New in February 2018
It happened by accident, but this month seems to be rather biblical. Just considering its length, Anton Rubinstein’s sacred opera ’Moses’, completed in 1891, appears as a main attraction. This gigantic work in eight scenes of about three hours duration was another ambitious attempt (after ’Sulamith’ and ’Christus’) to present the biblical events in a theatrical way to a large public. Furthermore, sacred music in the broadest sense is presented not only with an anthology of smaller sacred works by Franz Schubert but also with Vittorio Rieti’s charmingly neoclassicist ballet suite ’L’Arca di Noè’ from 1923 that even includes the Flood; with the anthroposophically influenced ’Biblical Pictures’ by the great contemporary Norwegian master Ketil Hvoslef (part of the Amethyst Edition); and Konstantia Gourzi’s ’Die Engel der Eewigkeit’ (Angels of Eternity) for mixed choir a cappella, an homage to schizophrenic Swiss artist Adolf Wölfli.
With the collaboration with Edition Tilli in Finland ’Repertoire Explorer’ opens a new chapter that will include among other things the complete orchestral arrangements by US-American conductor Ira Levin, beginning with his orchestration of Ferruccio Busoni’s instrumental magnum opus ’Fantasia contrappuntistica’, therewith fufilling a project that Busoni himself wanted to manifest.
Further music for large orchestra, apart from Rieti’s ballet suite ’L’Arca di Noè’, is presented (after the 6th Symphony) with Nikolai Miaskovsky’s expansive Eighth Symphony ;Emanuel Moór’s 2nd Violin Concerto Op. 62, dedicated to Henri Marteau; Riccardo Zandonai’s Concert Overture ’Colombina’ and Paul von Klenau’s ballet overture ’Klein Ida’s Blumen’ (Little Ida’s Flowers). Gabriel Pierné’s late ballet suite ’Impressions de Music-Hall’ is a spectacular work that brings entertaining music of the 1920s with virtuosic raffinesse into the concert hall (the original version for piano solo is added separately to the full score). And Philip Brookes presents Elgar’s ’Civic Fanfare’ in the original version for large orchestra as well as in his new version for wind band in first print.
Two solo concertos with small orchestra deserve particular attention: Heinrich Kaminski’s ’Orchesterkonzert mit Klavier’ (Orchestral Concerto with Piano Solo), completed in 1936, is a conscious continuation of the contrapuntal concertare style developed by Johann Sebastian Bach in his Brandenburg Concertos; and Heinz Schubert who in his ecstatic neo-baroque style stood very close to Kaminski and fell in war in 1945 finished his ’Concertante Suite’ in 1932. Furthermore smaller orchestral forces are represented by Franz Danzi’s Sinfonia Concertante for flute, oboe, French horn, bassoon and orchestra, and Granville Bantock’s ’Scenes from the Scottish Hughlands’ for string orchestra.
The Flemish Edition presents two works in historical reprints this month: ’Canzonette ed Arie’ for soprano and basso continuo by the baroque master Willem de Fesch, and the Piano Sonata in C minor Op. 3 by the romantic composer Joseph Callaerts.