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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Dundonnell on December 06, 2007, 04:05:22 PM

Title: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Dundonnell on December 06, 2007, 04:05:22 PM
Ok, here we go again with my obsession with seeking out obscure 20th Century composers! This time its Switzerland.

I know and love the music of composers like Ernest Bloch, Arthur Honegger and Frank Martin and I am aware that many others on this site are also fans of these composers. Bloch however spent much of his adult life in the USA and Honegger in France while even Martin emigrated to Holland in 1946. I also know and admire most of the music composed by Othmar Scoeck which I have been able to hear.
I have managed to acquire a couple of quite interesting late romantic symphonies by Fritz Brun(1878-1959)-he wrote ten in total.

There are however a number of other names who are just that-names-to me. Composers like Willy Burkhard(1900-55), Conrad Beck(1901-89), Heinrich Sutermeister(1919-95). Beck wrote seven symphonies while Burkhard and Sutermeister composed several big choral works. I have recently ordered a couple of CDs which I found via Amazon-Burkhard's Oratorio "Des Gesicht Jesajas"(1935) and Sutermeister's Requiem and Te Deum without really having the slightest idea what to expect. I do know that Sutermesier is reputed to have composed an extremely successful Opera "Romeo and Juliet", several other operas, three or four piano concerti and two cello concerti.

Once again, I wonder whether there are buried treasures here? Good, solid compositions which date from the 1930s onwards but which, partly as a result of Switzerland's isolation during World War Two and partly as a result of the avant-garde fashions which swept Central Europe from the 1950s, have been unjustly ignored.

Any Swiss members of this site? Anybody else?
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Brewski on December 06, 2007, 05:08:46 PM
Looking at this Wiki page of Swiss composers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Swiss_composers), I realize I haven't heard much by any of them.  :o

Earlier this year, I did hear a short piece called Lied for violin and piano by Beat Furrer (b. 1954), that sort of sounded like Morton Feldman (but much shorter than most of his works).  I liked it, but have no idea whether it's representative of his overall output or not. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: not edward on December 06, 2007, 06:53:45 PM
Looking at this Wiki page of Swiss composers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Swiss_composers), I realize I haven't heard much by any of them.  :o

Earlier this year, I did hear a short piece called Lied for violin and piano by Beat Furrer (b. 1954), that sort of sounded like Morton Feldman (but much shorter than most of his works).  I liked it, but have no idea whether it's representative of his overall output or not. 

--Bruce
Not really: I'd say Furrer is more influenced by late Nono than anything, though often his music can be extremely frantic as opposed to Nono's stillness. For further exploration, I recommend this superb Kairos disc (which I think Al Moritz also thinks very highly of):

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XY3CKFZPL._SS500_.jpg)

I've been a little less impressed with more recent Furrer, but it may not have had time to settle with me.

Of other Swiss composers, I think Rolf Liebermann's worth a look as a good mid-20th-century neo-classically-influenced tonalist (there's a good collection of his music on Naxos, including the once-popular Furioso, as championed by Ferenc Fricsay), while Heinz Holliger's an underrated composer who has followed much the same track as many other post-war avant-gardists, moving from an extremely abrasive style to one with more retrospective elements (see the violin concerto for his recent style, the mammoth Scardanelli-Zyklus for an exhaustive compendium of his middle period and the string quartet for his most radical period).
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: some guy on December 06, 2007, 06:57:38 PM
bhodges, I wouldn't have thought "Feldman" about any of Furrer's music, so perhaps that's not representative. Of course, Feldman wrote a lot of different stuff. I don't think "Feldman" even about some of Morton's own output! Well, not without some serious pondering, anyway.

Dundonnell, I'm not sure I can help you in your quest. I know and like the people you've mentioned, but probably the other ones I know and like are going to be along the lines of those "avant-garde fashions" you alluded to. But on the Wikipedia list, I know the music of Paul Giger, some of which I like very much, some not so, so I'm probably not a good guide for that. Heinz Holliger and Klaus Huber have written some very substantial music, good and solid I would say, though those two, especially Huber, are very definitely European avant-garde. At least so I would guess. I'm afraid I don't pay much attention to "fashions" as such. I just like listening to good music. And Huber has written some very good music indeed. Not all that easy to get a hold of. I have two cds of only Huber, and a handful of Huber pieces scattered about on other CDs, mostly on those Donaueschingen collections. The Furrer I have on right now (Nuun, on Kairos--the other Kairos disc) is starting to sound more and more like Huber! (Started out vaguely reminiscent of some New York folk--the Bang on a Can folk, but only vaguely.) I'd say edward's reference to Nono is probably spot on.

