(b. Siegen , 8 August 1891 – d. Guilford, Vermont, USA, 9 June 1952 in Guilford, Vermont, USA).
Adolf Busch – a composer? The musician is known primarily as a performer, even if the community of those who appreciate historical recordings is not necessarily growing rapidly today. But anyone who has heard Busch as a violinist is not only influenced by his playing when listening to recent interpretations of the same works, but also makes demands that cannot always be met. As an interpreter, Adolf Busch was famous for the intensity of his musical approach. He refused musical beauty as an end in itself (just like his brothers) – the depth of his penetration into the musical substance is still considered exemplary today. As a person, too, Busch was similarly uncompromising – his position against Nazi Germany, his resolute devotion to and commitment to what he believed in and what was important to him are still exemplary today.
Adolf Busch was born in Siegen in 1891, the second of seven surviving children of a carpenter who, through much practice, had become a violin maker, and the daughter of a locksmith who ran her own handicrafts shop. Adolf received his first violin lessons from his father at the age of two and a half, he performed in public for the first time at the age of four, and the “child prodigy” label was not long in coming. …
(b. Kurylowka, 6/18 November 1860 – d. New York, 29 June 1941)
I Adagio maestoso (p. 1) – Poco più mosso (p. 2) – Allegro vivace e molto appassionato (p. 16) –
Adagio (p. 54) – Poco più mosso (p. 56) – Allegro vivace (p. 62) – Poco più animato (p. 80) – Agitato (p. 84) – Risoluto (p. 133) – Un poco più mosso (p. 148) – Presto e molto agitato (p. 156)
II Andante con moto (p. 177) – Poco a poco stringendo (p. 198) – Piú mosso e molto appassionato (p. 199) – Accelerando (p. 203) – Tempo primo (p. 212)
III Vivace (p. 1 = 223) – Più animato (p. 29 = 251) – Un poco meno mosso (p. 35 = 257) –
Animando (p. 43 = 265) – Tempo primo (p. 97 = 319) – Andantino ma non troppo (p. 113 = 335) –
Tempo marciale (p. 123 = 345) – Tranquillo (p. 142 = 364) – Animato e stringendo (p. 152 = 374) –
Vivace quasi presto (p. 154 = 376) – Meno mosso (p. 162 = 384) – Grandioso (p. 166 = 388) –
A tempo, giocoso (p. 171 = 393) – Più vivo (p. 192 = 214)
Ignace Jan Paderewski’s singular personality successively combined the functions of a world-leading piano virtuoso, an outstanding composer of both miniatures and architecturally demanding large-scale works, Polish Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs after the First World War (18 January to 4 December 1919) and Polish Ambassador to the League of Nations founded after the war (until 1922). Even after he returned to a life as a musician, he remained politically active and was head of the Polish National Council advising the Polish government in exile from 1940 until his sudden death due to pneumonia. The fact that Poland was a serious negotiating power at all after the end of World War I was due to Paderewski’s initiative. He had already founded the Support Fund for Polish War Victims in Great Britain in 1915 and had become spokesman for the Polish National Committee in 1917. And following a concert at the White House, he succeeded in convincing President Woodrow Wilson of the importance of making the re-establishment of the Polish state a central issue of his 14-point programme for the re-organization of Europe after the end of the war. It was Paderewski who signed the so-called ’Treaty of Versailles’ on behalf of Poland in 1919, which was soon to prove a contributing factor to the strife that eventually led to the Second World War. …
(b. Ambert, Puy-de-Dôme, 18 January 1841 — d. Paris, 13 September 1894)
Among the music-loving public Chabrier is probably best remembered for his vivacious orchestral pieces España and Joyeuse Marche. However, he would have seen his principal achievement as being in the field of opera, of which he wrote five, including the unfinished Briséïs. He spent many years as a civil servant before turning full-time to music, and made several attempts at operas before completing any. His completed operas began with two operettas, L’Étoile (1877) and Une Education Manquée (1879). He then went on to compose the tragedy Gwendoline (1886) and the brilliant comic opera Le Roi malgré lui (1887). Both of these show the influence of Wagner, which was considerable in France at the time.
The story of Briséïs derives, at several removes, from a ballad by Goethe, Die Braut von Korinth. Goethe called this his vampire poem; in it the bride turns out to be a vampire who is loved by a young man who joins her in death. This was adapted several times in France, notably in a play by Ephraim Mikhaël and Bernard Lazare, the dramatic legend La Fiancée de Corinthe of 1888. This play was dedicated to Catulle Mendès, a versatile writer who had written the libretto of Gwendoline, and was to go on to write libretti for several other composers. It may well have been Mendès who suggested the idea of the opera to Chabrier. He saw this as the climax of his career, the last word in modernism, and less Wagnerian than Gwendoline. However, he continued to use leitmotifs, and seeing Parsifal at Bayreuth in 1889 brought back his admiration. He started work on Briséïs in August 1888 and thought it would take him sixteen months to complete. Six years later he died, having finished only the first act. Problems with the libretto, money worries and ill-health were all factors in this. Chabrier himself asked Vincent d’Indy to complete it, but d’Indy, who had thought this would be simply a matter of orchestration, discovered that Chabrier had only left a few sketches for the remaining two acts, and that, in any case, he could not accept Mendès’ libretto. Chabrier’s heirs then asked several other composers, including Debussy, Ravel and Enescu, to complete the work, but all refused. However, the first act was perfectly viable and received its premiere under Charles Lamoureux at a concert performance in Paris on 31 January 1897. The first staged performance was conducted by Richard Strauss in Berlin on 14 January 1899. …
Franz Berwald, descended from a family of Swedish musicians of remoter German origin, was a violinist by training and became the most important figure in Swedish music of the 19th century. In his career he enjoyed varying success in his own country, eventually turning to business, managing a glass works and opening a saw-mill. He was appointed professor of composition of the Swedish academy only in 1867, shortly before his death. …
Nocturne No.1 ‘Sentimental Story’ was awarded a composition prize by the International Horn Society, 2022
“I was born in the Republic of Moldova into a family with a long line of professional classical musicians as well as virtuoso folk music players. My musical studies began with violin and piano. At the age of 8, my family repatriated to Bucharest, Romania and I was enrolled into the ‘George Enescu’ National School of Music. Later, I went on to study classical composition at the Bucharest National University of Music.
Upon graduation, I was attracted to the idea of exploring the world of folk music in an attempt to break away from the reflexes of the classical music. My first opportunity came with an internship with the National Historical Park in Sitka, Alaska, where I worked on restoring music manuscripts brought by the imperial Russian missionaries to the native people of Alaska. My second opportunity took me to the United Arab Emirates which opened doors to my interacting with Syrian, Lebanese, North African and Iranian musicians who graciously introduced me to their folk music and traditional instruments. Later developments in my personal life led me to explore Chinese and South East Asian music. …”