Author Topic: What is the greatest symphonic poem?  (Read 6040 times)

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Offline André

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #60 on: July 02, 2021, 07:59:25 AM »
The cuts in The Golden Spinning Wheel were the work of Josef Suk, Dvorak’s son in law. The Talich and Chalabala recordings observe these cuts, which occur in the 3 passages where the magician’s son goes to the castle to bring Dornicka’s limbs and eyes (reduced to a single iteration by Suk). The other tone poems are uncut.

Offline Biffo

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #61 on: July 03, 2021, 12:49:29 AM »
The cuts in The Golden Spinning Wheel were the work of Josef Suk, Dvorak’s son in law. The Talich and Chalabala recordings observe these cuts, which occur in the 3 passages where the magician’s son goes to the castle to bring Dornicka’s limbs and eyes (reduced to a single iteration by Suk). The other tone poems are uncut.

Thanks for the info.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #62 on: July 09, 2021, 05:46:35 AM »
The cuts in The Golden Spinning Wheel were the work of Josef Suk, Dvorak’s son in law. The Talich and Chalabala recordings observe these cuts, which occur in the 3 passages where the magician’s son goes to the castle to bring Dornicka’s limbs and eyes (reduced to a single iteration by Suk). The other tone poems are uncut.

That's very interesting - I didn't realise it was Suk responsible for those cuts.  Given he was partial to long tone poems himself that's a curious choice! (I prefer it uncut for sure even in an idiomatic performance like Chalabala's)

Online Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #63 on: July 09, 2021, 09:24:11 AM »
Oh, Lordy, I couldn't pick only one!   And I'm glad that I don't have to! :)

Unsurprisingly, I love Sibelius' and Dvorak's (off the top of my head).  Will give a think about other ones in a bit (Wimbledon is on)....

PD

Offline André

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #64 on: July 10, 2021, 03:48:23 PM »
That's very interesting - I didn't realise it was Suk responsible for those cuts.  Given he was partial to long tone poems himself that's a curious choice! (I prefer it uncut for sure even in an idiomatic performance like Chalabala's)

It is indeed a surprise both on account of Suk’s own penchant for longish, discursive orchestral tone poems (I’m not saying that negatively, I love them) and on account of Dvorak’s immense renown at the time these last opuses were composed - not the kind of person to be second-guessed or bullied by his publisher or other musicians. I haven’t been able to find out if Suk had discussed the work with his revered father-in-law.

From an article on the work in a Dvorak web site:

Quote
The second distinguishing feature of Dvorak’s symphonic poems is their focus on details. While the common conception of the symphonic poem is centred on its fundamental mood, the outline of its story or a general idea, Dvorak takes a magnifying glass to Erben’s text. Certain interpretations will claim that this approach interferes with the form, which becomes fragmented, given the disproportionate attention to detail, and the piece as a whole suffers as a result. This concerns, in particular, The Golden Spinning Wheel,* in which Dvorak even has three repetitions of the same plot fragment (the exchange of individual parts of the spinning wheel for the dead girl’s hands, feet and eyes), which finds its justification in the story, but is superfluous from a purely musical point of view.

(…)
From a formal point of view, the symphonic poem The Golden Spinning Wheel is the most complex of the tetralogy, a fact determined by the textual model which comprises an intricate plot with various details, moreover, extending over a lengthy period of time. Dvorak’s musical setting therefore does not attempt to conform to some customary musical form; instead it follows the story more or less descriptively, just as Erben presents it. This trait was once seen as the work’s weak point, and so Dvorak’s pupil and son-in-law Josef Suk endeavoured to eliminate this alleged failing by making deletions in the score. Apart from the three superfluous repetitions of the scene depicting the exchange of individual parts of the spinning wheel for the dead girl’s hands, feet and eyes, other passages were also deleted, whose absence is, on the contrary, detrimental to the work (the striking melodies and unusual treatment of the wedding scene). The work was subsequently regularly performed in this version, but recent times have seen a return to Dvorak’s original score (or a combination of both versions)

Full article:
http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/golden-spinning-wheel


(*: this particularly irked Eduard Hanslick, a vehement opponent of program music).

Dvorak conducted the work 4 times in 1897-98, presumably complete. He died 6 years later (1904). It is not clear when Suk edited the work, before or after Dvorak’s death? In any case, this curious history does not detract from the very real musical qualities of Chalabala’s interpretation - or Talich’s for that matter, who is more dramatic but less poetic and rather poorly recorded.

Online Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #65 on: July 11, 2021, 04:09:08 AM »
It is indeed a surprise both on account of Suk’s own penchant for longish, discursive orchestral tone poems (I’m not saying that negatively, I love them) and on account of Dvorak’s immense renown at the time these last opuses were composed - not the kind of person to be second-guessed or bullied by his publisher or other musicians. I haven’t been able to find out if Suk had discussed the work with his revered father-in-law.

From an article on the work in a Dvorak web site:

Full article:
http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/golden-spinning-wheel


(*: this particularly irked Eduard Hanslick, a vehement opponent of program music).

