New in September 2017
Our successful series of operas by Franz Schreker continues in this month with his last opera, the large three-act enchanted opera ‚Der Schmied von Gent’. The bizarre plot tells the story of the blacksmith who in his desperation sells his soul to the devil but finally manages to get save into heaven after having opened an snack stand at heaven’s gate. Schreker acts here, at the end of the Weimar Republic era, at the height of his powers and surprises his listeners with a highly astonishing stylistic pluralism. ‚Der Schmied von Gent’ was lost in oblivion for a long time but in recent years got its overdue stage revival.
In our John Foulds Edition we have been offering for many years a reproduction of the facsimile of his late and most important string quartet, the ’Quartetto intimo’. Now, using this autograph score and the original handwritten parts as sources, we release the Urtext first print of the complete performance material in score and parts. This is one of the most virtuoso quartets of the whole literature and can in this aspect only be compared with Bartók’s quartets nos. 4 and 5. It belongs to the most substantial and capricious contributions to the string quartet genre in the 20th century and shows Foulds with the whole palette of his wide stylistic spectre.
Oboe concertos have been a rare species in the romantic era. Apart from Bellini and Klughardt there isn’t much to be found. Therefore the discovery of the ‚Konzertstück’ for oboe and orchestra by the Brahms contemporary Georg Alois Schmitt, once music director in Schwerin, is a particularly veritable find. It herewith appears in Urtext first print. The only Violin Concerto by Philipp Scharwenka, the teacher of Oskar Fried and Otto Klemperer and one of the most prolific chamber music composers in Berlin in the 1890s, is completely unknown nowadays. It belongs to the most beautiful violin concertos of the 1890s, growing from tradition with its wonderful melodies, and is far from the dusty conservative academicism that once dominated music life in the Prussian capital. Our concerto section further offers the invigorating Clarinet Concertino by Carl Maria von Weber.
This month brings many rarities of orchestral music: the ingeniously entertaining suite ‚Faschingsbilder’ (Carnival Pictures) by Jean Louis Nicodé, 4 Hungarian Dances by Johannes Brahms in the orchestration of Antonín Dvorák and Dvorák’s Overture to ’The Cunning Peasant’, Frederick Cowen’s ballet suite ’The Language of Flowers’, Camille Saint-Saëns’s early ’Rapsodie bretonne’, Leone Sinigaglia’s moving ’Lamento in memoria di un giovane artista’ (Lament in commemoration of a young artist), Ferdinand Hiller’s second large Concert Overture, and Gioacchino Rossini’s ’Ermione’ Overture. These are supplemented by Henri Duparc’s orchestral song ’Chanson triste’ (including the piano version) and Louis Vierne’s ’Marche triomphale’ for small brass ensemble. This month’s contemporary releases are Konstantia Gourzi’s ’Eros’, consisting of three dialogues for viola and pianoforte with two sopranos and chamber orchestra, and the miniature ’Vedo la Luce’ for violin and piano by the Norwegian master Bernt Kasberg Evensen.