Butting, Max


Butting, Max

I. Symphonie Op. 21 (first print / composer’s manuscript)

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Max Butting – Symphony No. 1 Op. 21 (1921-22/rev. 1956)

(b. Berlin, 6 October 1888 – d. Berlin, 13 July 1976)

I Allegro ma non troppo (p. 1) – Moderato (p. 21) – Allegro giusto (p. 33)
II Allegretto vivo (p. 53)
III Allegro moderato (p. 84) – Presto (p. 103) – Quasi allegro (p. 110) –
Tempo primo (poco allargando) (p. 123)

”I had grown up with the music of Mozart and Beethoven and been further raised on Bach and Handel. One day I returned home bathed in tears from my first Meistersinger performance and swore to become a musician. I was immersed in Bruckner, and to a lesser extent in Brahms; I had learned to love Schumann and Hugo Wolf, had occasionally succumbed to Richard Strauss, and had studied Reger, only to forced by external, material circumstances to become a bit of a musical outsider.”

Thus Max Butting described his situation during the early 1920s in his autobiography Musikgeschichte, die ich miterlebte, published by Henschel of East Berlin in 1955. By then he had become a highly regarded composer of symphonies and a master of the string quartet in the newly established state of East Germany. His autography is so interesting and valuable that we shall quote from it abundantly below. (All quotes in this preface, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from Musikgeschichte, die ich miterlebte.)

In high school, Butting was trained by his music teacher, the church music director Arnold Dreyer. Proceeding from the piano and violin, inspired by the overpowering performances of the leading Berlin orchestras (the Philharmonic and the Staatskapelle) under their legendary conductors Arthur Nikisch, Richard Strauss, Felix Weingartner, and Karl Muck, he developed an unconditional love for the expressive world of the orchestra at an early age. His father, an ironmonger, wanted his only son to follow in his line of business. In contrast, his mother devoted special attention to his musical gifts. …


Read English and German preface  > HERE

Score No.






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