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Karl Höller symphonic music


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Author Topic: Karl Höller symphonic music  (Read 177 times)
M. Yaskovsky
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« on: July 12, 2017, 06:25:28 am »

Listeners, interested in composers like Hessenberg, Reger, Furtwängler, Kempff, Strauss, shouldn’t overlook this release of Karl Höller’s two, very different, symphonies:
https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Karl-H%F6ller-1907-1987-Orchesterwerke-Vol-1/hnum/5340806
It’s out now for some time and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Probably you all are aware of this release too: https://www.amazon.co.uk/H%C3%B6ller-Symphonic-Fantasy-Sweelinck-Variations/dp/B00083D4JI which I can recommend to everyone who likes the various variation works Max Reger composed.
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mjkFendrich
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 12:08:15 pm »

I hadn't taken notice of this release before - just ordered it from Amazon upon your recommendation.
Thank you, I hope I'll enjoy it as well.
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Elroel
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 02:26:12 pm »

I had these two symphonies from radio recordings. And I also missed this release and I ordered it from JPC.
Hearing the 2nd for the first time, it made an impression on me. Karl Höller should be a more familiar name IMHO.

Thanks for lead
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2017, 11:51:01 pm »

Karl Holler belonged to that generation of German composers who had not so very long before embarked upon their compositional careers or were just about to do so when the Nazis came to power in 1933.

Taking (an admittedly somewhat arbirtrary) starting point in 1888 then over the following quarter of a century the prominent German composers born during that period would include:

1888: Emil Bohnke (died 1928); Max Butting

1890: Manfred Gurlitt (emigrated to Japan April 1939); Wilhelm Petersen

1894: Paul Dessau (emigrated to France 1933; returned to East Germany in 1948)

1895: Paul Hindemith (emigrated to Switzerland 1938); Carl Orff

1896: Eduard Erdmann; Ottmar Gerster (settled in East Germany post-1945)

1898: Hanns Eisler (emigrated 1933; settled in East Germany post 1948)

1900: Kurt Weill (emigrated 1933)

1901: Werner Egk; Ernst Pepping

1903: Boris Blacher; Berthold Goldschmidt (emigrated 1935); Gunter Raphael

1904: Reinhard Schwarz-Schilling

1905: Karl Amadeus Hartmann

1906: Gerhard Frommel

1907: Wolfgang Fortner; Karl Holler

1908: Kurt Hessenberg

1909: Erwin Dressel

1913: Johann Cilensek (settled in East Germany post-1945)

(this is, of course, a selective and limited list only)

Those who remained in Germany after 1933 each had their own attitudes towards and relationships or non-relationships with the 1933-45 regime. A few were able to resurrect their careers and establish a reputation which has endured and which, to varying degrees, extended outside Germany: Orff, Blacher and Hartmann are obvious examples. Fortner, who turned post 1945 to a form of serialism, was a respected teacher of a number of the young "avant-garde" generation, including Hans Werner Henze. Some made a career or reinvented themselves in the German Democratic Republic. (I have often wondered whether Cilensek does not deserve some attention.)

But a number have sunk into obscurity, deserved or otherwise, despite continuing to hold posts of some eminence in German universities or music academies. Karl Holler and Kurt Hessenberg (and the Austrian-born Johann Nepomuk David)-each of whom held academic posts- continued to compose in a "traditional" German symphonic idiiom which went largely out of fashion post-1945 and has never really come back to general attention. I have had the two Holler symphonies on cd for several years, having bought it when it first came out. I listened to the Symphony No.1 again after seeing this thread. It is a well-constructed and eminently worthy piece but, ultimately, I find it unmemorable. Holler's Piano Concerto "Bamberger" is an attractive work, written like the Symphony No.2 in the last years of his life. He wrote two Violin Concertos and a Cello Concerto but I have never heard any of these.

I wonder if CPO might be interested in some of these composers? The company has embarked on a Johann Nepomuk David symphonic cycle, although only the first volume has been issued to date. They also gave us the three Ernst Pepping symphonies, two of Erdmann's four symphonies (the other two were available from Koch Schwann) and four of the five numbered symphonies of Gunter Raphael. Holler and Hessenberg?
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M. Yaskovsky
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 08:22:01 am »

Cilensek got some attention way back in GDR-times. A record shop in East Berlin - in the mid 1980s - had a good collection of East German LP pressings of which this compilation made it to CD: https://www.hbdirect.com/album/1231587-johann-cilensek-orchesterwerke-1959-1974.html
Also there's this NOVA collection with his symphony No.4 on it https://www.discogs.com/Various-NOVA-Sinfonik-in-der-DDR-East-German-Symphonies/release/9654162
I can recommend the NOVA-set; it has very informative notes and the recordings are excellent stereo.
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Christo
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 09:50:46 am »

One could add Paul Frankenburger aka Ben-Haim (1897-1984) and Joseph Gruenthal aka Yosef Tal (1910-2008) who both left for Palestine with the ascendancy of the nazis in 1933.
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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
Dundonnell
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 01:58:10 pm »

Cilensek got some attention way back in GDR-times. A record shop in East Berlin - in the mid 1980s - had a good collection of East German LP pressings of which this compilation made it to CD: https://www.hbdirect.com/album/1231587-johann-cilensek-orchesterwerke-1959-1974.html
Also there's this NOVA collection with his symphony No.4 on it https://www.discogs.com/Various-NOVA-Sinfonik-in-der-DDR-East-German-Symphonies/release/9654162
I can recommend the NOVA-set; it has very informative notes and the recordings are excellent stereo.


 I am fortunate enough to have off-air recordings of seven of Max Butting's ten symphonies and all five of the Cilensek.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 02:15:43 pm »

One could add Paul Frankenburger aka Ben-Haim (1897-1984) and Joseph Gruenthal aka Yosef Tal (1910-2008) who both left for Palestine with the ascendancy of the nazis in 1933.


Indeed. I did emphasise that my list was only selective and I will doubtless have missed many more.

What I did do however was to look at the generations born before 1888 and (excluding those like Max Reger who died long before the Nazis came to power) there are composers like:

Felix Woyrsch (1860-1944)
Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Georg Schumann (1866-1952)
Hermann Bischoff (1868-1936)
Max von Schillings (1868-1933)
Hans Pfitzner (1869-1949)
Paul Buttner (1870-1943)
Hermann Wetzler (1870-1943) (emigrated)
Paul Graener (1872-1944)
Richard Wetz (1875-1935)
Ernst Boehe (1880-1938)
Hermann Zilcher (1881-1948)
Walter Braunfels (1882-1954)
Wilhelm Furtwangler (1886-1954)
Heinrich Kaminski (1886-1946)
Hienz Tiessen (1887-1971)
Max Trapp (1887-1971)

Most of these composers were dead by the end of the war or fairly shortly afterwards. Only Tiessen and Trapp survived beyond 1954. But Tiessen, whose music was suppressed by the National Socialist regime, virtually ceased composition after 1945, while Trapp, whose music enjoyed official approval before 1945, found that he was largely shunned thereafter.

A composer does not, of course, need to be alive for his music to be "popular" or indeed to be revived. The music of Braunfels is currently enjoying a well-deserved renaissance. But in the unique circumstances of post-war Germany the reaction against many of those composers whose music was now regarded as "out of date" was particularly damaging.

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