One of my favorite Swiss composers, though, as far as I know (as I don't pay much attention to nationalities, either, I'm afraid), is Rainer Boesch, who's also a very nice person, too. Not that composers need to do anything beyond writing good music..., but still. Boesch isn't on the Wiki list. Wikipedia lists often side-step the electroacoustic crowd entirely. I guess their compilers are still of the "music is what you make with violins and pianos not tape recorders and laptops" school of thought. Pity. Means their lists never include some of the more interesting and provocative composers of the past sixty years. (1947 is the first "tape" piece, by Pierre Schaeffer. Not the first electronic music by any means. Some electronic instruments date from the 19th century already.)

So this would be my Swiss short list:

Rainer Boesch
Klaus Huber
Beat Furrer
Heinz Holliger
Paul Giger
Voice Crack (a turntable, live electronics group)
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Harry on December 06, 2007, 11:00:21 PM
Hans Huber his Symphonies.....
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: vandermolen on December 07, 2007, 03:33:09 AM
Honegger and Bloch are two of my favourite composers. Honegger's "Liturgique" and Bloch's Piano Quintet No 1 and String Quartet No 1 are, I believe, masterpieces of 20th Century music.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: springrite on December 07, 2007, 03:40:38 AM
My favorite Swiss composer by the fair distance over #2 is Othmar Schoeck. Of course, if you are no fan of vocal music, especially lieder (with piano, orchestral, and even string quartet accompaniment), then he won't be under your consideration. He is probably the greatest lied composer in the 20th century, or at least one of the top ones. He also composed a few operas. One critic's assessment that "His music hovers at the edge of atonality" is apt. He also composed some orchestral music as well as chamber music. They are uniformly excellent, though not necessarily masterpieces.

Give him a try.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: The new erato on December 07, 2007, 06:52:41 AM
Honegger and Bloch are two of my favourite composers. Honegger's "Liturgique" and Bloch's Piano Quintet No 1 and String Quartet No 1 are, I believe, masterpieces of 20th Century music.
'
If it weren't for Frank Martin, I would agree. And of course Othmar Schoeck gives them a decent run for their money. But there are lots og names mentioned in this thread I would love to explore.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Dundonnell on December 07, 2007, 08:17:01 AM
I am grateful for the various comments and completely agree with those praising the works of Bloch, Honegger, Martin and Schoeck. These composers have enjoyed considerable exposure on disc-Schoeck, admittedly, less than the first three.

I am not a fan of 'avant-garde' music although I am aware of composers like Klaus Huber and Heinz Holliger. I also did consider mentioning Rolf Liebermann. There is indeed a Naxos CD devoted to Liebermann and I might give it a go although the idea of a Concerto for Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra doesn't much appeal to me, to be honest.

There is also the music of Vladimir Vogel, the Russian-born composer who settled in Switzerland. His huge oratorio 'Thyl Claes' was recently issued by CPO. Anyone heard it?

Hans Huber? Well, he is a little earlier than I was thinking of..1852-1921...and I did dutifully buy all of his symphonies on the Sterling label but was a tad underwhelmed.

One of my standbys over the years has been the Penguin Guide to European Music in the Twentieth Century(ed. by Howard Hartog) and published as long ago as 1961! This has an excellent chapter on Swiss Music by the composer Iain Hamilton and he wrote most persuasively and enthusiastically about the composers I mentioned, like Beck, Burkhard and Sutermeister.

Should get the CDs of Burkhard and Sutermeister's chorasl works soon and will certainly report back!
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: springrite on December 07, 2007, 08:23:44 AM
I am grateful for the various comments and completely agree with those praising the works of Bloch, Honegger, Martin and Schoeck. These composers have enjoyed considerable exposure on disc-Schoeck, admittedly, less than the first three.

