Symphony No. 4 in C minor, op. 57
Symphony No. 4 in C minor, op. 57 (1890)
(b. Cöthen, 30 November 1847 — d. Dessau, 3 August 1902)
I Allegro non troppo (p. 3)
II Andante cantabile (p. 26)
III Presto (p. 35)
IV Andante maestoso (p. 42) – Moderato e molto maestoso (p. 44) – Allegro (p. 57) – Più allegro (p. 58)
Until a few years ago August Klughardt was completely forgotten, apart from his late wind quintet that has long formed part of the core repertoire of wind ensembles. Since then four of his five symphonies, his concertos, and a rich body of chamber music have appeared on CD, and his ingratiatingly melodious, readily accessible, impeccably crafted music, poised between the competing currents of his day, is heard ever more often in concert. Klughardt’s masterly counterpoint, excellent orchestration, and clear sense of form (even in unusual solutions) sound captivating even when the degree of originality is slightly lower and his melodic invention not exactly unique. Symphony No. 4, which appears here in full score for the first time in a century, is probably his most significant orchestral creation, polished in every respect and pos- sessed of a remarkable balance of formal opposites.
Klughardt produced his first compositions at the age of ten for the musical circle at Cöthen’s grammar school. In 1863 his family moved to Dresden, where he learned piano from the court conductor Eduard Thiele (1812-95) and music theory from Ferdinand Diedicke (1836-1903). A year later he gave his public début as a pianist. After completing his school leaving certificate in 1866 he undertook further studies in Dresden, where he increasingly stood out as a composer. From 1867 he was employed as a conductor, first at Posen Town Theater (1867-68), then in the municipal theaters of Neustrelitz and Lübeck. From 1869 to 1873 he conducted at the court theater in Weimar, where he befriended Franz Liszt. He then returned to Neustrelitz, where he was appointed music director in 1880. In 1882 he was offered the position of court conductor in Dessau, a position he held for two decades until his death. In 1892-93 he conducted Dessau’s first produc- tion of Der Ring des Nibelungen; in 1898 he was inducted into the Prussian Academy of Arts; and in 1900 he received an honorary doctorate from Erlangen University. He turned down an offer to head the Berlin Sing-Akademie, allowing Georg Schumann (1866-1952) to guide the fate of this hallowed choral institution for half a century.
Although Klughardt was a confirmed adherent of the New German School associated with Liszt and Wagner, his music nevertheless preserved a conservative element in emulation of Mendelssohn and Schumann, albeit in a distinctive assimi- lated fashion. As the present symphony makes abundantly clear, these almost antithetical elements led to highly original solutions which, despite the smoothness of the inflection, were thoroughly “bold” by the standards of the day. This is especially true of the finale, whose vivacious workmanship resists conventional academic explanation.
The first of Klughardt’s symphonies, in F minor, was composed in 1871 and bore the title Waldleben (Forest Life). Later he withdrew it, and its whereabouts are unknown today. It was followed by a programmatic Symphony No. 1 in D minor, op. 27, subtitled “Lenore” (1872); Symphony No. 2 in F minor, op. 34 (1876); Symphony No. 3 in D major, op. 37 (1879); Symphony No. 4 (1890); and Symphony No. 5 in C minor, op. 71, …
Christoph Schlüren, 2015
Read full preface / Komplettes Vorwort lesen > HERE