Orchestra

(b. Blumenthal, 9. February 1909 – d. Munich, 16. December 2007)

1 Mäßig bewegt – lebhaft (moderately moving – lively)
2 Sehr lebhaft und schwungvoll – ruhig fliessend – Tempo 1
(very lively and swinging – quietly flowing – tempo 1)
3 Langsam – lebhaft (Slow – lively)

The composer Harald Genzmer was born in Blumenthal, a town that later became a suburb within the north German city of Bremen. Bremen itself casts its boundaries 67 kilometres along the landmark river Weser to include the North Sea port of Bremerhaven.

Before the Second World War, Genzmer, a pupil of Hindemith in Berlin, worked at Breslau (1934-1937) after which he moved back to Berlin. Following the Second World War he was based in Fribourg-en-Brisgau in the late 1940s and in Munich from the 1950s. The British composer John McCabe (1939-2015) was among his pupils. …


(b. Brunn am Gebirge, Austria, 5. August 1890 – d. Edinburgh, 3. October 1987)

Ouvertüre p.3
Tanz-Burleske p.17
Wind-Scherzo p.47
Elegie im Schnee p.63
Weihnachtsmusik p.65
Capriccio p.73
Marsch p.85

Dedicated to Gál’s sons, Franz and Peter.

The late 1920s and early 1930s were happy years for Austrian composer and scholar, Hans Gál. Gál’s operas were being staged at major houses throughout the German-speaking world, and important conductors such as Furtwängler, Busch, and Weingartner were programming his orchestral works. Over fifty performances of Gál’s music (of all genres) were documented in 1930 alone. Gál was appointed, by unanimous vote, director of the conservatory in Mainz in 1929. He immersed himself fully in the conservatory’s activities. In addition to attending to the administrative duties of an organization that served 1,000 students and 70 teachers, he directed the orchestra and all of the choirs, led courses in conducting, counterpoint, harmony, and composition, and taught a few piano students. He also managed to find time to serve, along with Ernst Toch and Alban Berg, on the program committee of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein (General German Music Society) which produced annual festivals of contemporary music. Of course, this highly stimulating period came to an abrupt end in 1933 when the Nazis seized control. Gál, who was of Jewish descent, was dismissed from his post in March, and his works were banned from performance and publication….

Opera / Ballet

(b. Liège, 11 February 1741 – d. Montmorency, 24 September 1813)

André Ernest Modeste Grétry was born February 11 1741, in Liège, part of the French speaking Wallonia region in Belgium. He eventually gained French citizenship and died in 1813 at the Hermitage, formerly the house of Rousseau, in Montmorency, France, after a long and successful career as an opera composer whose works remained popular from the 1770s into the early 19th century.

Grétry received his earliest musical training as a choirboy at the church of St Denis in Liège, where his father worked as a violinist. Grétry showed promise at a young age and was provided with composition and counterpoint lessons with local musicians. It was during this time he was exposed to Italian opera, which inspired Grétry and motivate him to pursue his musical studies in Italy. In 1759 he was awarded a place at the Collège de Liège in Rome, where he studied with Giovanni Battista Casali. Grétry composed his first opera, La vendemmiatrice, a well-received intermezzo prepared for the 1765 Carnival and performed at the Aliberti theatre in Rome. Grétry moved to Geneva in 1766, where he had the opportunity to meet Voltaire and compose his first opéra comique, Isabelle et Gertrude. At this point, Grétry had found his niche and continued to compose opéra comique for the duration of his lifetime.  …

Choir, Voice & Orchestra / A Capella

b. Munich, June 11, 1864 – d. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 8 September, 1949)

“I count Richard Strauss among the twenty-four archangels of music, and I cannot imagine a life without his music. But there are situations when his genius forsakes him, and he was never weaker than with his ‘Taillefer’.” (Julius Bierbaum)

Taillefer, Strauss’s Opus 52 produced highly contrasting opinions upon its premiere in October 1903. Bierbaum continued to disparage the work, referring to it as “a big orchestral sauce”1 ending their friendship. Strauss complained to his parents “does he know about setting Uhland? Can I help it if the piece is performed with too small a choir, which was inaudible, in too small a room, where it made a gigantic noise? Could none of my ‘friends’ in Munich take the trouble to explain this to that amateur Bierbaum?”2

Gustav Mahler however thoroughly approved of it, writing in a letter of 1906 “I have just heard a splendid performance in Amsterdam of your ‘Taillefer’, of which I am especially fond among your works”. …


(b. 16 January 1907, Nuremberg – d. 10 January 1974, Nuremberg)

Edited and revised by Konrad von Abel (b. 13 March 1958, Stuttgart)

Im Frühling (In Spring) [Eduard Mörike] in 6 parts p. 1
Mausfallensprüchlein (Little Mousetrap Ode) [Eduard Mörike] in 5 parts p. 7
Mailied (May Song) in 6 parts p. 11
Nehmt bunte Bänder (Take Colorful Ribbons) in 8 parts p. 15
Es fiel ein Reif (As Hoarfrost Fell) [from ‚Des Knaben Wunderhorn‘] in 4 parts p. 21
Altdeutsches Sprüchlein (Old German Dictum) in 4 parts p. 22
Weihnachten (Christmas) in 5 parts p. 23
Maskenball (Masquerade) in 5 parts p. 31
Eija (Eya) in 5 parts p. 38
O Liebe, heil’ge Weltenmacht (O Love, Holy Universal Force) in 4 parts p. 41
Leise erbildet eine Weise sich (Silently a Tune Emerges) [Solstice] in 4 parts p. 45
Quodlibet [from: J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations) in 4 parts p. 48

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