CPO, Novalis etc. released quite a bit of Schoeck a few years back. I picked them up at the time. I see many of them are OOP at this moment. A few are still lying around. The few Novalis are mostly instrumental works that are NOT modern at all by any stretch of the imagination.

Yes, do report back on your latest adventures and explorations!
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: some guy on December 09, 2007, 12:01:20 AM
edward, thanks for the tip about the other Furrer album on Kairos. I just got that today. It's very nice.

And thanks for the tip about Holliger's string quartet, too. I don't have that piece for some reason. Not yet, anyway.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: pjme on December 09, 2007, 03:20:57 PM
The CD series " Musikszene Schweiz" offers many interesting and good recordings -famous names ( Honegger and Martin) and plenty of lesser known names.

I recommend Hermann ( yes, 2 "n") Suter's "Le laudi" (1923), a 70 mins. oratorio/cantata on Saint Francis " Cantico delle creature" . It was composed in 1923 and is considered to be Suter's magnum opus. (Suter was born 1870 and died in 1926)
Scored for very large forces : 4 soloists (soprano, alto, tenor, bass),mixed choir,children's choir,organ ( piano, celesta,bells) and orchestra .
Inspired by the grandiose natural setting of Sils (Engadin), Suter turns the poem into 9 autonomous musical pictures, each with its own character. Suter's mastery lies in his fusion of a late Romantic idiom and impressionistic influences with archaic sounding techniques ( psalmody, a cappella sections, modal effects, Gregorian motifs ...)

The recording ( (CD 6105) is very good : Andras Ligeti conducts the Budapest PO,Alida Ferrarini,sop;,Vesselina Kasarova,alto, Eduardo Vila,ten.,Marcel Rosca, bass. Hungarian radio chorus and Children's chorus.Andras Viragh, organ.

I find it an impressive and beautiful work -where German and Gallic influences combine in a lofty and lyrical result.


Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Dundonnell on December 09, 2007, 04:48:14 PM
The CD series " Musikszene Schweiz" offers many interesting and good recordings -famous names ( Honegger and Martin) and plenty of lesser known names.

I recommend Hermann ( yes, 2 "n") Suter's "Le laudi" (1923), a 70 mins. oratorio/cantata on Saint Francis " Cantico delle creature" . It was composed in 1923 and is considered to be Suter's magnum opus. (Suter was born 1870 and died in 1926)
Scored for very large forces : 4 soloists (soprano, alto, tenor, bass),mixed choir,children's choir,organ ( piano, celesta,bells) and orchestra .
Inspired by the grandiose natural setting of Sils (Engadin), Suter turns the poem into 9 autonomous musical pictures, each with its own character. Suter's mastery lies in his fusion of a late Romantic idiom and impressionistic influences with archaic sounding techniques ( psalmody, a cappella sections, modal effects, Gregorian motifs ...)

The recording ( (CD 6105) is very good : Andras Ligeti conducts the Budapest PO,Alida Ferrarini,sop;,Vesselina Kasarova,alto, Eduardo Vila,ten.,Marcel Rosca, bass. Hungarian radio chorus and Children's chorus.Andras Viragh, organ.

I find it an impressive and beautiful work -where German and Gallic influences combine in a lofty and lyrical result.




Thanks, pjme, for reminding me about Hermann Suter. I had completely forgotten that I have Suter's Symphony in D minor(Sterling CD) in my collection!
Must go back now and listen to it again!!

The Suter oratorio "Le Laudi" to which you refer(and which sounds just up my street!) appears to be unavailable unfortunately :(
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Al Moritz on December 09, 2007, 05:27:29 PM
Don't forget this outstanding Kyburz dysc:

http://www.amazon.com/Hanspeter-Kyburz-Malstrom-Voynich-Manuscript/dp/B00004TSZM

(Edward reviewed the disc there.)
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Al Moritz on December 09, 2007, 05:31:30 PM
Don't forget this outstanding Kyburz dysc:

http://www.amazon.com/Hanspeter-Kyburz-Malstrom-Voynich-Manuscript/dp/B00004TSZM

(Edward reviewed the disc there.)

At least he is sort of Swiss:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanspeter_Kyburz
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Guido on December 09, 2007, 06:26:16 PM
I stopped exploring Schoeck's music after hearing the cello concerto which is quite bad... I will need to listen to his vocal works then.

