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1  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Who knows this symphony? on: November 15, 2018, 10:21:17 pm
I am actually working on a book about Tristan Foison, who became infamous for stealing the "Messe de Requiem" by Alfred Desenclos and pretending that he had composed the work himself. That was in 2001 in Washington. I meanwhile discovered that he had also stolen "his violin concerto" and I received a lot of material about him lately, which led to further discoveries and the need to write it all down. I have nearly finished the writing, but I still need to identify some "Foison works". And for one of this tasks I need you symphony experts!
I have only the faked cover page and the copied instrumentation page of the original composition, the rest is missing. Do you know to which composition the following instrumentation and duration would fit? Tristan Foison consistently copied French composer from the 20th century, with an emphasis for Alfred Desenclos, Raymond Gallois-Montbrun and Jacques Chailley. So maybe it is a composition by one of these or another little known French composer. Tristan Foison titled the composition "Petite Symphonie" but that isn't the original I assume. (Of course I did my own research before but could not find a match. And it is not the "Petite Symphonie" by Guy Ropartz)
The score calls for:

2 flutes
2 hautbois
2 clarinettes Si♭
2 bassons
2 cors en Fa
2 trompettes Ut
2 trombones
1 tuba
batterie: cymbales, caisse claire, tambour de Basque, triangle,
1 piano,
quintette a cordes

duration: 14 minutes

Does that ring a bell for someone here?

2  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Sharon Eitan: Violin concerto (1999) - score and recording on: November 14, 2018, 07:17:32 am
I have the pleasure of presenting the score and a complete recording of the Violin concerto by Sharon Eitan. He is an Israeli composer, physicist and mathematican. His Violin concerto was composed in 1999 and immediately premiered by the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra under Ivan Del Prado and violinist Anna-Julia Badia. The composition was only available in manuscript so far, but now the full score can be downloaded in a typeset version. The download is free of charge and I also included a complete recording of the premiere performance on my website:

I would be pleased if you stop by and have a look and a listen to this modern composition!

3  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Siegfried Geissler (1924-2014): Violin concerto No.2 (1981) on: October 26, 2018, 10:25:49 am
Do you know the "Concerto funebre for violin and strings" by Karl Amadeus Hartmann? This violin concerto was composed in 1939 and is a reaction to the horror of Nazi Germany and the invasion into Poland. The Violin concerto No.2 by Siegfried Geissler is the masterful counterpart referring to the horror of the GDR regime. Never heard of Siegfried Geissler and never heard the Violin concerto No.2? Well, that is the problem and that is what I would like to change:


Siegfried Rudolf Geißler was born on 26 March 1929 in Dresden (Germany). He studied music at the Conservatory in Dresden from 1943 to 1946 and graduated as an orchestral musician for piano and horn. His first positions were those as the principal hornist in the orchestras of Cottbus, Speyer and finally Sonneberg. Since his days in Speyer he also worked as a conductor and in 1953 Siegfried Geißler was appointed prinicipal conductor of the "Erzgebirgsphilharmonie" in Aue. In the next years he directed the "Thüringische Kreiskulturorchester Mühlhausen", was assistant conductor under Heinz Bongartz of the Dresdner Philharmonie from 1958 to 1962, and assistant conductor of the State Symphony Orchestra in Gotha. In 1965 he finally became the music director of the State Symphony Orchestra in Suhl. Siegfried Geißler used this position to form an outstanding, internationally renowned symphony orchestra offside the central cities in the German Democratic Republic and also founded the choral society and the boys' choir in Suhl. These activities brought him the appreciation of the governance and some kind of freedom to do whatever he wanted. Siegfried Geißler used this freedom to perform with his orchestra compositions that were not true to the party lines of the GDR regime, commissioned dissident artists to design concert programs and always took a critical stand to the situation and the activities of the GDR. In 1980 the executive was fed up with this behaviour of Siegfried Geißler and he was released from his position as music director of the orchestra in Suhl. Since then he worked as a composer.
In 1989 the activities of Siegfried Geißler took a new direction when he was an active part of the peaceful revolution in the GDR. In that year he was co-founder of the New Forum Suhl, a political movement of this time and one of the persons who occupied the building of the Ministry of State Security in Suhl to prevent the elimination of the Stasi files. His activities finally led to a mandate in the state parliament of Thuringia where he became the chairman by seniority. After one election period Siegfried Geißler retired from his political positions in 1993. Siegfried Geißler died on 10 July 2014 in Suhl (Germany).

