Schäfer, Dirk

Suite pastorale Op. 8

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Dirk Schäfer – Suite pastorale op. 8

(b. Rotterdam, 25 November 1873 – d. Amsterdam, 16 February 1931)

Allegretto. p.1
Kleines Allegretto, quasi Andantino. p.11
Mesto: Tempo di Valse. p.22
Finale: Moderato. All Maestoso. P.46

Dirk Schäfer was a Dutch pianist and composer: he began his piano studies in 1888 at the Rotterdam Music School and, continued it at the Cologne Conservatory under the guidance of Pauer and Wüllner; in 1892 he won the Mendelssohn Prize in Berlin. Schäfer gave numerous concerts in Germany, France, Austria and Belgium thanks to his fame as a sensitive and virtuoso artist at an international level: between 1913 and 1915 he spanned his repertoire from Byrd to Debussy and Schönberg; he also played many transcriptions of harpsichord works, including J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations and later specialized in Chopin.

As a composer Dirk Schäfer mainly devoted himself to writing for the piano, but also his two orchestral pieces (Suite pastorale op. 8, 1903; Rhapsodie javanaise op. 7, 1904) show skill in orchestration, discernment and finesse in a very personal style, typically romantic and influenced by Richard Strauss, Skrjabin, Chopin and Brahms: according to Eduard Reeser, Schäfer’s music is “exuberant and stylistically not free from strange imperfections”. He was also a theorist and teacher: published in 1942 by the widow Ida Schäfer-Dumstorff, the work Het klavier is considered the first Dutch teaching method. (Jos Wouters, edited by Leo Samama, in NG²).

Schäfer’s ouevre consists of a rich piano repertoire made up of short pieces, studies, scherzos, waltzes, improvisations, variations, suites, toccatas and interludes, composed from 1893 to 1929; he also wrote vocal music, in particular lieder at the beginning of his career, chamber music and the two orchestral works.

Suite pastorale op. 8
This work is a suite in E major for orchestra and solo piano, composed in 1903 with the stylistic features of late-romantic music. It is made up of four movements: Allegretto; Little Allegretto, almost Andantino; Mesto. Time of Valse; The final. Moderate. It was first performed in 1905 by conductor W. Mengelberg and the Concertgebouw Orchestra.

The Allegretto can be divided in three parts: an introduction, a first section “A” and a second section “B”. The introduction presents a first part in which the melody is played by the flutes, oboes and bassoons, to which English horn and clarinets are added, that create greater tension; in the second part, however, the strings intone the melody, dialoguing with the horns. The tension grows in a crescendo, and it ends with a bang of the timpani. ..


Full preface / Komplettes Vorwort > HERE

Score No.



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210 x 297 mm





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