Sutermeister is a new name to me - will have to check out his cello concertos

Apart from the three biggies that everyone keeps mentioning (Bloch, Honegger, Martin), I also very much admire Willy Burkard's music - refined and polished neoclassical music that is at the same time emotional and very engaging. Somewhat like early Shostakovich in sound (Cello Sonata, Piano quintet). Like all three aforementioned greats, he produced a brilliant work for cello and orchestra - a concertino that holds considerable interest despite its diminuative name (and length). The cello sonata is less interesting (as is Honegger's cello sonata, though the concerto is an absolute gem).
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: pjme on December 10, 2007, 10:29:56 AM
(http://www.musiques-suisses.ch/WMDBPublic/loadmedia.aspx?ctrID={CFE5DAF2-A449-4983-92C3-0CE9EDDEAA3F})

This Cantata for Christmas time is a world premiere. It was never performed during Martin's life.
FRom the Musiques suisses website : http://www.musiques-suisses.ch/home.asp?home=yes

Cantate pour le temps de Noël (1929/30); Trois Chants de Noël (1947)
 
Mitwirkende: 
Simone Stock, Sopran; Karola Hausburg, Alt; Severin Lohri, Knabensolist der Luzerner Kantorei; Atrium-Ensemble Berlin; Mozart-Ensemble Luzern; Luzerner Kantorei-Knabenchor; Festival Strings Lucerne; Brigitte Gasser, Brian Franklin: Gamben; Hans Adolfsen, Cembalo; Mutsumi Ueno, Orgel; Klaus Durrer, Flöte; Alois Koch, Leitung.
Eine Koproduktion mit Schweizer Radio DRS 2 und der Hochschule Luzern

The 3 Christmassongs are real gems: simple , touching , joyful.... As far as I know, this only the third recording : the classic one with Elly Ameling, Pieter Odé flute and the composer at the piano, the other one on DGG with Anne Sofie Von Otter "and friends".

The website is unfortunately only in French and German....but one can discover Rudolf Kelterborn, Norbert Moret, paul Juon, Jost Meier, Hans Schaeuble, Jean Paul Schlaepfer and many others.
 
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Dundonnell on December 11, 2007, 03:29:57 PM
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!
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: violinconcerto on December 13, 2007, 08:45:38 AM
From my collection I enjoy most the violin concertos by Willy Burkhard, Frank Martin, Ernest Bloch and Jacques Valmond. Also very fine violin concertos are by Othmar Schoeck, Daniel Schnyder, Esther Roth, Paul Huber, Raffaele d'Alessandro and Jean Balissat.

The about 40 other Swiss composers can be found at www.violinconcerto.de (http://www.violinconcerto.de)



Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: some guy on December 13, 2007, 06:20:22 PM
So I got the Kyburz disc out, which I hadn't listened to in a while.

It's pretty good stuff, to be sure!

And Kyburz is all Swiss, not just sort of. That is, in link, it says his parents were both Swiss. They weren't IN Switzerland on the day Hanspeter was born, true, but that kind of thing doesn't affect one's blood in any way.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: lukeottevanger 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.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: springrite 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.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: lukeottevanger on December 18, 2007, 05:12:00 AM
Guess you are agreeing with me as well then.  ;)

Sorry - getting my little green men confused!
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Mark G. Simon 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.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Guido on December 20, 2007, 04:16:02 PM
Wow thanks Luke - that song was fantastic.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: some guy 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.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Maciek 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):

(http://www.polmic.pl/images/stories/foto/Regamey-SRICD11.jpg)

There's a bit more available from JPC, but I haven't tried any of those.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Lethevich on November 08, 2008, 11:06:40 AM
I can't believe no one has mentioned Constantin Regamey

impossible-to-find

;D
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Maciek 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:)
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Dundonnell 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 :)
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: schweitzeralan 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.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Dundonnell 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)
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: snyprrr 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!
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: snyprrr 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!
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: vandermolen 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?
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: snyprrr 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?
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: The new erato 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.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Dundonnell 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.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: The new erato 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.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Dundonnell on May 29, 2009, 03:45:50 AM
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?

