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Whatever happened to Fritz Brun?


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Author Topic: Whatever happened to Fritz Brun?  (Read 251 times)
Gauk
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« on: January 13, 2019, 04:53:33 pm »

I was in hospital in July 2015 and started listening to the symphonies of Fritz Brun in the cycle by the Moscow SO cond. Adriano, on the Guild label, which I could access on Spotify via my can't-tell-you. I always meant to go back and listen again, but I find that not only are the CDs no longer in the Guild catalogue, they have all been pulled from Spotify. That surprised me - I always assumed that Spotify only ever added things, not removed them. At least some of them have been ripped onto YT, so the performances are not completely lost. These are significant works in the post-Bruckner manner.

It looks like the third (on Sterling) is the only one of the cycle currently available.
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Holger
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 05:03:56 pm »

These recordings will be re-released as a CD box by Brilliant Classics in April as Adriano pointed out in a discussion on the Unsung Composers forum. So no need to worry – in a few months these powerful works should be available again.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 06:29:34 pm »

I bought all the Brun symphonies on Guild whilst they were available from that company Smiley

I agree that they are powerful works although their somewhat sprawling nature makes them a little difficult to come to terms with I found.

Well, well.....so Unsung Composers is still going is it Roll Eyes
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Holger
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 06:47:33 pm »

I bought all the Brun symphonies on Guild whilst they were available from that company Smiley

So did I! Actually I bought most of the discs as soon as they appeared on the market.

I agree that they are powerful works although their somewhat sprawling nature makes them a little difficult to come to terms with I found.

Well, well.....so Unsung Composers is still going is it Roll Eyes

Brun's symphonies are perhaps not really an easy listen, they do have their edges and Brun's language is somewhat "knotty" in general, but I have always immensely enjoyed them, possibly (up to some degree) right because of the peculiarities I just mentioned. Maybe the Seventh is a good start with its journey from the initial "Nachklang" movement on to the stormy and massive finale which is full of conflict, though leading to an optimist and vigorous conclusion. I also like the last two symphonies a lot. Adriano, as far as I remember, called the last one a kind of "Spring Symphony". I think I agree but would maybe tend to add it's early spring which I hear in the music, when nights are still cold and everything is still a bit restrained.
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Gauk
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 07:41:49 pm »

That's good news!
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calyptorhynchus
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2019, 05:39:58 am »

I listened to Brun's Symphony No. on Youtube today It is the craziest symphony I have ever listened to (not in a good way), it sounds like it was written by a committee: no consistency or general style at all, and seemingly completely new material every section.
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2019, 08:18:10 am »

For me, his cycle of symphonies had no real staying power..and I did spend a lot of time listening to all of them, hoping they would float my boat. Perhaps my expectations were too high, so listen with lowered ones. The music was pleasurable but certainly not top shelf for me.
I will try again soon..
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adriano
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2019, 06:48:42 am »

Try also the Piano and Cello Concertos! They are more accessible :-)
Symphonies 1 and 2 are more Romantic and melodic. A great work is also No. 8; but Brun's most original and intense are Nos 5-7. I agree that they need to be listened over and over again to be understood and appreciated.
But one should never compare music by an unknown composer to those we already know; I find this an unfair attitude.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2019, 12:20:44 pm »

Adriano's point is well made although I think it not unreasonable to relate (rather than compare) an unknown composer's music to another in order to establish some sense of historical and idiomatic context for those who do not know the music but are intrugued to know roughly what it "sounds like".
And we are honoured by his new membership of this forum😁
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adriano
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2019, 02:30:38 pm »

Thanks, Dundonnell - my pleasure :-)
To "relate" is OK, but there are many reviewers of unknown or forgotten music having no further instrument in their heads than the "comparin" one, making them desperately looking for quotations or imitations of great composers. The Brun case is a similar one: since in earlier reviews and encyclopaedias it was written that his music has a Brahmsian (or even a Brucknerian) provenience, this stigmatized him. Even today, my CDs are reviewed that way: most authors generalized, writing about one or two CDs even before they knew what kind of music was to come! Already after the release of the second CD, David Hurwitz wrote than my Brun committment was a lost cause - and another US reviewer came to the conlcusion that this music was a proof that we Swiss must have not enough sex!
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2019, 02:43:00 pm »

Swiss music is, in my opinion, shockingly neglected. Quite apart from Fritz Brun (whose music you have done so much you save from disappearance) there are composers like Conrad Beck and Willy Burkhard- to name but two- whose music is largely ignored on cd but who certainly merit recognition.
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adriano
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2019, 03:08:49 pm »

There is more than that on CD: look what I have recorded on the Sterling label: Hermann Suter, Pierre Maurice, Jaques-Dalcroze (3 CDs). And on Marco Polo/Naxos, there is Fäsy and Honegger.
I have more projects in petto, but cannot find any sponsors... In total, as far as I remember, I conducted over CDs with Swiss music. Over here, this seems not to make a great impression...
Coming back to my opinion on some reviwers: I forgot to mention those who, because just they don't like a piece, they just find it bad. This is also unfair.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2019, 03:34:26 pm »

There is more than that on CD: look what I have recorded on the Sterling label: Hermann Suter, Pierre Maurice, Jaques-Dalcroze (3 CDs). And on Marco Polo/Naxos, there is Fäsy and Honegger.
I have more projects in petto, but cannot find any sponsors... In total, as far as I remember, I conducted over CDs with Swiss music. Over here, this seems not to make a great impression...
Coming back to my opinion on some reviwers: I forgot to mention those who, because just they don't like a piece, they just find it bad. This is also unfair.
Indeed you have.....and I have the Suter symphony in my collection (as well as all the Brun cds with their absolutely marvellous booklet notes- a model of the in-depth information the listener needs!).
The most sympathetic reviews can usually be found on Musicweb, written by people who actually like the music. I gave up on printed music magazines when reviews became so short as to be meaningless.
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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2019, 11:24:01 pm »

Swiss music is, in my opinion, shockingly neglected. Quite apart from Fritz Brun (whose music you have done so much you save from disappearance) there are composers like Conrad Beck and Willy Burkhard- to name but two- whose music is largely ignored on cd but who certainly merit recognition.
Dear Dundonnell
 Jean Daetwyler,Bernard Reichel,Otmar Nussio and Renato Grisoni should deserve more attention.
Best
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dhibbard
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2019, 12:42:23 am »

actually I did buy all but one CD... Ha... didn't know that the Unsung Composers forum was still going... it seemed to be just conversations between the 2 moderators.
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