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Discarded, withdrawn, suppressed early Symphonies.


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Author Topic: Discarded, withdrawn, suppressed early Symphonies.  (Read 578 times)
Dundonnell
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« on: April 15, 2017, 10:58:57 am »

In the thread concerning Dag Wiren's Symphony No.1 it was suggested that there might be scope for a thread on such early symphonies by composers who regarded their own efforts with such dissatisfaction that they withdrew the work from the public domain and discouraged any performances.

This reluctance to allow us to hear their early music seems to have afflicted American composers in particular.

Wallingford Riegger(1885-1961) did not write his first symphony until 1944 when he was almost sixty. He followed up this Symphony No.1, op. 37 with a Symphony No.2, op. 41 the following year yet both were quickly withdrawn and it is the Symphony No.3, op.42 which was composed between 1946 and 1947 and revised in 1960 which appears to have satisfied him.

William Schuman (1910-92) was a considerable symphonist but like the next two composers-Persichetti and Mennin-Schuman had difficulties with his early symphonies.In 1936 he submitted his Symphony No.1 for the Bearns Prize of Columbia University but it was rejected and subjected to savage criticism by the composer Daniel Gregory Mason, the Music Department Chairman. Schuman was attending the Julliard Summer Schools and showed his symphony to Roy Harris who was teaching there. Harris was more encouraging and indeed gave Schuman lessons over the next two years. The Symphony was performed in New York by the Gotham Symphony Orchestra under Jules Werner in October 1936. The audience reaction however was unfavourable and Schuman decided to withdraw the symphony. Undeterred however Schuman produced a second symphony in 1937 and entered it in a competition for which the panel of judges was chaired by Aaron Copland with both Wallingford Riegger and Roger Sessions also on the panel. The Symphony No.2 won the competition and was performed in Greenwich Village and then in a radio broacast by the CBS Symphony Orchestra under Howard Barlow. The audience reaction to the broacast was extremely negative. Although Copland persuaded Koussevitsky to perform the work in February 1939 with his Boston Symphony Orchestra the reaction of audience and critics was again very hostile.Although Bernstein liked the work Schuman decided to withdraw it. Barlow's radio account of the Symphony No.2 can be heard, although obviously the sound quality is not ideal.

Vincent Persichetti(1915-87) composed his first two symphonies during the first six months of 1942, when he was 27 years of age. The Symphony No.1, op.18 was heavily influenced by Roy Harris's Third. The Eastman-Rochester Symposium Orchestra under Howard Hanson gave the work a run-through in October 1947 but it has never been performed since. The composer's widow thought that it might have been revised by Persichetti but whether this was ever done is unknown and the score is "unavailable"..
The same suituation applies to the Symphony No.2, op.19. This work has never been performed although Persichetti apparently played it through for Roy Harris on the piano. Harris did not like its modest scale and light scoring. Persichetti intended to rescore it for chamber orchestra but it is not known if this was ever done.

Peter Mennin (1923-83) wrote his Symphony No.1 at the age of 19 during the years he was studying at Oberlin. It is nearly an hour long and a very substantial piece, but it has never been performed and Mennin refused to authorise a performance at any stage of his life. In 1944-45 Mennin composed a Symphony No.2 while he was studying at Eastman. Howard Hanson put on a performance and the work was performed for a second time in March 1945 by members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein.
The first movement, Symphonic Allegro, won the first Gershwin Memorial Prize. After the Bernstein performance the symphony was awarded the Bearns Prize by Columbia University. And then, despite this success, Mennin withdrew the work and banned further performances. Shortly before his tragically early death Mennin relented and withdrew his ban but the work has not surfaced on cd or in a complete public performance and Mennin's music is now sinking into a wholly undeserved obscurity.

Benjamin Lees(1924-2010) wrote his Symphony No.1 in 1953 when he was aged 29. Lees had returned from service in the US Army during the Second World War to study at the University of Southern California. The symphony may well have been his first large scale composition. He had won a Fromm Foundation Award and the NBC Symphony Orchestra performed his 1954 work "Profiles for orchestra". Yet Lees withdrew both compositions. In 1954 he won a Guggenheim Fellowship which enabled him to live and study in Europe. He seems to have regarded anything he wrote prior to that as not worth attention.