full score, sound snippet, review:

Next year in 2019 Siegfried Geissler would have become 90 years old. That is a good occasion to point the attention to his life, his works and - in my case - especially to his second violin concerto. I am pleased to present on my website the full score and a sound snippet of the world premiere. I also wrote a small review which is also available on my website, but it exists only in German. So please stop by and get to know one of the best and most important German violin concertos of the 20th century:

Enjoy and spread the word!

4  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Stanley Wolfe (1924-2009): Violin concerto (1989) on: October 24, 2018, 08:43:39 pm
I am happy to announce that I was again able to publish one of my personal favourite violin concertos from the 20th century: The Violin concerto by Stanley Wolfe was composed in 1989 and premiered the same year by Mark Peskanov, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin. It is a brilliant and beautiful master piece and unfortunately completely neglected nowadays. The score only existed in manuscript and therefore I am happy to present the typeset full score for free download on my website. I also included a complete recording of the premiere performance for your pleasure:

Here is a short biography about Stanley Wolfe:

Stanley Wolfe was born on 7 February 1924 in New York (USA). He studied music at the Juilliard School of Music under William Bergsma,Vincent Persichetti and Peter Mennin and graduated with a master's degree in composition in 1955. Stanley Wolfe joined the faculty that same year, teaching theory, contemporary music, and composition. In 1956, he became director of Juilliard’s Extension Division (now the Evening Division), a post he held for 33 years until he retired from administrative duties in 1989. He remained on the School’s faculty until 2005. Wolfe was also a professor of music at Fordham University at Lincoln Center from 1969 through 1973 and a lecturer in the New York Philharmonic’s preconcert series, in 1985.
Wolfe received a number of high-profile awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1957 and the Alice M. Ditson-American Symphony Orchestra prize in 1961. He was the recipient of three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, in 1969, 1970, and 1977. In 1990, he received a citation and recording award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Stanley Wolfe died on 29 May 2009 in Yonkers, N.Y. (USA).
Wolfe, who described himself as primarily a symphonist, composed 7 symphonies, a Canticle for strings, Lincoln Square Overture for orchestra, Variations for orchestra, a Violin concerto, an Adagio for woodwind quartet, a string quartet and the dance piece "King's Heart".
5  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Rene Leibowitz: publication of his letters on: October 12, 2018, 07:38:25 am
In early 2018 I acquired a large archive of documents by French conductor and composer René Leibowitz to the Belgian publisher Editions Dynamo. The collection consists of handwritten articles, typescripts and contracts, as well as the complete correspondence of Leibowitz to Editions Dynamo. Given their singular musical and historical value, I have transcribed the letters from this archive and make them available in an ebook for the first time to the general public.

The ebook is titled:

Rene Leibowitz to Editions Dynamo

The 114 letters of Rene Leibowitz
to the Editions Dynamo of Pierre Aelberts
between 1947 and 1951

and can be downloaded free of charge from my website:

But attention: The letters are of course in French...
6  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Hanns Schimmerling: Sinfonietta parisienne, for orchestra and voice (1925) on: September 23, 2018, 04:27:05 pm
Hanns Schimmerling was born in 1900 in Brno and studied music under Franz Schreker, Frantisek Neumann and Alexander Zemlinsky. In 1925 he became conductor at the German Opera in Prague and toured as piano accompanist with Michael Bohnen, the then leading Metropolitan Opera bass and was a promising composer in the 1920s and 30s. For example his "Sechs Miniaturen, for chamber orchestra" was premiered by Alexander Zemlinsky. But the career of Hanns Schimmerling stopped with the rise of the Nazi regime, he and his wife had to flee from Europe and finally settled in the US. There he could not reestablish his career as a composer and taught at elementary music schools and developed music programs. He died in 1967.
The music of Hanns Schimmerling fell into oblivion after World War II and so most of his compositions remain unpublished and even worse got lost over the years. That is a pity because Hanns Schimmerling was described as a "contemporary, multifaceted talent". So it is no surprise that there is some recent interest in his compositions by those who want to look beside the beaten path. The Klangforum Wien just performed a concert titled "epicenter" (referring to the groundbreaking musical activities in Vienna in the 1920s) which contained Schimmerling's "Sechs Miniaturen" (together with works by Schoenberg, Berg, Wladimir Vogel and Leopold Spinner)!

I recently bought the autograph manuscript of another composition by Hanns Schimmerling which remained unpublished so far. The manuscript is the "Sinfonietta parisienne, for orchestra and voice op.18". The work was composed during and afterwards Schimmerling's visit in Paris in 1925. The composition consists of five movements which all imitate and describe specific places in Paris and so create a symphonic poem about the city. Most interesting is that Schimmerling pictures both human and technical aspects of Paris. The parts describe the traffic at the opera junction, the contemplation at Notre Dame, the jazzy, lively goings-on at Montmartre, the joy and relaxation in the Louvre and the sound of the propellers when leaving Paris via airplane.

I now have typeset the full score and created a computer realisation of the beginning of the first movement "Le Carrefour de l'Opera" (the opera junction). Both can be found on my website for free. Hanns Schimmerling wrote a detailed preface where he explains his composition and each movement (in German). In addition to the sound file I translated the text for the first movement, it says:

"The noise and uproar an the opera junction creates a chaos of wild voices. To identify a straight-line theme for the 1. movement of my Parisian Sinfonietta is just the sign of a musical nursery and I only dared to compose a fugue (albeit with almost only sixteenth notes) because I wanted to find the most obvious musical form for the opera junction (Le Carrefour de l'Opera) for which I should not be ashamed to have ever studied at a conservatory. However I would like to beg automobile industrialist's and instrument maker's pardon, when I mistook horns in F for Ford and Fiat and trumpets in C for Citroen and Cadillac. But that is the only liberty I took in a strict four-part movement with car horn accompaniment. The traffic at the Boulevard de Capucines is the subject and the vertical Rue de l'Opera is the secondary theme. Fortunately the traffic controlling constable in the junction. What an embarassing incident, the collision of the subject with the secondary theme, a harmonical mess which cannot even be justified according to the laws of a post-Schoenbergian harmonics."

You can find a more detailed biography, the full score and the sound file here:

Enjoy and spread the word!

7  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Emanuel Chvala: Symphonic poem "O posviceni" (1902) on: September 17, 2018, 12:12:48 pm
I see that there is a need to give some audible impression. So I created a computer realisation of the beginning as well. The sound file is included on my website and makes the first two sections "Morning twilight - the day awakes" and "church bell" hearable.

8  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Emanuel Chvala: Symphonic poem "O posviceni" (1902) on: September 14, 2018, 08:08:07 am
I recently bought the autograph manuscript of the symphonic poem "O posviceni" (The kermis) by Czech composer and music critic Emanuel Chvala (1851-1924). The work was composed in 1902 and imitates the ongoings on the day of a kermis in a small Czech village. The composition was premiered the same year by the Czech Philharmonic and was quite popular. It received several subsequent performances and also an arrangement for piano 4 hands was made by pianist Jindrich Kaan. But only this piano reduction was published, the orchestral score seemed to be lost. I now found the score and have typeset the composition. The full score can now be downloaded free of charge from my website:

Here a few more words on Emanuel Chvala:

Emanuel Chvala was born on 1 January 1851 in Prague (Czech Republic). He studied both engineering (with a specialization on railway technology) and music. His music teachers include Josef Jan Baptist Cainer and Celestin Müller (piano) and Josef Förster and Zdenek Fibich (composition). After his studies Emanuel Chvala decided to earn a living with working in the railway industry and became later the director-in-chief of the Czech state railways. On suggestion of Josef Sladka, a famous Czech poet and journalist, Emanuel Chvala started to write also music critics for several journals and newspapers in 1878. He won considerable success as a contributor to periodicals like "Lumir", "Dalibor", "Politik" or "Hudebni revue". Emanuel Chvala also published the book "Ein Vierteljahrhundert böhmischer Musik" (A Quarter Century of Bohemian Music) in 1887, which was one of the very first surveys of Bohemian music and due to the fact that it was written in German, helped to bring the Bohemian composers to the attention of foreign audiences. Emanuel Chvala was also a great advocate of the works by Smetana, Fibich and Dvorak (who was a friend of him) and published several articles and essays about them.
Emanuel Chvala was member of the Czech Academy of Science and Arts, practitioner of the Dalcrode Society, member of the Association for Enhancement of Bohemian Music, member of the "Umelecka beseda" and member of the Committee of the Ethnographic Exposition in 1895 which shows that he was one of the most distinguished and outstanding figures of Czech music and theatre criticism around 1900.
Emanuel Chvala died on 28 October 1924 in Prague.
9  Little-known music of all eras / Swaps and Gifts / autographs, scores, etc for sale on: July 30, 2018, 02:31:10 pm
Over the years several nice items (music autographs, scores, etc) piled up in my archive. They were by-catches when I bought larger collection and was only interested in a specific item. Now that pile is so big that I would like to find better homes for these items. I created a "for sale" subpage on my website. Have a look if there is anything of interest for you:

10  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Rolf Hempel (1932-2016): Dialog, for flute and organ (1966) on: July 30, 2018, 07:09:58 am
I searched for "for flute and organ" in worldcat, focussed on musical scores and got more than 200 hits. There are surely a few doubles of course, but on the other hand my search misses all entries written in other languages and other writings (flute & organ; without the "for"; etc). Therefore I thought "hundreds" would be a serious answer. But I didn't investigate that deeper than the one minute it took me on worldcat, so maybe you are right.
11  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Rolf Hempel (1932-2016): Dialog, for flute and organ (1966) on: July 29, 2018, 05:06:38 pm
hundreds! does the instrumentation sound so weird to you?
12  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Rolf Hempel (1932-2016): Dialog, for flute and organ (1966) on: July 27, 2018, 05:45:38 pm
Rolf Hempel (1932-2016) composed the work "Dialog, for flute and organ" in 1966. The same year the composition was awarded the composition prize of the city of Stuttgart (Germany). But the score was never published and the work fell into oblivion over the years. I now have typeset the score of this award-winning composition and it can be downloaded free of charge from my website:

Here a short biography I wrote about Rolf Hempel:

Rolf Hempel was born on 23 June 1932 in Reichenbach im Vogtland (Germany). Already as a pupil at the Gymnasium he attended university courses for piano, trumpet and composition at the Robert-Schumann-Konservatorium in Zwickau. Rolf Hempel then moved to West-Berlin and studied composition and music theory under Boris Blacher, Heinz-Friedrich Hartig, Josef Rufer and Ernst Pepping at the Berliner Hochschule für Musik from 1952 to 1957.
After his studies Rolf Hempel first became lecturer at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik in Tübingen, then music director at the Württembergische Landesbühne. In 1971 he was appointed lecturer at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, in 1980 he became professor and from 1990 to 1997 practitioner of this insitution. Beside this work Rolf Hempel co-founded a music school and was its director from 1971 to 1976 and also co-founded the Esslinger Studiokonzerte für Neue Musik in 1985. He was the choir master for several ensembles in Esslingen and Stuttgart and was involved in the work of the Deutschen Tonkünstlerverband. In 2005 he became the honorary practitioner of the German Composers Society.
Rolf Hempel died on 18 October 2016 in Esslingen (Germany).

