Author Topic: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century  (Read 24724 times)

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lukeottevanger

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2007, 03:46:10 AM »
I'm with Edward in ranking Schoeck a long way above anything else I know from Swiss composers (except Martin, of course). He certainly is one of the finest of lieder composers, very much in the line of Schubert-Schumann-Brahms, though with a distinctly late romantic, twentieth century twist - his Elegie, for instance, which was the piece which hooked me good and proper, sets some of the same poems which Schumann sets in his Eichendorff Liederkreis, but instead of Schumann's vernal early Romantic forest imagery, Schoeck is autumnal, brooding, haunting, leading to a transfigured, Brahmsian final song. He has a distinct personal style, very subtle but inimitable, which sets him far apart from other 'late romantic lied' composers (such as Marx, Korngold, Pfitzner etc) and IMO far above them too. I have about 15 Schoeck CDs now, including a couple of his operas - this is a lot more than I have of any other Swiss composer! I attach a reduced quality version of my single favourite Schoeck song, the utterly transfixing Herbstgefuhl II from the above mentioned Elegie, in which the autumn forest is compared to a sick man; listen to the orchestra's slowly throbbing heartbeat.

Interesting to see Paul Giger recommended, btw - at his best he is a vert interesting figure, with great sensitivity and insight into string timbre. Arvo Part lovers will find something to appreciate here, though he is no Part sound-a-like.

springrite

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2007, 05:08:25 AM »
I'm with Edward in ranking Schoeck a long way above anything else I know from Swiss composers (except Martin, of course).

Guess you are agreeing with me as well then.  ;)

Elegie is one of my favorite as well, but I will pay special attention to your favorite song the next time I listen.

lukeottevanger

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2007, 05:12:00 AM »
Guess you are agreeing with me as well then.  ;)

Sorry - getting my little green men confused!

Mark G. Simon

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2007, 05:51:38 AM »
Sutermeister's Capriccio for solo clarinet is very well known among clarinetists. It is probably the most frequently performed unaccompanied clarinet solo after Stravinsky's Three Pieces and Messiaen's Abyss of the birds.

Offline Guido

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2007, 04:16:02 PM »
Wow thanks Luke - that song was fantastic.
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Offline some guy

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2008, 06:15:31 PM »
Hey, Dundonnell, I know you're more interested in the older Swiss composers, but that could change. And when it does, add Francisco Meirino (aka Phroq) and Jason Kahn, to your list of people to keep an ear open for.

Phroq is a noise artist who does a lot of different stuff, some of it not really very loud. Jason Kahn (born in the USA, but resident in Switzerland--and referred to as a Swiss artist), I know less about. I've seen him once, recently, with an extremely amplified tom tom, the sound of which he sculpted with one or other cymbal held over the drum head and gently pushing the feedback sound around. Pretty stunning, really.

Offline Maciek

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2008, 11:26:55 PM »
I can't believe no one has mentioned Constantin Regamey. His Double Concerto (for violin, cello and orchestra), Persian Songs (for baritone and orchestra) and Quintet (for clarinet, bassoon, violin, cello and piano) are all excellent and available on this impossible-to-find CD (released 1994):



There's a bit more available from JPC, but I haven't tried any of those.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2008, 11:06:40 AM »
I can't believe no one has mentioned Constantin Regamey

impossible-to-find

;D
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Offline Maciek

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2008, 01:22:05 PM »
;D

That CD is impossible to find, but JPC has that other one (and I think I saw two more when I last checked about 6 months ago). :P

Anyway, given the situation, I can, of course, upload something, if anyone is interested.

lived in Poland

Of course the fact that I am the one who finally did mention him is pure, pure coincidence, I assure you. 0:)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2008, 03:45:59 PM »
Is Honegger's music performed much in Switzerland I wonder. I think he is a very underrated composer. I have recently been much enjoying his film score for L'Idee (new Naxos release from Marco Polo originals). Also symphonies 2-5 are great favourites of mine as is Joan of Arc, Christmas Cantata (I see that there is a new recording on Hyperion). In TerraPax by Frank Martin is a great work, composed for the end of World War Two. Bloch is one of my favourite composers. Concerto Symphonique is a work I currently enjoy listening too. It has an epic feel to it and a rather craggy/percussive use of the piano, a bit like in Vaughan Williams's Piano Concerto.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2008, 05:23:17 PM »
Sadly, I cannot recommend the Fritz Brun symphonies (on Guild) I have heard so far-Nos. 3, 5, 9 and 10.

