Allegro assai p.1
Vivace p. 31
Molto moderato (e sostenuto) p.51
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. From 1902 to 1909 he studied at the Cologne Conservatory with Willy Hess, Bram Eldering and Fritz Steinbach. Adolf’s brother, the conductor Fritz Busch, describes his brother’s composition lessons with Steinbach as “rarely given[…] but all the more excellent for it[…]”. Large and small forms were explored, and Steinbach also provided his pupil with poems on song composition. On 26 January 1909, Adolf Busch met Max Reger; accompanied by his brother Fritz, he played the composer’s Violin Concerto in A major from memory. Reger was enthusiastic about his playing, and the two subsequently gave many concerts together. Busch’s compositional development owes much to this friendship, even though other composers, such as Ferruccio Busoni, later left their mark on Busch’s oeuvre, which was nevertheless quite unique. …
Custodian of the Busch Brothers Archive at the Max Reger Institute, 2023
(Antwerp, 29 January 1762 – Antwerp, 8 March 1831)
Pierre Jean Suremont was a successful Antwerp merchant who found his passion in music, and his artistic outlet in composing. For twenty years, from 1786 to 1806, he worked and lived in Brussels. During his time there he was good friends with Jean Englebert Pauwels (1768-1804), violinist and conductor of the Monnaie Theatre as well as an excellent composer. It was possibly Pauwels who guided Suremont in his first steps in the field of composition. Suremont‘s earliest compositions date from the first years of the nineteenth century: some minor liturgical works and the opera Les trois Cousines. After his return to Antwerp in 1806, he quickly followed up with four major mass compositions and festive psalm settings, all for soloists, choir and large orchestra. These works were performed in the Antwerp Cathedral and in other major churches in the city.
After the turbulent period of the end of French rule, and the seizure of power by the Dutch (1814-1815), Suremont welcomed the new ruler with a Chant Patriotique à Son A: R: Frederic Guillaume d‘Orange Nassau Prince Hereditaire des Pays-Bas (1815). The new regime wanted to actively promote the Dutch language, amongst other things through composition competitions. In a first competition, where he was asked to compose music for a Dutch national anthem, Suremont missed the boat. But in 1816, he became first laureate in a competition organised by the Société Royale des Beaux-Arts et de la Littérature de Gand, with the cantata Nederlands Zegenprael (Dutch triumph), to a text by Catharina Bilderdijk. And a few years later, in 1818, the Fourth Class of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands awarded its cantata De Toonkunst (Musical art), set to a text by Hendrik Herman Klijn. This Symphonie too was most probably Suremont‘s entry for a competition held in Ghent in 1820. More on this later. …
(Translation: Jasmien Dewilde)
This score is published as part of the research project Pierre Suremont (1762-1831): a forgotten Antwerp composer (Labo XIX&XX, a research group of the Library of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp). The score was edited by Piet Stryckers in collaboration with Hannah Aelvoet and is published by the Centre for the Study of Flemish Music (www.svm.be). Please contact the SVM for the orchestral parts.
(b. Altwaltersdorf, 3 January 1786 – died Dessau, 23 November 1853)
“Handel of our time” (“Händel unserer Zeit”) – this is how Friedrich Schneider was described in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung on March 8, 1837. Schneider, whose full name was Johann Christian Friedrich Schneider, was one of the most important personalities of the Leipzig music scene during his lifetime: in 1806 he became singing teacher of the Ratsfreischule, in 1807 organist of the Universitätskirche, in 1810 music director of the Seconda’sche Operntruppe, in 1813 organist of the Thomaskirche, in 1816 director of the Singakademie and in 1817 music director of the Stadttheater. In 1811 he played the solo part in the premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto in Leipzig. In addition, Schneider was a corrector and advisor to the publishing house Bureau de Musique, now known as Edition Peters. He finally achieved national and international recognition because of his oratorio Das Weltgericht, which was the most performed contemporary work of its kind until Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s Paulus. Das Weltgericht was premiered at the Leipzig Gewandhaus on March 6, 1820, and was an absolute hit according to the report by music writer and composer Johann Friedrich Rochlitz in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung of March 15, 1820: “The general respect and excellent participation that the worthy, deserving man and artist [Schneider] has earned here, willingly united everything that could be united in order to bring the work to a perfect and also brilliant representation.” (“Die allgemeine Achtung und ausgezeichnete Theilnahme, die sich der werthe, verdiente Mann und Künstler [Schneider] hier erworben hat, vereinigte freywillig, was sich irgend vereinen liess, um das Werk zur vollkommenen und auch glänzenden Darstellung zu bringen.”) After the success in Leipzig, performances followed in Berlin, Quedlinburg, Prague, Dessau, Altenburg, Magdeburg, Frankfurt am Main, Vienna, Gera, Görlitz, Erfurt, Stuttgart and Cologne. According to a reviewer in the Berliner allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, “since Haydn’s composition of the Seasons no such significant work had emerged in the field of the oratorio.” (“Seit Haidn‘s Komposition der Jahreszeiten ist im Fache des Oratoriums kein so bedeutendes Werk hervorgegangen.”) The triumphant success of the Weltgericht also helped Schneider to the position of the Herzoglich Anhalt-Dessauischen Hofkapellmeister. …
Marcel Kraupp, Wien, Ostern 2023 (translation P.D.)