Aus fernen Welten Op. 39, Song cycle for voice and orchestra
“Aus fernen Welten”
Song cycle for voice and orchestra, op. 39 (text by Christian Morgenstern) (1906)
(b. Zara, Dalmatia, 2 June 1863; d. Winterthur, Switzerland, 7 May 1942)
Preface (by Yuan Zhu, 2016)
Felix Weingartner’s compositions have been dismissed by most critics as mere Kapellmeistermusik (conductor’s music) – serviceable pieces lacking in originality that are said to be typical of the compositional output of most conductor-composers. As one of the outstanding conductors of his age, Weingartner is especially vulnerable to such a charge, since his directorial brilliance completely overshadows his compositional endeavours, the results of which cannot be said to occupy as eminent a place in the Late Romantic repertoire as his recordings do in the early recording era.
Weingartner gave much importance to the compositional side of his musical career, considering it to be at least as equally important as his conducting. His output is substantial, comprising seven symphonies and a dozen operas. Stylistically, his compositions belong the transitional period between the Late Romantic and Early Modernist eras. He wrote in a highly melodic language and produced lustrous orchestral sounds. The structure of his pieces is generally straightforward and shuns overtly complex harmonic structures. It was a style that was quickly going out of fashion: by the end of his career, Modernism had established itself as the dominant musical idiom, to the detriment of his compositional legacy.
Weingartner had little influence upon other composers, with the notable exception of Erich Korngold, who dedicated his Sinfonetta (1912) to him, and whose style resembled strongly to his. Weingartner is today known almost exclusively for his recordings, notably his oft-reissued recordings of Beethoven’s symphonies.
Read full preface / Komplettes Vorwort lesen > HERE