Beside his work as a teacher Rolf Hempel also composed music for all instrumentations: works for orchestra, concertos like the Violin concerto "Duell", chamber music, choral music and songs. Rolf Hempel received several awards for his compositions, among them are the Johann-Wenzel-Stamitz-Preis in 1987, the first prize of the Mozartverein Darmstadt in 1985 or the Esslinger Kulturpreis in 2008.
13  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Michel Philippot: Romance d'Hallewyn, for voice and ensemble (1950) on: July 26, 2018, 11:22:45 am
I would like to announce the publication of a composition by the important French composer Michel Philippot (1925-1996). I recently found the autograph manuscript of the composition "Romance d'Hallewyn", a work composed in 1950, so one of the very first compositions by Michel Philippot at the time when he was student of Rene Leibowitz. The piece is scored for voice, brass, percussion, celesta and violas and not part of the official catalogue of the composer. But I nevertheless got permission from the Philippot family to typeset and publish the work. So if you are interested in having a look into the score, download your free copy here:

Here a small biography about Michel Philippot as published on my website:

Michel Paul Philippot was born on 2 February 1925 in Verzy (France). His first studies of mathematics were interrupted by World War II, after which he decided instead to study music, first at the Conservatory of Reims, and then at the Paris Conservatoire (1945–48), where he studied harmony with Georges Dandelot. He also took private composition lessons from 1946 to 1950 with René Leibowitz, who introduced him to the music of the Second Viennese School. In 1949 he began a career at ORTF in a position as a music producer. In 1959 he became assistant to Pierre Schaeffer in the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, and later worked under Henri Barraud at France-Culture. From 1964 to 1972 he was in charge of music programs, then became a technical adviser to the Director General of Radio France and to the practitioner of the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel. From 1969 to 1976 he also taught musicology and aesthetics at the Universities of Paris I and IV, and from 1970 was Professor of Composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. In 1976 he moved to Brazil in order to create the department of music at the University of the State of São Paulo, as well as to take up a position as Professor at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Condé 2001). Upon returning to France in 1983, he resumed his occupation as technical advisor to INA (until 1989) and his professorship at the Paris Conservatory (until 1990) where he had as pupils notably Denis Cohen, Philippe Manoury and Nicolas Bacri.
Seeking to solve a musical problem with the help of existent or invented mathematical models, he developed a contrapuntal style as well as a procedure of thematic variation based on continuous transformation. Rejecting literary titles and cultivating purely instrumental genres, he composed symphonic pieces (Composition pour double orchestre, 1960; Carrés magiques, 1983), concertante works (Concerto for violin, viola and orchestra, 1984), works for chamber orchestra (Pièce pour 10 instruments, 1961; Passacaille for 12 instruments, 1973; Contrapunctus X for 10 instruments, 1994), string quartet or solo instruments (Sonata for piano, 1947) and some musique concrète (Etude de musique concrète n° 1, 1951).
His honors include the Grand Prix national de la musique (1987), and the presidency of the Académie Charles Cros.
Michel Philippot died on 28 July 1996 in Vincennes (France).
14  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Aladar Rado (1882-1914) on: July 11, 2018, 01:17:43 pm
Aladar Rado was one of the promising composers at the turn of the century in Hungary. Born in 1882 and a student of Hans Koessler from 1904 to 1908 at the Hungarian Academy of Music he shared an identical musical biography like Bela Bartok (born 1881, Koessler student from 1899 to 1903) or Zoltan Kodaly (born 1882, Koessler student from 1900 to 1904). He received several fellowships which finally led him to Berlin where he had a first success with his opera "The black cavalier". But the career of the composer Aladar Rado was cut short by the World War I. He died on the battlefields near Belgrade on 9 September 1914, one of the early days of the war.
Aladar Rado was a prolific composer but only little of his compositions was published. I recently bought the manuscript of the "Frühlingslied (Spring song), for violin and piano" by Aladar Rado. The work was composed in 1906 and is dedicated to a person called "Bela". The score of this previously unpublished and most likely unperformed composition can be download free of charge from my website:

Below my more detailed biography about Aladar Rado:

Aladár Radó was born on 26 December 1882 in Budapest (Hungary). He began to play the piano at the age of 4 and since 1904 studied composition under Hans Koessler at the Royal National Hungarian Academy of Music. In 1908 Hans Koessler retired and Aladár Radó continued his studies under Leo Weiner. His first composition - a Suite, a string quartet, the symphony "Petőfi" and the symphonic poem "The little tavern at the end of the village" - received immediate performances and Aladár Radó was one of the most promising young Hungarian composers of his time together with other Koessler students like Bela Bartok or Zoltan Kodaly. He received the Hungarian State fellowship, a Bayreuth fellowship, the Franz-Liszt-fellowship of Budapest, and the Franz-Joseph-fellowship which allowed Aladár Radó to move to Berlin. There he continued to compose and created the opera "The black cavalier" (on words of Heinrich Lilienfein) which was performed several times in Germany and Austria and brought him great success. Aladár Radó also composed for the theatres of Max Reinhardt and was the designated principal conductor of the Reinhard Theatres with a contract starting on 1 September 1914. But in July 1914 the World War I broke out and Aladár Radó immediately enlisted for military service and was sent as a reserve officier to the front line in Serbia. He was killed on 9 September 1914 in Boljevci near Belgrade. The stepdaughter of philosopher Constantin Brunner knew Aladár Radó closely and wrote in her published diary about the last moments of the composer: "Paul Neubauer retold us the report of an eyewitness, that Aladar Rado stormed the enemy lines of machine guns in such a naive, outmoded valour with his pulled out saber and the words "Hurrah Eljen!" like the old Hungarian heros, and his company followed enthusiastically. A head shot struck him down immediately."
Aladár Radó was a prolific composer and left dozens of unpublished compositions in his estate. The four years of World War I and his death let his music fell into oblivion. It is known that Bela Bartok asked his own publisher, the Universal Edition, in 1922 to have a look into the compositions of Aladár Radó and contemplate a publication. Bartok wrote: "I don't want to exert influence on your final decision of course, all the less I don't know these compositions. But what I know of Aladar Rado is just, that he had a massive knowledge and was a favourite student of professor Koessler."
15  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Alla Penkina (*1960): Violin concerto (1995) on: July 06, 2018, 10:39:06 am
I am delighted to announce another publication of a neglected violin concerto from the 20th century: Russian composer Alla Penkina (*1960) composed her "Concerto for violin and chamber orchestra op.17" in 1995. I remained in manuscript, but now the typeset full score can be downloaded free of charge from my website:

Here is a biography of her:

Alla Penkina (Алла Валентиновна Пенкина) was born on 18 January 1960 in Pavlovo (Nizhny Novgorod Oblast in Russia). She began to play piano at the age of six, first privately under Maria Filipova, later at the music school under A. Khalkovskaya. In 1980 she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in musicology. From 1984 to 1989 Alla Penkina studied composition at the Turkmen National Conservatory in Ashgabat and completed the post-graduate course in composition in 1995 under professor Recep Allayarov, an disciple of Alfred Schnittke. She also attended masterclasses by the composers Boris Tishchenko and Theo Loevendie. In 2001 Alla Penkina received a fellowship for composers from the Russian Composers Union.
From 1989 to 1995 Alla Penkina lectured both at the music school as well as the Turkmen National Conservatory in Ashgabat, and she worked as a music editor for the Turkmenian Broadcasting Company. In 1996 she moved back to Nizhny Novgorod and lectured piano and composition at music schools. She was a jury member in the local composition competition "Young Composer" in Nizhny Novgorod. Alla Penkina also taught music theory, piano and composition at the Californian Music Center in Shenzhen (China). Since 2008 she lives permantly in Elche (Spain).
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