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VIOLIN & ORCHESTRA

I. First movement (p. 1) – Cadenza (p. 37) – Coda (p. 39)
II. Slow movement (p. 47)
III. Finale (p. 59)

As an outstanding violist and conductor, Emil Bohnke was also recognized as a composer at his time and held in high esteem by colleagues and connoisseurs of new music, but he died too early (together with his wife Lilli Bohnke [b. von Mendelssohn, 1897-1928], an outstanding violinist, as a passenger in a car accident) to become internationally successful with his own work. A few years after his death it was Adolf Hitler’s seizure of power that pushed progressive music like that of Bohnkes out of concert halls anyway, and after the Second World War only such music of the 1920s had a chance that had already managed to penetrate into general consciousness. It was not until the 1990s that Emil Bohnke‘s music experienced a renaissance on record and in the concert hall, almost exclusively thanks to the pioneering commitment of the violinist and pianist Kolja Lessing (b. 1961). Unfortunately, Bohnkes‘s son Robert-Alexander, who lived in Tübingen as a pianist, rather hindered the dissemination of his father‘s works. Today the musical estate of Emil Bohnke is in the custody of the musicologist Dr. Michael Kube (born 1968), who reserves the right to publish something on this basis at a later date. …

Piano Reduction is available HERE

ORCHESTRA

Tranquillo (p. 1) – Più lento (p. 4) – Poco a poco più animato (p. 7) – Maestoso (doppio movimento) (p. 13) – Poco a poco più animato (p. 21) – Animato (p. 26) – Stringendo (p. 27) – Più animato (p. 28) –
Grandioso (p. 35) – Tempo del comincio (p. 36) – L’istesso tempo, un poco animando (p. 41) – Sostenuto (p. 44) – Doppio movimento (p. 47) – Appassionato, doloroso (p. 56) – Più lento quasi andante espressivo (p. 60) –
Poco più animanto (p. 61) – Ancora più animato (p. 62) – Accelerando poco a poco (p. 63) –
Passionato doloroso, più mosso come sopra (p. 65) – Tempo come sopra – Poco più animato (p. 71) – Ancora poco più animato (p. 72). Sempre più passionato (p. 74) – Exaltando, con sommo affetto (p. 77) – Largamente, ma sempre assai passionato (p. 79) – Andante doloroso (p. 80) –
Tempo del comincio, tranquillo (p. 82) – Un poco più lento, assai tranquillo (p. 89)

As one of the most important Czech composers of the generation after Dvořák, Vítězslav Novák, similarly to the one decade older Josef Bohuslav Foerster and the one decade younger Otakar Ostrčil, ultimately fell into the shadow of the late creative blossoming of Leoš Janáček and of his friend Josef Suk, who died too early. Today, Novák‘s music is performed almost exclusively in the Czech Republic, and this – despite his reputation – not too often. His first formative teacher was the conductor Vilém Pojman (1852-1921) in Jindřichův Hradec. Then he studied at the Prague Conservatory, first with Karel Knittl (1853-1907), then with Karel Stecker (1861-1918), and finally in 1892 with Antonín Dvořák. After graduation he was a piano pupil of Josef Jiránek (1855-1940) until 1896. After the Piano Trio op. 1 and the Piano Quartet op. 7, the Piano Quintet op. 12, completed in 1897, was Novák‘s first work to receive lasting recognition. These early chamber music works were later followed by three string quartets (op. 22, 35 and 66), the piano trio op. 27 ‚Quasi una ballata‘ and the sonata for cello and piano op. 68. Novák‘s first orchestral work was the concert overture ‚The Corsair‘ in 1892, followed by the quite successful Serenade in F major for small orchestra from 1894-95. In 1895 he also wrote his only piano concerto, in 1898 the dramatic overture Maryša op. 18, and then came Novák‘s great breakthrough as an orchestral composer with the symphonic poem ‚In the Tatra Mountains‘ op. 26 in 1902.

CHAMBER MUSIC

Arthur Meulemans was one of the most prolific composers of his generation. In addition to three operas, oratorios, cantatas, theatre music, liturgical music, choral pieces, songs, works for solo instruments and chamber music, he wrote more than a hundred orchestral pieces, including fifteen symphonies and concertante works for virtually every orchestral instrument. Even well into old age Meulemans remained creative and continued composing substantial pieces. Between 1959 and 1964 he wrote about fifty compositions, including various orchestral works.

He wrote the Concerto for great organ, trumpet, horn and trombone around his 78th birthday. As a trained organist he returned to the organ around that time and composed, among other works, Concerto for organ and orchestra no. 2 (1958), Sei pezzi (1959), Pièce héroïque (1959) as well as this concertante work for organ and brass trio. … The piece was recorded on 27 September 1964 by Herman Verschraegen (organ), Geo Michiels (trumpet), Maurice Van Bocxstaele (horn) and Jules De Haes (trombone). …

ORGAN & ORCHESTRA

Concerning the life and work of organist-composer Charles-Arnould Tournemire , two aspects stand out: his masterful improvisations at the organ and the Catholic plainchant tradition thoroughly integrated in his musical creations. Tournemire’s magisterial L’orgue mystique (Opp. 55-57, 1927-32), a cycle of 51 organ suites utilizing the appropriate chants for each Sunday of the liturgical year, endures as his best-known compositional effort. He wrote in his memoires concerning this work: „The master of masters, J. S. Bach, has done it—and in what a manner—for the Protestant liturgy. I thought it was necessary to endow the Catholic cult with an ensemble work conceived in the same spirit, but with this difference: the greatest of musicians had based his art on the Protestant chorale, and in service of the tonal system in the immense part of this work. As for myself, I offered commentary on Gregorian chant in the modal system…“

Beginning in 1898, Tournemire served as organist at the Basilica of St. Clotilde, in Paris, a position previously held by César Franck, his teacher at the Paris Conservatoire, and, as for his mentor, Tournemire’s organ works realized a symphonic ideal inspired by the magnificent Cavaillé-Coll organ installed there. Beginning in 1919, he also taught instrumental music at the Conservatoire, where his students included Maurice Duruflé and Jean Langlais. …

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