Comparatively few of Bloch's orchestral works could be called specifically 'Swiss'. After the age of 20 he spent only another 25 years of his adult life in Switzerland(1904-17 and 1930-38) and many of the works composed during those years are strongly influenced by his Jewish heritage(the Israel Symphony, Schelomo, Voice in the Wilderness for example). The early Tone Poems "Hiver-Printemps" is more influenced by Debussyian impressionism.

if by 'Swiss works' you mean pieces celebrating Switzerland then the 1929 Symphonic Fresco 'Helvetia' would count.

As for Honegger-who was born in France and spent only a very short time living in Zurich-the only 'Swiss' work I can think of, apart from the Symphony No.4, would be the Suite 'Jour de Fete Suisse', a very rare work indeed. It is an arrangement(1946) of music from an unpublished Ballet "L'Appel de la Montagne"(1943) and has no opus number. You will not find it in many lists of Honegger's compositions.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: snyprrr on May 29, 2009, 08:44:08 AM
Yes, that's a fair answer, Dun. Thanks.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: The new erato on July 23, 2009, 10:51:09 PM
(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/7393338108122.jpg)

This guy barely makes it into the 20th centurty, but still, anyone have any information?
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: snyprrr on March 11, 2010, 10:15:25 AM
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 :)

I remembered your post as I was listening to Brun's SQ No.3 in F Major (1942). Even the notes mention the eh of Brun's symphs, that apparently he wasn't quite the orchestrator either, along with being imitative to a yawning degree.

The SQ, however, is really something, I think. At first one may be reminded of something French, such as Roger-Ducasse's sprawling ode to Faure, his SQ No.2 (1953), and, indeed, this is one of the most picturesque musics I've heard. you really really get a sense of the hills and dales of Lucerne and Tinico (where Brun settled right before writing this). I may also be hearing some Stenhammer, or some such thing.

Written in 1942, this music is totally removed. All we have here is pure joy and sunshine and mountain air! I prefer it a bit to the Schoeck SQ on the same cd, but, honestly, the two pieces make such a perfect match that I'm sure I will end up always listening to both.

Brun discography is split between the symphs and this cd. I encourage anyone who may be reticent to try the Schoeck/Brun SQs on this musiques-suisse.ch cd. And be happy!

Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: kentel on March 13, 2010, 01:49:52 AM
Earlier this year, I did hear a short piece called Lied for violin and piano by Beat Furrer (b. 1954), that sort of sounded like Morton Feldman (but much shorter than most of his works).  I liked it, but have no idea whether it's representative of his overall output or not. 

--Bruce


Unfortunately it is. I listened to all the 9 cd's available on the Kairos catalogue : I didn't like any of them. It is classical post-serialism
post-Darmstadt, inevitably bleak and sinister with hard, dry and austere sonorities, shattered notes and loads of silences in order to give the whole thing an essentialist and metaphysical dimension. We are so little in this wide universe. The orchestra is colourless, it feels like the composer drop some notes not knowing where they would fall.

The catalogue includes 2 operas : Begehren (Desire) and Fama. If you like it conceptual, you'll love it - if no, don't even try. whispers,  hushes, a little klong of piano from the left, a little dzoing of strings from the right, distant mutterings, silences here and there. And of course, don't try to understand what's going on on the stage, that would be a mistake : you have to feel, not to understand, the notes are the meaning and blah-blah.

The comments in the booklets are worth reading. Nono wrote the same kind of metaconceptual gobbledygook about his Prometeo BUT the music behind the words was magnificent. This is definitely not the case here.

And he has 9 cds on the Kairos catalogue. The question is just : why ?


--Gilles

Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: kentel on March 13, 2010, 01:57:32 AM
btw- Holliger's SQ (1973) is THE last word...beyond Lachenmann OR Xenakis!!! please someone prove me wrong!

Not me :)

I think Holliger is a rather interesting composer. Maybe he overuses the piercing strident sounds, but it is his trademark.

You can hear his Violin Concerto on the musicme website at http://www.musicme.com/ (http://www.musicme.com/) and 3 other cds. The concerto is a bit too long, but very beautiful.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CJ7206H6L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: jowcol on May 13, 2010, 07:35:28 AM
I am not a fan of 'avant-garde' music although I am aware of composers like Klaus Huber and Heinz Holliger. I also did consider mentioning Rolf Liebermann. There is indeed a Naxos CD devoted to Liebermann and I might give it a go although the idea of a Concerto for Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra doesn't much appeal to me, to be honest.

