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Archive for October, 2009

The Rorich Quintet

rorich

Born in Nuremberg in 1869, Karl Rorich (1869-1941) was a  Bavarian composer of lieder and chamber music. Though much of his chamber music involved woodwinds, he appears to have only written 1 wind quintet.

Rorich’s Op. 58 Wind Quintet in E minor was performed at the Eastman School of Music in 1925 at the first concert of the Rochester Little Symphony, a chamber group consisting of members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and faculty from the Eastman School.

Download the parts to Rorich’s Wind Quintet

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Rustle of Spring

Norwegian composer Christian Sinding (1856-1941) was one of the original faculty members when the Eastman School of Music began its first official school year in 1921. Brought in to teach theory and composition after plans to bring another noted European composer, Jean Sibelius, fell through, Sinding’s tenure at the school was brief; he left at the conclusion of the first school year. Sinding enjoyed much popularity during his lifetime, and is seen as one the most important composers of Norway after Grieg, though his career and reputation have become largely obscure in the years since his death. Today, he is best known as the composer of “Rustle of Spring,” a short piano piece which would have been quite popular with pianists during the early years of the Eastman School.

Download the score for Rustle of Spring

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Great article in the New York Times yesterday about the Leon Levy Foundation, and the grants that it has provided to numerous archives for the purpose of digitization. A recipient of particular interest is the New York Philharmonic, which, according to the website for the Leon Levy Foundation, will be using the $2.4 million grant to digitize over 1 million pages, including scores marked by conductors such as Mahler, Bernstein, and Walter.

Look for more publically available, digital content from the New York Philharmonic in the future; for now, their website does have a very interesting performance history online search tool.

Read the NY Times article

Learn more about the Leon Levy Foundation Archive Program

Explore the New York Philharmonic’s Performance History Search

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Felix Mottl (1856-1911)

mottl

Like Scherchen, Felix Mottl (1856-1911) was a well regarded conductor, composer and arranger; much of Mottl’s career was devoted to the works of Richard Wagner. He held posts as the music director for the Ring-Theater in Vienna, the Karlsruhe Opera, and the Munich Opera. He conducted a variety of staged works, including those by Handel, Schubert, Berlioz, Chabrier, and Strauss, but is best remembered for his exceptional interpretations of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and Tristan und Isolde. In 1911, during his 100th performance of Tristan und Isolde, Mottl collapsed; having suffered a heart attack, he passed away a short time later. Aside from his legacy as a conductor, Mottl also leaves behind a number of arrangements and original compositions, including operas, songs, and two string quartets.

Though I’ve been unable to locate any copies of Mottl’s second string quartet, Gutmann editions of his first quartet are held in Leipzig, and here in Rochester.

Download the parts to Mottl’s String Quartet in F# minor.

Read Mottl’s full obituary in the New York Times.

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