Despite the passionate advocacy of the eccentric musicologist and conductor Adriano the symphonies are turning out to be rather turgid affairs-Brucknerian but without a tithe of the inspiration.

Won't stop me collecting them all, no doubt-just as I collected all the pleasant but pretty feeble Hans Huber symphonies ;D

Sometimes History does get it right :)

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2009, 06:23:55 AM »
The Sutermeister CD I ordered arrived today and mightily impressed with it I am!

It is  Wergo WER 6294-2 and contains the Missa da Requiem(1952/53) and the Te Deum 1975(1974 sic) with Luba Orgonasova(soprano), Roman Trekel(baritone), the Rundfunkchor, Berlin and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester, Berlin conducted by the late Heinz Rogner. The recordings were made in 1992 and 1993.

The intention had been for the Requiem (which is 43 minutes long) to be premiered by Sutermeister's friend, the Russian conductor Issai Dobrowen but he died before the intention could be realised so the first performance was given on Italian radio in Milan conducted by no less than Herbert von Karajan! I found the Requiem moving and profound. Certainly anyone who admires the fine choral compositions of Frank Martin should be equally impressed by the Sutermeister. The Te Deum(25 minutes) is, perhaps, even more impressive: slow moving and in no way celebratory it is certainly a Te Deum written in and for the uncertain 1970s. It is also, however, a most beautiful work.

This is exactly what someone like myself is looking for in seeking out compositions by composers working in traditional forms using a tonal framework(albeit extended tonality) which have been ignored for too long outside the borders of their countries of origin. There are such fine works around but many are denied to us. I would not want to claim-on such brief acquaintance-that Sutermeister is the equal of Frank Martin but he is certainly a composer who can be put into the same bracket.

Highly recommended!

Bernard Reichel is one composer whose impressonist style has always intrigued me.  His work tends to be soft and diaphonous, as if it were being played on a far off Siss mountain range.  Right now I recall a Concertino; he also composed a work for the Louisville  Orchestra back in the fifties.  I believe he originally was a renowned organist.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 01:55:05 PM by schweitzeralan »

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2009, 02:41:53 AM »
I have finally managed to obtain a recording of Othmar Schoeck's early Violin Concerto 'Quasi una fantasia"(1910-11). It is a Claves cd and the coupling is a Suite arranged by the conductor Andreas Delfs from the Opera 'Penthesilia". The soloist is Bettina Boller and the excellent orchestra is the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Schoeck wrote the concerto on the rebound from an visit to Budapest in the hope of meeting the violin prodigy Stefi Geyer. Geyer, who was away on tour at the time Schoeck reached Budapest, was the eventual dedicatee of the concerto. Bartok dedicated his own Violin Concerto No.1 to Geyer.

I cannot understand why such a fluent, expressive, gloriously romantic concerto should not be more often played! It is very obviously early Schoeck-his idiom did develop later-but as an example of passionate lyricism would be a worthy addition to the repertoire of violin concertos to set beside the Bloch and the Frank Martin.

The 'Penthesilia' Suite does demonstrate the evolution in Schoeck's style and is a very impressive piece indeed-grand, impressionistic but again very passionate. Schoeck really was a very fine composer indeed! (Oh, sorry, Lethe...the 'indeed' is superfluous ;D)
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 03:07:26 AM by Dundonnell »

snyprrr

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2009, 11:20:33 PM »
just as I collected all the pleasant but pretty feeble Hans Huber symphonies ;D
mmm,zzzzzzz...zzzz...zzzz

Maciek cracks me up!

snyprrr

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2009, 11:57:37 PM »
I have two of the three Swiss SQ antholgies. ::) Seriously...

The first has:

Martin (1966-67)
Herman Haller No.2 (1970)
Vladimir Vogel colori e movimiento and klangexpression (both 1986)
Kelterborn No4 (1971)

the second:

Rudolf Moser Neigung (1969-72) (Stravinsky memorial)
Streiff? "walking song" (not that great)
Fritz Vogelin No.4 (1982)
??? Janus for SQ

the third:

The "musikszene seiuss" 2cd set has the Martin with a whole bunch of modern no names.

