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ORCHESTRA

(b. Stadskanaal bei Groningen, 7. Februar 1870 – d. Amsterdam, 18. September 1939 )

Preface
Born in the northern Dutch town of Stadskanaal, Cornelius Dopper is often recognised today as the second conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the assistant to the celebrated conductor Willem Mengelberg between 1908 and 1931. In addition to being a respected conductor, Dopper was widely known as a prolific composer during his time. In recognition of his achievement, his name has been inscribed on the balcony ledges in the Main Hall of the Royal Concertgebouw, alongside other famed composers including Anton Bruckner, Johannes Brahms, César Franck and Franz Liszt, among others.

Dopper studied violin, piano and composition at the Leipzig Conservatory during 1888–90 and was otherwise largely self-taught. His teachers include notably Carl Reinecke (composition) and Oscar Paul (music history and aesthetics).1 After completing his studies, Dopper came to prominence with his first opera, De blinde van Castel Cuillé (the Blind Girl of Castel Cuillé, 1892), premiered in Amsterdam by the Nederlandse Opera in 1894. He then joined the same opera company as a violinist in 1897 and subsequently worked as its repetiteur and assistant conductor before the company dissolved in 1903. Having worked as a music critic for the Amsterdam newspapers De Echo and Het Leven during 1904–05, Dopper took up the position as one of the conductors of the American travelling company Savage Opera Company in 1906 and toured around the United States, Canada and Mexico, during which he also gave the American premiere of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Upon his return in 1908, Dopper was named the second conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at Mengelberg’s recommendation and had since settled in Amsterdam. During the thirty-three years of his tenure, he gave the Dutch premieres of Debussy’s La Mer and Ibéria (from Images pour orchestre, L. 122) and introduced the music of Elgar, Ravel, as well as many other young Dutch composers to the audience in Amsterdam. His interest in music education also led him to establish the youth concert series in 1923. Dopper left his post at the Concertgebouw in 1931 and died in 1939. …

OPERA

b. Zara/Dalmatia, 2. June 1863 – d. Winterthur, 7. May 1942)

Opera in one act

Preface
It is well known that Felix von Weingartner was one of the most substantial conductors of his time and was also an important music writer, who did not always make friends by giving blatant, precise accounts of his opinions. The fame of his own compositions, on the other hand, seems all the more faded: as a conductor, he himself regularly performed his orchestral works and also encouraged his colleagues to include them in their repertoire – but after Weingartner’s death in 1942, no one continued the performance tradition of his works. It became quiet around the 10 operas, 7 symphonies, 5 symphonic poems, 2 solo concertos and the grandiose orchestral arrangements. Also the chamber music including a huge song production and 5 string quartets rests to a large extent in the archives.

The „Repertoire Explorer“ series has already unearthed several treasures from Weingartner’s pen, including the Serenade for String Orchestra op. 6 in reprint (SKU 1387), the Violin Concerto (1429), the first six symphonies (1372, 1482, 1760, 380, 1819, 1380), the Sinfonietta op. 83 (196), the symphonic poem King Lear op. 20 (1510), the Symphonic Intermezzo from Malawika (1513), Traumnacht und Sturmhymnus op. 38 (1333), the Sturm-Suite op. 65 (1339), Aus fernen Welten op. 39 (1874), the Lustige Ouvertüre op. 53 (1363), the Overture to Dame Kobold (1761), the Overture Aus ernster Zeit op. 56 (1943), orchestral songs (1534), as well as some arrangements for orchestra; in the chamber music series “Beyond the Waves” the song cycle Blüten aus dem Osten op. 63 (5049) and the Violin Sonata in D Major op. 42/1 (5048) were rediscovered; works with string instruments are currently being prepared for reprint. …

Vocal Score is also available > HERE

CHAMBER MUSIC

(Nordic counterpoint for fiddles and bottles) (1973)

(b. July 19th 1939)
Premiered on NRK television, 1974

Ketil Hvoslef was born in Bergen on July 19th 1939. He is the youngest son of Harald Sæverud and Marie Hvoslef. His birth coincided with the completion of Siljustøl, the great mansion in the outskirts of Bergen where the Sæverud family settled and where Harald Sæverud lived until his passing in 1992.
Being the son of a great composer, music was naturally very present during Hvoslef’s upbringing. He learned to play the piano and the viola and, in his teens, he became heavily involved in Bergen’s jazz and pop music environment, becoming a member of what was, reportedly, Bergen’s first rock band. Hvoslef (who retained the Sæverud surname until his 40th birthday, when he decided to adopt that of his mother) had, however, plans to become a painter and took serious steps in that direction. It was in the Bergen Art Academy that he met the painter Inger Bergitte Flatebø (1938 – 2008), who would become his wife and adopt the Sæverud surname.
With the birth of their first child, Trond, in 1962, Hvoslef abandoned his dreams of becoming either a pop star or a painter and he took an organist’s diploma at the Bergen Music Conservatoire. Upon finishing his studies, he was offered a position as theory teacher at the Conservatoire by its director, the legendary Gunnar Sævig (1924 – 1969).
Hvoslef became a composer almost by accident. In his 25th year he composed a piano concertino for his own satisfaction. Shortly after, his father passed on to him a commission for a woodwind quintet he had no time or inclination to write. And after that he simply kept going. He had study periods in Stockholm (with Karl-Birger Blomdahl and Ingvar Lindholm) and in London (with Henri Lazarof and Thomas Rajna). …

BALLET

(b. 10 St Petersburg, August 1865 – d. Neuilly-sur-Seine, 21 March 1936)

Preface
Aleksandr Glazunov was the son of a Russian book publisher (and violin player) and a pianist. Gifted with an exceptional ear and musical memory, he began to study the piano at the age of nine, and to compose at eleven. In 1879 he became acquainted with Mily Balakirev (1836 – 1910) – the mentor of ‚The Five’ – who recommended him to Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 – 1908) for private lessons. In less than two years of study with him as a private pupil, he achieved the whole programme of harmony, theory, composition and instrumentation, and in 1882 he had his First Symphony conducted by Balakirev at the Free Music School of St Petersburg, and by Rimsky in Moscow.

By mediation of his teacher, with whom he had a lifelong friendship despite the difference in age, he became a protégé of Mitrofan Petrovich Belyayev (1836 – 1903), a timber merchant, amateur musician, and patron of arts. Belyayev was impressed by the achievements of the young composer, and in 1885 took a series of initiatives in order to support his talent: he organized the Russian Symphony Concerts in St Petersburg, founded a publishing house in Leipzig to publish the works of his favourite composers, and created the Glinka Prize for composition. Between 1885 and 1903 Glazunov received this composition award 17 times. Together with Rimsky and Anatoly Lyadov, Glazunov became one of the key figures in Belyayev’s circle, which included such composers as Jāzeps Vītols, Feliks Blumenfeld and others. …