Alexander Tansman(1897-1986) was mentioned. Tansman's Symphony No.1 dates from 1916 while the young composer was still living in what would shortly become an independent Poland and before he left to move to Paris and was withdrawn by the composer.Tansman's Norwegian contemporary Harald Saeverud (1897-1992) began work on his first symphony in G minor while he was studying in Bergen. The first part of the work was performed to acclaim in Oslo in early 1920. Saeverud took the score to Berlin and worked on it there but decided that the second part of the symphony should be performed as a symphonic fantasy. He managed to get the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra to premiere this piece in April 1921. We now have a Symphonic Fantasy, op.2a and an "Overtura appassionata", op.2b. This second piece is what remains of the second half of the symphony and by 1939 Saeverud had accepted that these pieces could no longer be described as part of a symphony but should stand on their own. BIS has recorded the Overtura appassionata.

(I have no real evidence that Erland von Koch's Symphony No.1, op.18, composed in 1938 when the composer was 28, was withdrawn by him but the fact that the work is not mentioned alongside his other symphonies makes me suspicious).

Henk Badings (1907-87) reworked his Symphony No.1 in C major of 1930 into his Symphony No.10 of 1961.

Stanley Bate(1911-59) wrote his Symphony No.1 in E flat around 1934 while studying at the Royal College of Music in London. The symphony was performed in the college in 1936 but Bate appears to have not only withdrawn the work but to have destroyed it. His Symphony No.2, op. 20 of 1937-39 was also later withdrawn but the score is apparently extant and in the college library.

The Scottish composer Thomas Wilson (1927-2001) certainly withdrew his Symphony No.1 written in 1955. Alun Hoddinott may have done the same thing with his Symphony No.1, op.7 of 1954-55. The work was premiered at the National Eisteddfod in 1955 but Hoddinott possibly intended to revise the work.

....ok, there's a start Grin There are probably many, many other examples and case studies which people can bring up.
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shamus
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2017, 03:02:58 pm »

Grieg didn't let his first symphony be played, was revived on LP when I first heard it.
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relm1
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2017, 03:04:58 pm »

It would be nice to hear Mahler's symphonies that predate Symphony No. 1 "Titan".  
Student Symphony (1877)
Symphony in A minor (1882–1883)

I would like to hear Prokofiev's Symphonies that predate his Classical Symphony No. 1.
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Christo
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2017, 05:36:24 pm »

Grieg didn't let his first symphony be played, was revived on LP when I first heard it.
To be honest, I find it disappointing and don't understand all the clamour made about it. A rather juvenile piece IMHO.
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… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.  RVW, 1948
shamus
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2017, 06:26:36 pm »

I agree about the Grieg, didn't listen to it much. Szymanowski didn't like his own first symphony, and it is not a satisfying listen to me, either, he said  “It will turn out to be some sort of contrapuntal-harmonic-orchestral monster,” in a letter to a friend. Then after that, in my opinion he never went wrong!!
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Balapoel
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2017, 07:25:36 pm »

Somewhat related - a post I made in the forum that shall not be named.

Here I think we have an opportunity to uncover some gems. Many composers wrote symphonies before their 'No. 1'. Based on the few I've heard, they may be very insightful for changes in composer styles (e.g., Dohnanyi, early Strauss symphonies in d minor and f minor) as well as compelling works in their own right.

Sterndale Bennett
Symphony in Bb, Woo 20 (1832, 16 yrs old)
Symphony in d minor, WoO 23 (1833, 17 yrs)
Symphony in A, WoO 28 (1834, 18 yrs)
Symphony in b minor (abandoned?) (1838, 22 yrs)

Berwald
Symphony in A (1820, 24 yrs) available

Dohnanyi
Symphony in F (1896, 19 yrs) avail

Draeseke
Symphony in C (lost) (1856)

Eberl
Symphony in D, WoO 5 (1783, 18 yrs)
Symphony in G, WoO 6 (1784, 19 yrs)

Elgar
Symphony (1878, 21 yrs)

