we want to get to know Raff's music.

His influences, quite clear once you get to know him, are Mendelssohn and Beethoven.

I am a fan but am, sometimes, exasperated by his banality and slack orchestration. I want to shout "Get on with it."

For someone who was employed by Liszt as an orchestrator this is surprising and suggests laziness more than anything else.

He certainly had a strong sense of his own importance when he, famously, bequeathed royalyies to his widow only for her to witness his music going quickly out of fashion.

Nowadays, when exploration of the byways of the Romantic repertoire is on the increae, one would have thought that Raff's better works would engender an audience.

Larry Rinkel:

--- Quote from: Hector on August 24, 2007, 03:31:14 AM ---Nowadays, when exploration of the byways of the Romantic repertoire is on the increae, one would have thought that Raff's better works would engender an audience.

--- End quote ---

And, in your mind, what are these?

Hector:

--- Quote from: Larry Rinkel on August 24, 2007, 04:29:26 AM ---And, in your mind, what are these?

--- End quote ---

Certainly, some of the symphonies. 3, 4, 5 and the 'Seasons' sequence but all should carry a warning that he labours his material and, frequently, runs out of ideas.

If, and it is an 'if', he could have possessed the same discipline as a Dvorak we might have a work or two in the central repertoire.

Enjoyable, all the same.

Mark:
Okay, I'm loving Raff (a composer previously barely on my radar), and the Fifth Symphony is absolutely up my street. :)

So here's a daft question: Has there ever been a complete cycle of his surviving 11 symphonies?

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