Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger:

Hermann GOETZ (1840-1876)
Symphony in F Major, Op.9 (1991)
Allegro moderato
Intermezzo: Allegretto
Adagio ma non troppo lento
Finale: Allegro con fuoco

Overture to the Taming of the Shrew
Spring Overture
Overture to Francesca

Monte-Carlo Opera Orchestra/Edouard Van Remoortel
Rec: France, 1972/91
GENESIS GCD105 [60.43]

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 broadcasts, apparently.

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.

Ray Walker



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. (GCD 102)

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 110)

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 114)

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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