Hermann GOETZ (1840-1876)
Symphony in F Major, Op.9 (1991)
Adagio ma non troppo lento
Finale: Allegro con fuoco
Overture to the Taming of the Shrew
Overture to Francesca
Orchestra/Edouard Van Remoortel
Rec: France, 1972/91
Hermann Goetz (sometimes written Götz) was born in the
same year as Tchaikovsky yet was over-shadowed by the more influential German
composers like Liszt, Strauss and Wagner. After studying at Berlin (Stern
Conservatorium) he moved to Switzerland in 1863 to take up an organ post.
He became a fine pianist, organist, conductor and critic, but from 1873 onwards
devoted his time exclusively to composing. This latter period was only to
last 3 years before he died from a long-standing illness of tuberculosis.
During his short lifetime, Goetz wrote two piano concertos and a violin concerto,
a selection of chamber music and two operas. The concertos and chamber music
have been recorded by CPO.
Written three years after Goetz moved to Switzerland the opening of the first
movement of the Symphony in F Major (1866) sounds familiar.
The opening of Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben comes to mind (a
work that wasn't written until 33 years later). The movement then flows into
something reminiscent of early Wagner and Tchaikovsky, perhaps. The movement
follows convention with alternation of themes, counter-themes, a good development
section and final reprise. The Intermezzo opens with horn calls which
flow into a dance-like theme (which Mendelssohn would have been proud to
have penned). The mood then changes to a more stately hymn-like tune later
punctuated by the dance and horns. The work is a mature piece for a composer
still in his mid-twenties. The Adagio is a tranquil movement led by cellos
and followed by soaring strings and delicate winds. The Finale, in rondo
form, is full of life, and bubbles along energetically with purpose. A second
subject provides a 3-voiced canon for strings and winds before a more relaxed
theme leads to a brilliant 'festive' ending. The notes mention various passing
similarities: Til Eulenspiegel ; Mahler's Des Knabenwunderhorn
(a work which did not appear until ten years later) and Dvorák's
4th Symphony (from 20 years later).
The Taming of the Shrew is, in fact, a four act opera by Goetz, one
which we never hear of yet which was which extremely well received at its
first performance in 1874 and was translated into five languages, including
English. Where is it one may ask? We can grasp some idea of the content from
the overture, however. It is a well-constructed piece where themes nicely
alternate and dynamic changes, we are told, are intended to depict the
temperaments of the characters.
An early work, the Spring Overture (1864), is light and not scored
with any sophistication yet carries similarities to a symphonic poem. The
piece was composed during Goetz's first Spring in Switzerland. An unfair
Viennese critic found the piece having the "scent of a herbarium of dried
Mendelssohnian phrases" and the development heavy and academic! (After
hearing this track I would have suggested there might be a closer parallel
with Beethoven herbs.) The booklet suggests that the construction of this
work would make fascinating analysis since it has a lot of noteworthy elements.
In recent years this pleasant piece has achieved popularity in German radio
Francesca da Rimini was his second opera, but unlike the first
was not well received. This overture is written in sonata form, with introduction
followed by coda. It is a mature work with a main theme which anticipates
gloomy forebodings within the opera plot. A golden moment occurs in a theme
of transfigured love with solo violin, shimmering strings and harp.
The recordings are well balanced with the orchestras slightly distantly focused.
A more than adequate booklet is enclosed, but I felt I wanted to read more
about Goetz the person.
The CD contains much to attract those of us interested in the historical
development of romantic music. Goetz was a gifted composer worthy of wider
recognition. Based on the evidence here, the 4 act Taming of the Shrew
opera might well be worthy of a recording and since it has an English translation
might be a good project for the Peter Moore's foundation to tackle.
EDITOR'S NOTE ON GENESIS
There are 15 CDs in Genesis's catalogue:-
HENRY LITOLFF (1818-1891): Concerto Symphonique No. 4 in D Minor for
Piano and Orchestra, Op. 102. Gerald Robbins, piano. Monte-Carlo Opera
Orchestra. Edouard Van Remoortel, conductor. Piano Trio in D Minor,
Op. 47. The Mirecourt Trio. (GCD 101)
CARL REINECKE (1824-1910): Piano Concerto No. 1 in F Sharp Minor,
Op. 72. Piano Concerto No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 120. Gerald Robbins,
piano. Monte-Carlo Opera Orchestra. Edouard Van Remoortel, conductor.
ANTON RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894): Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major,
Op. 94. Adrian Ruiz, piano. Nürnberger Symphoniker. Zsolt
Deàky, conductor. (GCD 103)
SERGE PROKOFIEFF (1891-1953): Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op.
16. Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26. Jorge Bolet, piano.