Martin's SQ is very stately (like Hindemith No.5) in his late manner
Vogelin's No.4 has some very atmospheric sounds...Webern/Kagel
Kelterborn's No.4 seems influenced by Lutoslawski's...playful

I've been itching to get the cd with Schoeck's No.2 ('20s) paired with Brun's No.4 (early '40s). Duns comments on Brun make me hope the SQ is somehow "special" in Brun's output. I'm hoping the Schoeck will be everything I imagine. Also must hear Notturno.

Dun might like a cd on the "musikszene s." series, with Holliger conducting a string ensemble in pieces by Schoeck, Holliger, Huber (Klaus), and Kelterborn (maybe one more). The Kelterborn, with Holliger playing oboe (Variations, I believe) is my fav Kelterborn piece, very nice.

Conrad Beck's cd output is anaemic. I have a solo cello work dedicated to Sacher (1976). Apparently he has 4 unrecorded SQs.

Willi Burkhard...like Boris Blacher? Easy 20th century modern.

Paul Juon has a Russian connection I believe (Taneyev?). 4 SQs on "musikszene s.". Apparently has quite a bit of chamber music.

There is also someone...I believe Klaus K. Hubler...with an "l"...not the other guy...but I don't know if he's also Swiss, and I have no info but an add for a collegno lp featuring the Arditti!

Dun...I too have suffered from "hidden masterpiece disease". Please let that Hans Huber be a lesson to you!!! You should be thankful that at least ONE country won't break your bank (pun not intended, but good nontheless!)!!! When I see you start a "Turkey" thread, THEN I'll know to worry! ;D Saygun notwithstanding (I'm sure you've met already)

btw- Holliger's SQ (1973) is THE last word...beyond Lachenmann OR Xenakis!!! please someone prove me wrong!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2009, 11:59:04 PM »
Sadly, I cannot recommend the Fritz Brun symphonies (on Guild) I have heard so far-Nos. 3, 5, 9 and 10.

Despite the passionate advocacy of the eccentric musicologist and conductor Adriano the symphonies are turning out to be rather turgid affairs-Brucknerian but without a tithe of the inspiration.

Won't stop me collecting them all, no doubt-just as I collected all the pleasant but pretty feeble Hans Huber symphonies ;D

Sometimes History does get it right :)

Wish I'd read this before ordering Brun's Symphony 9 and Job (still - great Edvard Munch painting on front cover of CD!) Which is your 'favourite' of the Brun symphonies Colin?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

snyprrr

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2009, 10:51:50 PM »
Which are Bloch's "Swiss" works?

Which are Honegger's "Swiss" works? Sym. No.4? Is his general craggy style Swiss, because his "Franch" sense of humor has a bit o' bitterness to it?

Offline The new erato

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2009, 12:22:07 AM »
I have finally managed to obtain a recording of Othmar Schoeck's early Violin Concerto 'Quasi una fantasia"(1910-11). It is a Claves cd and the coupling is a Suite arranged by the conductor Andreas Delfs from the Opera 'Penthesilia". The soloist is Bettina Boller and the excellent orchestra is the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Is this an old recording? I have the work on LP - somewhere - and wonder whether this van be the same performance. DCoupled with the Schoech Horn Concerto - also avery fine work - IIRC.

The cycle "Lebendig Begraben" is, of course, one of the towering orchestral sing cycles of all times, along with Martins Der Cornet, Mahlers Lied von der Erde and Shostakovich's 14th symphony.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #38 on: May 29, 2009, 03:10:50 AM »
Is this an old recording? I have the work on LP - somewhere - and wonder whether this van be the same performance. DCoupled with the Schoech Horn Concerto - also avery fine work - IIRC.

The cycle "Lebendig Begraben" is, of course, one of the towering orchestral sing cycles of all times, along with Martins Der Cornet, Mahlers Lied von der Erde and Shostakovich's 14th symphony.

The Claves cd was recorded in 1991 and issued in 1992 but the coupling is a Suite from Schoeck's Opera "Penthesilia"-very grand, dark, impressive music.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2009, 03:39:24 AM »
.... the coupling is a Suite from Schoeck's Opera "Penthesilia"-very grand, dark, impressive music.
Reminds me I have the complete Orfeo recording of this lying around unplayed. Shame on me.