Enescu
Study Symphonies 1-4 (d, F, F, Eb) (1895-8, 14-17 yrs), only 1 and 4 are available

I'll put a plug here for Faure's 2 efforts (even though they're not 'youth')
Symphony No. 1 in F (1865–74) (Allegro, Andante, Gavotte, Finale), 1st movt pubd as Allegro symphonique, op.68, arr. pf 4 hands, L. Boëllmann (1895), movts 1–3 in MS, arr. str, org
Symphony No. 2 in d minor (1884) (Allegro deciso, Andante, Final), MS destroyed except for 1st vn part, themes of movts 1–2 revised in sonatas opp.108–9

Fibich
Symphony in Eb (score lost, quartet score survives) (1865, 15 yrs)
Symphony in g minor (lost except for incipits, piano 4-hand arr. Of scherzo, revised version of finale) (1866, 16 yrs)

Franck, Cesar
Symphony in G (1836-1841, lost, 19 yrs)

Franck, Eduard
Symphonies in a, g, Bb (29-41 years -not youthful, but his earliest published symphonies were 25 years later)

Fuchs (again, 10+ years earlier than his first published symphonies)
Symphony in b minor (1868, 21 yrs)
Symphony in g minor (1872, 25 yrs)

Furtwangler
Symphony in D major (1st movement: Allegro) (1902, 16 yrs)
Symphony in b minor (Largo movement) (1908; revised in 1941 as first movement of Symphony No. 1, 22 years old) Symphony 1 was published 33 years later

Goldmark
Symphony in C major (1858-60), manuscript (only Scherzo in e survives; see op. 19)

Gouvy
There is a Symphony in b minor (between Nos. 2 and 3) that for some reason was never published (1849, 30 yrs)

Hamerik
Symphony in c minor, Op.3 (lost), 1860, 17 yrs

Hartmann, Emil (3 symphonies not numbered, before No. 1)
Symphony in d minor, Op. 6 (1866, 30 yrs)
Symphony in e minor, Op. 9 (1867, 31 yrs)
Symphony in Bb (1871, 35 yrs)

Herzogenberg (lots here All these before the two numbered symphonies)
Symphony in d minor, WoO 1 (1866, 23)
Symphony in e minor, WoO 2 (1871?, 28)
Symphony in F, WoO 25 (1871, 21)
Symphony in d minor 'Odysseus', Op. 16 (1873)
Symphony, WoO 28 (1875, 32)
Symphony in c minor WoO 29 (1878 35)

Hiller
2 Symphonies  (1829, 1834, about 20 years+ before No. 1)

Klughardt
Symphony in C, 1865, lost? (18 yrs)
Waldleben, symphony, 1871, lost? (24 yrs)

Mahler
Symphony No. A 'Conservatory' (1876, 16 yrs)
Symphony No. B 'Nordic (1879-1882, 22 yrs)
Symphony No. C. in a minor (1882-1883, 23 yrs)
Symphonies No. D-G (1886-1888, 28 yrs)

Raff
Symphony in e minor (Allegro appassionato, Andante, March, Scherzo, Fugue) - nos 3 and 4 reused as 5 and 4 in Orchestral Suite No. 1, Op. 101 (1854, 32 yrs)

Reinecke
Symphony in G (apparently withdrawn), before 1850, 26 yrs

Rheinberger
Symphony in D, JWV 41 (1855, 16 yrs)
Symphony in c minor, JWV 76 (1857, 18 yrs)
Symphony in C (or c minor), JWV 81 (1857, 18 yrs)

Rimsky-Korsakov
Symphony in b minor (sketches, including scherzo in Eb in 5/4 time) (1869, 25 yrs)

Romberg, Andreas
Symphony in F (1785, 18 yrs)
Symphony in G (1788, 21 yrs (lost)
Symphony in Eb (1788, 21 yrs (lost)
Symphony in F (1788, 21 yrs)
Symphony in D (finale incomplete), 1792, 25 yrs

Saint-Saens
Symphony in Bb, R154 (1848, 13 yrs) (incomplete)
Symphony in A (1850, 15 yrs) (available)
Symphony in D, R15 (1850, 15 yrs)
Symphony in A, R. 159 (1850) (includes Scherzo, R. 156, and fragment of first movement, R. 158)
Symphony in c minor (1854) fragment, later reused in Piano Concerto No. 4)