Nürnberger Symphoniker. Ainslee Cox, conductor. (GCD 104)
HERMANN GOETZ (1840-1876): Complete Orchestral Works. Symphony in
F Major, Op. 9; Spring Overture, Op. 15; Overture to the Opera "The Taming
of the Shrew"; Overture to the Opera "Francesca da Rimini." Monte-Carlo Opera
Orchestra. Edouard Van Remoortel, conductor. (GCD 105)
GIOVANNI SGAMBATI (1841-1914): Piano Concerto in G Minor, Op. 15.
Jorge Bolet, piano. Nürnberger Symphoniker. Ainslee Cox,
conductor. JOSEPH RHEINBERGER (1839-1901): Piano Concerto in A flat
Major, Op. 94. Adrian Ruiz, piano. Nürnberger Symphoniker. Zsolt
Deàky, conductor. (GCD 106)
HERMANN GOETZ (1840-1876): Löse Blätter, Op. 7; Sonatinas
in F Major and E-flat Major, Op. 8; Genrebilder, Op. 13. Adrian Ruiz,
piano. (GCD 107)
NORBERT BURGMÜLLER (1810-1836): Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op.
8. ROBERT VOLKMANN (1815-1883): Piano Sonata in C Minor, Op. 12; Fantasy
in C Major, Op. 25a. THEODOR KIRCHNER (1823-1905): Aquarellen, Op.
21, No. 3; Moderato, Op. 30, No. 8; Allegro con passione, Op. 30, No. 17;
Moderato, Op. 71, No. 100; Spring-Greeting, Op. 73, No. 2; Days Gone By,
Op. 73, No. 4; Romanze, Op. 73, No. 6; Nocturne, Op. 73, No. 12; Elegy, Op.
73, No. 16. Adrian Ruiz, piano. (GCD 108)
LUDWIG BERGER (1777-1839): Grande Sonate in C Minor, Op. 7; IGNAZ
MOSCHELES (1794-1870): Sonate Caractéristique in C Minor, Op.
27; FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Grosses Konzertsolo. Frederick
Marvin, piano. (GCD 109)
ANTONÍN DVORÁK (1841-1904): Poetic Tone Pictures, Op.
85: Twilight Way; Toying; In the Old Castle; Spring Song; Peasants' Ballad;
Sorrowful Reverie; A Dance; Goblins' Dance; Serenade; Bacchanal; Tittle-Tattle;
At the Hero's Grave; On the Holy Mount. Gerald Robbins, piano. (GCD
FRANZ BERWALD (1796-1868): Piano Concerto in D Major. Greta
Erikson, piano. Swedish Radio Orchestra. Stig Westerberg, conductor.
Theme and Variations in G Minor; Rondeau-Bagatelle in B-flat Major; Tempo
di Marcia in E-flat Major; Presto feroce. Greta Erikson, piano. Duo
in D Major for Violin and Piano. Greta Erikson, piano; Josef
Grünfarb, violin. (GCD 111)
EMIL VON SAUER (1862-1942): Piano Works. Suite Moderne (Prélude
passioné; Air lugubre; Scherzo grotesque; Gavotte; Thème
varié), Dialogo (Impromptu), Le Retour (Caprice), Barcarolle, Boîte
à Musique (Spieluhr), Concert Etudes: No. 5, Près du Ruisseau
(Am Bache); No. 6, Frisson de Feuilles (Espenlaub); No. 3, Murmure de Vent
(Windesflüstern); No. 7, Flammes de Mer (Meeresleuchten). María
Eugenia Tapia, piano. (GCD 112)
HERMANN GOETZ (1840-1876): Complete Chamber Music: Piano Quartet
in E Major, Op. 6; Three Easy Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 2; Piano Trio
in G Minor, Op. 1; Piano Quintet in C Minor, Op. 16. Gerald Robbins,
piano; Glenn Dicterow, violin; Alan de Veritch, viola; Terry
King, cello; Dennis Trembly, bass. (GCD 113) 2 CDs
CARLOS CHÁVEZ (1899-1978): VI Sonata for Piano. FELIX
MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Variations sérieuses in D Minor, Op.
54; Variations in E-flat, Op. 82. ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): 12
American Preludes; Sonata para Piano (1952). Adrian Ruiz, piano. (GCD
HALFDAN KJERULF (1815-1868): Wiegenlied, Op. 4, No. 3; Menuett, Op.
12, No. 2; Caprice, Op. 12, No. 4; Impromptu, Op. 12, No. 9; Albumblatt,
Op. 24, No. 1; Allegro, Op. 24, No. 2; Springtanz, Op. 27, No. 2; Sechs Skizzen
(Six Pieces), Op. 28: 1. Allegro, 2. Adagio, 3. Allegro animato, 4. Scherzo.
Allegro molto, 5. Frühlingslied, 6. Idylle. Moderato; Scherzo, Op. 29.
EMIL SJÖGREN (1853-1918): "Erotikon," Op. 10: 1. Allegro, 2.
Alegretto, 3. Vivace, 4. Andantino, 5. Allegretto con moto. Gerald
Robbins, piano. (GCD 115)
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