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Volkmar Andreae (1879-1962)


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Author Topic: Volkmar Andreae (1879-1962)  (Read 59 times)
kyjo
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« on: October 23, 2017, 06:43:30 pm »

This definitely seems like a candidate for the "least amount of replies" thread, but here goes Grin

Andreae (1879-1962) was a Swiss composer who is (relatively) better known today as a conductor who led the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich from 1906-1949 and made some noted Bruckner recordings. His music had not come to light until the Swiss label Guild recently started recording it. These recordings have been released with little fanfare, but those who have heard them have nothing but words of praise. Stylistically, Andreae was hardly an advanced composer, and that probably accounts for his neglect over the years. His earlier works are rather Brahmsian (with a hint of Grieg) but still with a stamp of individuality, and gradually his music began to absorb French influences (Faure and impressionism) and the contemporary fin-de-siècle styles of Schreker, Zemlinsky, et al. Like that of Frank Martin, his music epitomizes the mixture of Germanic and French influences in Switzerland.

So far, I have heard both his piano trios, both his symphonies, his Piano Concerto, and his Konzertstuck for piano and orchestra, and they are all pieces of great melodic inspiration and emotion. His First Piano Trio, op. 1, is a highly impressive premiere opus that has Brahmsian influences but with a distinct freshness and textural openness that is quite individual. The melodies will get stuck in your head for days! The Second Piano Trio is a more elusive but powerful work where the influence of Faure is quite apparent. The early, unpublished Symphony in F is notable for its remarkably poignant slow movement. The later Symphony in C is a highly individual work that moves from a dark, chromatic beginning through a powerful funeral march (echoes of Schmidt's Fourth Symphony) to a blazingly triumphant finale. And the Konzertstuck is 15 minutes of late-romantic piano and orchestra bliss. I greatly look forward to exploring the rest of his output!

Most of his modest output has been recorded by Guild, with the exception of his two operas and some of his choral/orchestral music. Marc Andreae, the composer’s grandson, leads excellent recordings of the orchestral works, and equally fine soloists and chamber ensembles are featured as well.  All of these recordings can be accessed on YouTube and Spotify, and I’ll provide some links below:

Symphony in C:

Konzertstuck:

Piano Trio no. 1 – first movement:

Slow movement of Symphony in F:

In short, I cannot understand why Andreae’s music is not better known. It is memorable, highly melodic, and expertly scored. Anyone else familiar with it?
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dhibbard
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 08:58:20 pm »

Yes.. in fact in July I ordered all the CDs available from Guild Records from Amazon.    I'm still making my way thru them.
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shamus
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 09:10:49 pm »

All I have heard is quite beautiful, glad his grandson was able to get his grandfather the exposure he deserved.
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