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Paul von Klenau - Symphony No.9 on DaCapo


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Author Topic: Paul von Klenau - Symphony No.9 on DaCapo  (Read 311 times)
M. Yaskovsky
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« on: April 07, 2016, 09:06:29 pm »

Interesting, the huge ninth symphony by Paul von Klenau is soon available:.http://www.mdt.co.uk/klenau-paul-von-symphony-no-orchestra-michael-schonwandt-dacapo-2cds.html
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2016, 01:46:15 am »

Interesting indeed....and very welcome.

It is a great pity that DaCapo, which has an excellent record of recording complete symphonic cycles (Rued Langgaard, Peder Gram, Herman Koppel, Leif Kayser, Knudage Riisager), should have stalled with von Klenau. After Symphonies Nos. 1, 5 and 7 some years ago they stopped. Perhaps now they might go on with the cycle Huh
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Grandenorm
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2016, 04:32:46 pm »

Well, part of the problem is that some of the symphonies are fragmentary; that is they have not survived in complete form. My understanding is that No. 2 exists only in the composer's handwritten score of movts 1 & 4 + the handwritten parts only of movt. 2; most of No. 3 is missing apart from the 1st movt. and the Finale (for soprano, chorus & orchestra); Symphony No. 4 is more confusing and I give the relevant passages of text from the Danish Library's preface to their edition of the full score of Symphony No. 9, which includes an invaluable discussion on the history and extant materials of the other symphonies:

Fourth symphony (1938)
Klenau’s  fourth  symphony  has  survived  in  two  different  sources.  The  earliest  is  his  autograph,  which  bears  the  title,  Festival Symphony,  and  whose  movements  have  no  titles.
  This  source  emerged  in  relationship  with  the  appearance  of  the  Klenau  Collection  in  2001,  in  a  way  that  shows  that  not  even  Margarethe  Klimt  had  noticed  the  connection  between  this  source  and  the  later source with the three symphonic poems. The  second  source  is  a  hand-written  professional  copy  with  the title, 3 symphonic poems. Festival Symphony (No 4) 1938, where only the wrapper (including the titles of the three movements) is written in Klenau’s own hand. The three movements are provided with the titles, Hamlet the Dane, Theme with Variations, Festival for the People (after an old march). According  to  the  memoir,  the  work  was  not  performed  in  Klenau’s lifetime, perhaps because the composer failed to find an occasion to stir himself to arrange a performance.
  Both in the memoir and in the later secondary literature, there is discussion of a so-called Dante Symphony of 1913 as the ‘fourth symphony’. In fact this title covers a symphonic fantasy, Paolo and Francesca, originally planned as one of the movements in a large integrated symphonic cycle in seven movements with the title, Inferno Fantasy, which was never completed.
  A  series  of  sources  bear  witness  to  the  work  on  this  ambitious  cycle  of  symphonic  fantasies.  Probably  the  starting  point  lay  in  an  incomplete  symphony  from  which  a  single  movement  is  known,  in  a  neatly  calligraphed  professional  copy  in  the  form  of  a  48  page  score  with  the  title,  Score  /  Symphony  (B  minor)  by  /  Paul  A  von  Klenau.
  In  the  furthest  left-hand  corner  of  the  title  page there is a note in pencil in Klenau’s hand, Klenau / Brønsteds allé 6 / Kopenhagen. The copy contains many pencil corrections in Klenau’s hand.
  The  movement  is  written  for  a  large  orchestra  consisting  of  3  flutes,  piccolo,  2  oboes,  6  clarinets,  bass  clarinet,  3  bassoons,  contra-bassoon,  6  horns,  4  trumpets,  3  trombones,  bass  tuba,  timpani, percussion and 2 harps together with strings. The initial notation gives the tempo direction, ‘Unheimlich bewegt’ and the metronome mark, ‘crotchet = 84–88’. Klenau  revised  this  movement  later,  giving  it  the  title  Paolo and Francesca in connection with the cycle of scenes from Dante’s Inferno discussed  above.  It  was  published  in  Vienna  as  an  independent movement in this revised version.
  The material found in Vienna in 2001 revealed, however, that Klenau was not entirely correct when he suggested that there were only prepatory sketches for the other movements in the planned cycle.  Ink  fair  copies  of  two  movements  were  found  in  the  collection,  with  the  titles,  Inferno  Fantasy  Part  1  and Inferno  Fantasy  Part  3,  of  67  and  50  pages  respectively,  bearing  a  pencil  note  in  Klenau’s hand giving the titles of the complete seven movements planned,  and  showing  that Paolo  and  Francesca  was  intended  to  be the cycle’s second movement.


The autograph of the 6th symphony ("Nordic") exists but the 4th movt. is not fully orchestrated and sources for its instrumentation are missing.

The autograph of Symphony No. 8 "Im Alten Stil" was among the MSS found in Vienna in 2001. It consists of 39 pages of autograph score, which would make it pretty short!

All in all, one can see that quite a lot of editorial work might be needed to bring some of these symphonies into a performable condition.
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 08:48:20 pm »

Very enlightening post about the status of von Klenau's Symphonies.  Like Dundonnell I've wondered from time to time over DaCapo's uncharacteristic failure to follow through with a complete cycle given their previous record with other composers.  The apparently fragmentary state of Nos. 2,3,4,6,&8 you describe seems a quite convincing explanation.

I do wonder in passing though why after issuing a single Symphony by Svend-Erik Tarp (many years ago) none of his remaining Symphonies have been forthcoming.  From what's available in our Archive they strike me as worthy.


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Dundonnell
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 03:25:59 pm »

I too am extremely grateful for Gareth's detailed and hugely informative account of the state of the other von Klenau symphonies. It is clear that there are very good reasons why we have not heard the unrecorded scores Sad

I suppose that von Klenau's long absence from Denmark between 1902 and 1940 and his dismissive attitude towards other Danish composers must have lead many to regard him as more of a German composer than a Dane. Although he returned to Denmark in 1940 that was the year of the German occupation of his native country!

I do also agree with Greg that it would be nice to have more of the Tarp symphonies on disc. He is an unjustly neglected composer. There is, of course, also Niels Viggo Bentzon but where does one start with such a vast output. The early (and probably best) Bentzon symphonies are reasonably represented on disc. I still hope to hear the other two symphonies of Rudolph Simonsen. The two recorded by cpo were extremely enjoyable and colourful works.
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2016, 06:45:41 pm »

I, for one, would be thrilled to see recordings of more works by Svend-Erik Tarp, symphonies and otherwise. A fine composer!
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