I know I'm reviving a long-dormant thread, but I was curious if you ever DID pick up the Liebermann disc from Naxos.    I've just gotten acquainted with the Fritz Reiner recording of the Concerto for Jazzband, and I really, really like it.  It has to be one of the most accessible, ear-friendly 12 tone pieces I've ever heard, lyrical, rhythmically inventive,  and  a butt-shaking Mambo at the end that I had to keep rewinding and player over.   It's definitely enough for me to want to dig deeper, unless someone has had a bad experience with that Naxos disc.  From what little I've been able to dig up on Liebermann, he's got a reputation for mixing some of the more progressive elements of the day (such as 12 tone) with much friendlier structures.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: vandermolen on February 03, 2020, 04:27:48 AM
I've taken this thread out of hibernation as I did not want to start a new one for a Soviet/Swiss/Russian/German composer of the 21st Symphony. I wanted to mention this most interesting CD. I'm currently listening to the Symphony No.4 (2014-2015) by Alexander Brincken (born 1952) I found the long opening paragraphs very moving. Sure, the tonal language is anachronistic but so what? Rather than ramble on about it I've attached the Musicweb review. Frank Schmidt's 4th Symphony came to mind most of all, at least in the opening movement with its searching/visionary motto theme. The finale reminded me, at times, of the hopeless defiance of Schulhoff's magnificent 5th Symphony.
(http://)
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2020/Jan/Brincken_orchestral_v1_TOCC0550.htm
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Roy Bland on February 03, 2020, 04:40:12 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/4160CaFc00L.jpg)
and
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51-Tpo3ZyyL._SY355_.jpg)
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: vandermolen on February 04, 2020, 08:06:11 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/4160CaFc00L.jpg)
and
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51-Tpo3ZyyL._SY355_.jpg)
Looks interesting. That's the third post on this thread in twenty years. Things are hotting up for Swiss composers!
 ;D
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Roy Bland on February 04, 2020, 07:54:45 PM
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81tEjsfTdnL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Roy Bland on March 08, 2020, 04:03:40 PM
Robert Blum was a good symphonist:
(https://blob.cede.ch/catalog/100902000/100902078_1_92.jpg?v=1)
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: pjme on March 09, 2020, 12:00:23 PM
https://www.youtube.com/v/waHPjrztmP0

https://www.youtube.com/v/g2vUGjhvFGE

https://www.youtube.com/v/8nK5CAg02b4

Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Maestro267 on March 10, 2020, 06:12:05 AM
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81tEjsfTdnL._SS500_.jpg)

Goodness me, he must have been quite an age when that recording was made. Born in 1898, presumably still alive when the recording was made as they don't give a death year. Judging purely on the artwork (so I might be wrong), that looks like an 1980s issue at the earliest.
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Roy Bland on March 10, 2020, 04:18:50 PM
Goodness me, he must have been quite an age when that recording was made. Born in 1898, presumably still alive when the recording was made as they don't give a death year. Judging purely on the artwork (so I might be wrong), that looks like an 1980s issue at the earliest.
Cd is 1991.Muller Zurich died in 1993 after a long career as composer.
https://www.musinfo.ch/it/personen/komponisten/?pers_id=915&abc=M
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Maestro267 on March 11, 2020, 05:22:28 AM
Oof! That's a good innings!
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Roy Bland on April 06, 2020, 07:09:23 AM
I am posting here to corroborate thesis that swiss/italian composer are unjustly neglected
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6xCShbmBUw
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Roy Bland on July 04, 2021, 04:12:07 PM
IMHO a positive novelty,Daetwyler is sadly neglected
(http://klassichaus.us/images/KHSC022-cover-shaded.jpg)
Title: Re: Swiss Composers in the 20th Century
Post by: Roy Bland on December 14, 2021, 07:59:47 PM
A discover
(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0496/4069/products/DO_3030_frontcover_grande.jpg?v=1594652065)

https://www.claves.ch/collections/all-albums/products/swiss-music-film-anthology-1923-2012