Brandts-Buys, Jan


Brandts-Buys, Jan

Oberon for small orchestra Op. 27

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Jan Brandts-Buys – Oberon, Romancero for Small Orchestra Op. 27 (1919)

(b. Zutphen, Netherlands, 12 September 1868 – d. Salzburg, 7 December 1933)


Jan Brandts-Buys was born to a musical family on 12 September 1868 in Zutphen, Netherlands. His father Marius Adrianus Brandts-Buys was a musician and taught Jan organ and music theory from a young age. At age 13 Brandts-Buys was already church organist at the local church. During his later teenage years, from 1884 to 1889, Brandts-Buys gained experience as organist of the Protestant Broderenkerk in Zutphen. During this time, he also cultivated his piano skills. Brandts-Buys studied with pianist Anton Urspruch (1850–1907) and composer Max Schwarz (1856–1923) at the renowned Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt/Main.

In Vienna Brandts-Buys encountered Brahms and worked as an arranger for the publisher Cranz while teaching lessons and composing instrumental music, including Piano Concerto Op. 15. This concerto, composed 1899, won a prize at the Bösendorfer Competition 1899; Brandts-Buys came in second to Ernő Dohnányi (1877–1960). In Brandts-Buys’s later life he settled near Bozen (Italy) in 1910 but returned to Vienna in 1914 to continue composing. He moved to Loznica (Serbia) in 1920 and finally settled in Salzburg, Austria in 1928.

Brandts-Buys’s “Oberon” Romancero Op. 27 takes its name from the Romancero genre, a collection of Spanish ballads or romances. To better understand the reference to Oberon in the title, it is useful to briefly turn to Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595), which was the inspiration for German poet Christoph Martin Wieland’s (1733–1813) epic poem Oberon (1796), which, in turn, inspired Brandts-Buys’s “Oberon” Romancero, as the brief quote on the first score page of the composition indicates, which reads:

[Once again]
Saddle the Hyppogryf! And wing my way
Where regions of romance their charms display.
Now conquering, conquer’d now, in battle bold,
I see the knight’s good sword, the Pagans sparkling blades.



Read full preface / Das ganze Vorwort lesen> HERE

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