[Amadeus-Verlag, ISBN 3-905049-68-6] entnommen.)
Als nächster machte sich der begeisterte Vorkämpfer und Freund Ernst Frank an das Klavierkonzert. Johannes Brahms schlug 1875 seinem Verleger Simrock vor: “Wollen Sie nicht mit Hermann Goetz in Zürich anbandeln? Ein Klavierkonzert von ihm liegt in Mannheim bei Frank.” Und Brahms war es, der dann am 17. Oktober 1876 an Frank schrieb: “Könntest Du nicht das Konzert von Goetz spielen? Das wäre mir gar angenehme Freude.” In einem Brief an Frank erläuterte Goetz Ende Oktober 1876: “Der erste Satz ist nicht leicht, er ist derjenige, der die meiste Bravour erfordert. Ich hatte meistens nicht genug Kraft dafür […] Ich habe eben diejenige Technik dort angewandt, über die ich unmittelbar gebot, und das ist so etwa die mittlere Chopin-Technik, wie man sie aus seinen Etüden op. 10 und 25, aus seinen Nocturnes, Scherzi, Polonaisen etc. bekommt. Brahms hat vielmehr überall die Schumann-Technik angewandt, die von jener durchaus verschieden ist.”
Am 7. November 1876 spielte Frank das Klavierkonzert in Mannheim unter der Leitung von Otto Devrient, unmittelbar anschließend an Johannes Brahms’ Dirigat seiner eigenen Ersten Symphonie. Zum Schluß des Konzerts erklang Robert Schumanns Musik zu Lord Byrons Manfred. Einen Monat später war Hermann Goetz tot. Ernst Frank spielte das Klavierkonzert B-Dur bei weiteren Gelegenheiten und gab es 1879 beim Leipziger Verlag Fr. Kistner als fünftes nachgelassenes Werk mit der Opuszahl 18 in Partitur mit Originalkadenz und im Auszug für zwei Klaviere (erstellt von Frank) heraus. Im 20. Jahrhundert hat sich immerhin ein so großartiger Pianist wie Eduard Erdmann des Werkes angenommen (1924), doch insgesamt ist es in der Versenkung verschwunden. Diesen Umstand zu korrigieren ist die Hauptabsicht der ersten Wiederauflage der Partitur seit dem Erstdruck im Jahre 1879.
Christoph Schlüren (2003)
Aufführungsmaterial ist vom Originalverlag Kistner & Siegel, Leipzig zu beziehen.
(b. Königsberg, 7 December 1840 — d. Hottingen, Zürich, 3 December 1876)
Piano Concerto in B flat Op. 18 (1867)
I Moderately lively – More lively – Tempo I – Cadenza – Tempo I p. 3
II Moderately fast (begun attacca) p. 111
III Slow – Più vivo – Lively – Slow – Lively p. 159
Hermann Goetz was perhaps one of the most important 19th Century German composers, the quality of whose work, together with others, was never properly recognized either during or after their lifetime. This can be explained not least because of his modest manner, his move to Switzerland and his untimely death. The premiere of his Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, no longer extant, was a great success when first performed in Basle on March 3, 1867. He immediately started work on his Piano Concerto in B flat. In a letter of June 11 to Joachim Raff, whom he planned to visit in Wiesbaden, he wrote that he wanted to show him “a fairly complete rough draft of a new piano concerto that I have only just finished” as well as the Symphony. (The reference is presumably to a short score in Goetz’s estate written for solo piano with a missing cadenza, with wind and strings accompaniment, without any clear distinction as to which string instrument is which.) In the middle of August Goetz returned from Königsberg to Winterthur, took the instrumentation in hand and succeeded in completing the full score of the Piano Concerto on October 2, 1867. The first movement, with its elegant solo cadenza, is a free adaptation of traditional sonata form. Goetz described the finale in his note-book as an Introduction and Rondo.
The first performance of the Piano Concerto in B flat by the Konzertgesellschaft Orchestra in Basle on December 1, 1867, was a great success with both public and critics. The composer played the solo piano part and the conductor appears to have been Ernst Reiter, director of the Konzertgesellschaft. Goetz failed in his attempts to follow this up with public performances in Berlin and Leipzig. He did succeed, however, in getting it performed twice in Zurich, on December 22, 1868, in the second subscription concert of the Tonhalle-Gesellschaft, conducted by Friedrich Hegar and on March 3, 1874, his last public appearance as a pianist, the conductor being unrecorded. A performance rumoured to have taken place in Berne on March 26, 1870, cannot be substantiated. (The complete information is taken from the standard biography by Marek Bobéth, Hermann Goetz, Leben und Werk, Winterthur 1996, Amadeus Verlag, ISBN 3-905049-68-6).
Goetz’s friend Ernst Frank, a keen enthusiast, then took up the cause of the Piano Concerto. Johannes Brahms asked his publisher Simrock in 1875: “Why don‘t you make contact with Hermann Goetz in Zurich? Frank has a copy of his Piano Concerto in Mannheim.” It was Brahms who wrote to Frank on October 17, 1876, as follows: “Couldn’t you perform Goetz’s concerto? That would give me great pleasure.” Goetz explained in a letter to Frank towards the end of October, 1876: “The first movement is not easy, since it calls for a lot of bravura. I hardly found the strength to play it. […] I applied all the required technical skill at my command, namely Chopin’s middle-period technique, as acquired through his Etudes Op. 10 and 25, or his Nocturnes, Scherzi, Polonaises etc. Brahms chose mainly to adopt Schumann’s technique, which is totally different.”
Frank played the Piano Concerto in Mannheim on November 7, 1876, under Otto Devrient, immediately after Brahms had conducted his own Symphony No. 1. The concert concluded with Robert Schumann’s setting of Lord Byron‘s Manfred. Hermann Goetz died a month later. Ernst Frank played the Piano Concerto in B flat on other occasions and gave it to be published by Fr. Kistner of Leipzig, as the fifth surviving composition, with the opus number 18, in full score with the original cadenza, and in a two-piano version arranged by Frank himself. During the 20th century, however, the work was performed by the great pianist Eduard Erdmann (1924) but it has generally fallen out of favour. This edition aims to rectify this state of affairs by reprinting the score for the first time since it was originally published in 1879.
Translation: Jonathan Price
For performance materials please contact the original publisher Kistner & Siegel, Leipzig.