Büttner, Paul


Büttner, Paul

Slavonian Dance in G Minor

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Paul Büttner – Slavischer Tanz (Slavonian Dance in G Minor, 1896)

(b. Dresden, 10 December 1870 – d. Dresden, 15 October 1943)

Lebhaft (Lively, Allegro) (p. 3) – Moderato (p. 19) – Tempo primo (p. 23) –
Sehr gemäßigt (Very moderate) – Sofort Tempo primo (subito tempo primo) (p. 31) – Vivace (p. 32)

In our day, when new discoveries are made and forgotten or misplaced things unearthed on a daily basis, it seems strange that suddenly a titan should resurface whose greatness stands beyond question at first hearing, and whose music gains in depth, breadth, and grandeur with each repeated listening. That this composer is entirely unknown (I knew of him by name but had never heard any of his works in concert, and only one of his major creations, the Fourth Symphony, has been released on CD, in an historic recording from East Germany), should give us pause. It sheds glaring light on the functioning of a music scene that takes notice of practically nothing outside the most popular names, trends, and fashions. Yet there were times when conservatives considered Paul Büttner the great white hope of the German symphony, when his symphonies and other works were performed by conductors of the stature of Arthur Nikisch, Fritz Busch, Joseph Keilberth, Carl Schuricht, Fritz Stein, Paul Scheinpflug, Hermann Kutzschbach, Paul van Kempen, Rudolf Kempe, Heinz Bongartz, and Rudolf Mauersberger, heading such ensembles as the Dresden Court Orchestra and the Berlin Royal Orchestra (each today called Staatskapelle), the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, or the Berlin RSO. Is it possible for symphonies of such towering significance, having once enraptured large audiences, to be plunged permanently into oblivion? The example of Paul Büttner, one of music’s great “anachronistic” figures, serves as a object-lesson in how changes from favorable to unfavorable circumstances can ensure that this happens not just once but twice. …


Read full preface  > HERE

Score No.






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