Schumann, Robert
Symphony in c minor, Anh. A1 (1830, 20 yrs) (fragment; based on Piano Quartet, Anh. E1, 1828-9) (Allegro 13T, 2 mov 36T, 4 mov 68T)
Symphony in Eb, Anh. A2 'Hamlet' (1830-2) (sketches, incorporated into Symphony in g)
Symphony in g minor (Zwickau), Anh. A3 (unfinished, 2 movements complete, with sketches for 3rd and 4th; originally Op. 7) (available)
Symphony in c minor, Anh. A5/6 [Sinfonia solemnis' (sketches for 2 movements) (1 Andante - Allegro agitato 151T; 2 Allegro con brio 152 T; 3 Scherzo 161T; 4 Adagio 39T; 5 Rondo 239T)

Wetz
Symphony in d minor (originally Op. 8, but only Scherzo is given that number now) (1900, 25 yrs)

Zemlinsky
Symphony in e minor (1891, two surviving movements only) (1891, 20 yrs)


edit: added Huber
Symphony in Eb (incomplete, 1870-1877, 25 yrs)
Symphony in A (originally 2nd Symphony, but withdrawn)   1889, 37 yrs
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BrianA
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2017, 04:47:55 am »

It would be nice to hear Mahler's symphonies that predate Symphony No. 1 "Titan".  
Student Symphony (1877)
Symphony in A minor (1882–1883)

Do these early symphonies by Mahler actually exist in manuscript or whatever, or are they only known by passing reference by the composer or others?

Brian
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2017, 07:47:17 am »

Tansman 1 is also a huge missing tooth..
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2017, 08:01:46 am »

Lars-Erik Larsson withdrew his 3 symphonies, which was a great loss to the musical world. Later, he reluctantly approved their release.
These are lovely lyrical symphonies that should be heard much more often. Nothing profound..but nothing to ignore..
If I had to play the "sounds like" game, I'd have to describe them as taking up were Saint Saens left off..
the first of the 3 is here:

http://artmusic.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,5895.0.html
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2017, 08:13:24 am »

The first symphony by Alan Petterson was destroyed accordiing to this
Read more: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2007/Feb07/Petterson_7772472.htm#ixzz4eOV5Li5m
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relm1
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2017, 03:31:54 pm »

It would be nice to hear Mahler's symphonies that predate Symphony No. 1 "Titan".  
Student Symphony (1877)
Symphony in A minor (1882–1883)

Do these early symphonies by Mahler actually exist in manuscript or whatever, or are they only known by passing reference by the composer or others?

Brian

I read somewhere that they were destroyed in WWII bombings but I might be thinking of someone else's early works.  I recalled there are four youth symphonies which Balapoel identified.  They were rehearsed in his student days but rejected for performance. 
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Gauk
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2017, 07:21:02 pm »

Two cases that interest me - and again, American:

1) It is said that Philip Glass composed a number of early symphonies, something in the idiom of Roy Harris. I don't know if they still exist, but it would be fascinating to hear them if they do.

2) Alan Hovhaness is said to have destroyed a large amount of early work, including a number of symphonies.
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kyjo
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2017, 04:39:02 am »

I'd very much like to hear Ginastera's two withdrawn symphonies from 1942 and 1944 - I only know of them from Colin's Ginastera catalogue. Any chance of them being resurrected, I wonder?
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2017, 03:11:04 pm »

Re-reading this thread (thanks, Kyjo) has reminded me that I never thanked Balapoel for his extensive and comprehensive list. My apologies and belated thanks!

Pettersson's incomplete score of his Symphony No.1 was realised into a performance edition by Christian Lindberg, recorded by BIS and issued together with a dvd containing an hour-long film about the preparation of the score.
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ahinton
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2017, 03:44:20 pm »

One of England's finest living symphonists with 9 symphonies to his name wrote about 2½ symphonies before his official "Symphony No. 1", although I do not know if any of them still exist; I refer here to David Matthews.
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