Introduktion und Rondo for orchestra
Hermann Bischoff – Introduktion und Rondo (Introduction and Rondo) (1926)
(January 7, 1868, Duisburg – January 25, 1936, Berlin)
Even if one can presume that Hermann Bischoff prioritised his work in music journalism (Musikpublizistik) over professional composing as his raison d’être, there is no doubt that his song compositions and the larger-scale symphonic orchestral works gave him the reputation among his contemporaries of being a composer.1 A glance at the hitherto unknown report of the Royal Conservatoire in Leipzig (Königliches Conservatorium zu Leipzig), which he attended from October 1887 until December of the following year, would not on its own have led one to expect this.2 In the report it is particularly his teacher Salomon Jadassohn who draws the picture of a talentless, lazy student skipping classes and learning nothing.3 In Munich it was then above all Richard Strauss who shaped him artistically while Ludwig Thuille instructed him in compositional techniques. Bischoff maintained a decades-long friendship with Strauss, who, especially in the difficult years 1929-30, helped him to get an appointment in Berlin with a more or less secure income.4 It is unfortunately not possible to go further into biographical details here and the reader is directed to the relevant literature.5
The Introduktion und Rondo (Introduction and Rondo), dedicated to his long-time companion Ernst Boehe and the Pfalzorchester (Orchestra of the Palatinate), belongs in the 1920s. It was the first orchestral piece that he was able to complete after the long drawn out and exhausting preparation of his Second Symphony in D minor (1910-18) following what seems to have been a gap in composition lasting several years.6 While in the composition of his earlier works, as for example Pan, Gewittersegen (Storm Blessing) or the two symphonies, he engaged in a more or less intense correspondence with Strauss, there is no evidence of anything similar in the few surviving letters from this period.7 As far as the sheet music of Introduktion und Rondo is concerned, the Richard-Strauss-Institute only has the original folder containing the score and the orchestral parts, with three copies of the second violin part.8 There is no sign of the manuscript or of copies of the score, and no sign of corrections of the proofs of the subsequent print version. I reached the same conclusion when I quickly looked through the sketch books. We must presume that because of planned performances of the composition the scores at least were sent to various conductors and orchestras and so changed owner, a supposition that receives indirect confirmation in an exchange of letters.
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210 x 297 mm