Dvorak conducted the work 4 times in 1897-98, presumably complete. He died 6 years later (1904). It is not clear when Suk edited the work, before or after Dvorak’s death? In any case, this curious history does not detract from the very real musical qualities of Chalabala’s interpretation - or Talich’s for that matter, who is more dramatic but less poetic and rather poorly recorded.
Thank you so much André for providing that information; I hadn't known that.  Interesting to ponder.  I'll have to revisit it soon.  :)

PD

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #66 on: July 11, 2021, 05:44:21 AM »
Reading these comments on Chalabala’s recording of Dvořák’s symphonic poems is certainly whetting my appetite and I can’t wait to receive that disc.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2021, 05:46:15 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #67 on: July 11, 2021, 11:18:20 AM »
I don't know if it's the greatest of the lot, but Dukas’ L’apprenti sorcier was the first I got to know well, and I still love it.
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Offline André

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #68 on: July 11, 2021, 01:44:50 PM »
I don't know if it's the greatest of the lot, but Dukas’ L’apprenti sorcier was the first I got to know well, and I still love it.

With good reason: the little bugger is always up for extra innings - I never tire of hearing it.  :D

Offline relm1

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #69 on: July 11, 2021, 02:16:23 PM »
I don't know if it's the greatest of the lot, but Dukas’ L’apprenti sorcier was the first I got to know well, and I still love it.

It's a fine work.  A pity he didn't write more.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #70 on: July 11, 2021, 02:57:26 PM »
It's a fine work.  A pity he didn't write more.

Yes, I love La Péri, as well.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #71 on: July 11, 2021, 06:21:11 PM »
It's a fine work.  A pity he didn't write more.

I’m sure he wrote more, but burned it soon afterwards. >:D
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Online Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #72 on: July 12, 2021, 12:55:21 AM »
I don't know if it's the greatest of the lot, but Dukas’ L’apprenti sorcier was the first I got to know well, and I still love it.

With good reason: the little bugger is always up for extra innings - I never tire of hearing it.  :D

It's a fine work.  A pity he didn't write more.

Disney and Mickey were my first introduction to this work; I was quickly hooked!   :)

PD

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #73 on: July 12, 2021, 03:27:45 AM »
Plenty of recommendations in here for tone poems I haven't heard yet, so thanks for those. At the moment, some of my favourites are:

Tchaikovsky: The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Francesca da Rimini
R. Strauss: Tod und Verklärung, Also sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben
Suk: Ripening
Villa-Lobos: Uirapuru

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #74 on: July 12, 2021, 12:12:38 PM »
Plenty of recommendations in here for tone poems I haven't heard yet, so thanks for those. At the moment, some of my favourites are:

Tchaikovsky: The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Francesca da Rimini
R. Strauss: Tod und Verklärung, Also sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben
Suk: Ripening
Villa-Lobos: Uirapuru

What are some works that were mentioned that you haven’t heard but would like to?
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #75 on: July 12, 2021, 12:43:10 PM »
It is indeed a surprise both on account of Suk’s own penchant for longish, discursive orchestral tone poems (I’m not saying that negatively, I love them) and on account of Dvorak’s immense renown at the time these last opuses were composed - not the kind of person to be second-guessed or bullied by his publisher or other musicians. I haven’t been able to find out if Suk had discussed the work with his revered father-in-law.

From an article on the work in a Dvorak web site:

Full article:
http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/golden-spinning-wheel


(*: this particularly irked Eduard Hanslick, a vehement opponent of program music).

Dvorak conducted the work 4 times in 1897-98, presumably complete. He died 6 years later (1904). It is not clear when Suk edited the work, before or after Dvorak’s death? In any case, this curious history does not detract from the very real musical qualities of Chalabala’s interpretation - or Talich’s for that matter, who is more dramatic but less poetic and rather poorly recorded.

thankyou for all that extra detail - absolutely fascinating.  My default position is always to trust the composer - even if you don't like it, they had a reason for doing it the way they did!  I like the idea of Dvorak following the narrative rather than symphonic form - it challenges the conventions.  The challenge for the interpreter/performer is to make the non-conventional effective for a listener......

Offline krummholz

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #76 on: July 12, 2021, 05:02:49 PM »
Nice topic! At least two or three of Brian's symphonies seem to fit the definition being used here as they have strongly literary inspirations - the 6th (Sinfonia Tragica), the 12th, and the 30th. Of these I consider the 30th my single favorite (and actually of all Brian's symphonies as well), but the one that I feel is better characterised as a symphonic poem rather than an actual symphony is the Tragica, based on music for an opera based on a Synge play that Brian had to abandon because of copyright issues. Very evocative and moving.

Offline relm1

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #77 on: July 13, 2021, 04:57:00 AM »
Plenty of recommendations in here for tone poems I haven't heard yet, so thanks for those. At the moment, some of my favourites are:

Tchaikovsky: The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Francesca da Rimini
R. Strauss: Tod und Verklärung, Also sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben
Suk: Ripening
Villa-Lobos: Uirapuru

I forget Tchaikovsky's very fine entries.  Suk's Ripening is a favorite as well.

Offline relm1

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #78 on: July 13, 2021, 04:58:31 AM »
Nice topic! At least two or three of Brian's symphonies seem to fit the definition being used here as they have strongly literary inspirations - the 6th (Sinfonia Tragica), the 12th, and the 30th. Of these I consider the 30th my single favorite (and actually of all Brian's symphonies as well), but the one that I feel is better characterised as a symphonic poem rather than an actual symphony is the Tragica, based on music for an opera based on a Synge play that Brian had to abandon because of copyright issues. Very evocative and moving.

I always forget but isn't the 12th the one that is actually the prologue from his opera, Agamemnon?  Or is that the 11?

Offline krummholz

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Re: What is the greatest symphonic poem?
« Reply #79 on: July 13, 2021, 07:25:48 AM »
I always forget but isn't the 12th the one that is actually the prologue from his opera, Agamemnon?  Or is that the 11?

No, you didn't forget! It is indeed the 12th.