Author Topic: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1  (Read 4197 times)

Alan Howe

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Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« on: Saturday 27 December 2014, 00:00 »
Well, listening to Symphony No.2 has naturally led me back to Rufinatscha's extraordinary 1st Symphony composed in 1834. Its opening movement is full off harmonic surprises, rhythmic shocks - and, like No.2, the more one listens to it, the more one realises that, apart from the high seriousness that characterises the later symphonies (i.e. 3, 4 and 5), Rufinatscha's compositional character is already fully recognisable. Try the unendliche Melodie of the slow movement, for example. It's simply glorious.

So, who else between, say, Beethoven and Brahms, wrote five symphonies of such stature? (I'm omitting Raff as being essentially of a later generation; and members of this forum will know that I don't rate Rubinstein, although he was undoubtedly influential.) Mendelssohn? Very nearly - although his early C minor work is nothing like as mature as Rufinatscha's 1st. Spohr? Well, I don't think there are five great symphonies among his output of ten. Lachner? Sadly, we simply don't have the information, although I'm bound to say that his music has nothing approaching the originality of Rufinatscha's. Kalliwoda? There's some good stuff among his symphonies, but they are very much of a muchness stylistically - which cannot be said of Rufinatscha. Gade? Certainly not, much as I love his Leipzig-tradition later symphonies. Gouvy? There's an exceptionally interesting composer - and his symphonies have great dynamism and spirit. But again, they're essentially extensions of the conservative tradition, whereas Rufinatscha's five breath different air altogether. 

To my mind the only composer who equals Rufinatscha in symphonic originality and approaches him in productivity in this period is Berwald - and he only wrote four such works.
In my view Rufinatscha is undoubtedly the finest composer of symphonies to have emerged from the mists of 19th century history over the past few years. If members of this forum have yet to sample his music, I urge you to do so without delay. These are the essential discs to acquire:

Symphonies 1 & 4 (formerly 5): http://shop.tiroler-landesmuseen.at/cd-dvd/klingende-kostbarkeiten-aus-tirol/klingende-kostbarkeiten-aus-tirol-43.html
Symphony No.2: http://shop.tiroler-landesmuseen.at/cd-dvd/klingende-kostbarkeiten-aus-tirol/klingende-kostbarkeiten-aus-tirol-48.html
Symphony No.3: http://shop.tiroler-landesmuseen.at/cd-dvd/musikmuseum/musikmuseum21.html
Symphony No.5 (formerly 6): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rufinatscha-Orchestral-BBC-Philharmonic-Orchestra/dp/B004Q2TWP2/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1419638383&sr=1-1&keywords=rufinatscha

Richard Moss

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 27 December 2014, 12:08 »
Alan,

Do you know if the Tyrolean CDs are the orchestral versions or the 4-hands reductions I believe they did? (My German is not up to understanding their web-site but hopefully if these are orchestral versions they will be able to understand an e-mail from me in English??

Cheers

Richard

PS Happy Xmas to you, Mark and all UC forum members

Alan Howe

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 27 December 2014, 13:36 »
All the CDs for which I've provided links are the orchestral versions.
Best wishes, Richard!

Richard Moss

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #3 on: Monday 29 December 2014, 14:25 »
Alan,

Because of the holiday, I am unable to get a reply to my e-mail (about buying Rufinatscha CDs) until early Jan.  Do you know when the special offer on their prices ends - will I miss the boat if I have to wait until then? (I can't read German to navigate their web-site to order directly).

Cheers

Richard

Alan Howe

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #4 on: Monday 29 December 2014, 14:30 »
If you tell me what you want, Richard, I'll try to help you out. Please send me a personal message via the website. I could even talk you through the ordering process over the phone...

Alan Howe

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #5 on: Monday 29 December 2014, 19:55 »
No need to worry, by the way, if you don't get an email confirmation. I don't seem to have received one when I put in my order.

DennisS

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 30 December 2014, 02:58 »
I have placed two orders with Tirol-Landesmuseen recently. I received no email confirmation for the first order but the CD arrived today (Rufinatscha Sym 3). For the second order (Rufinatscha Sym 2), I have received an email confirmation but the CD has not yet been despatched. The way they acknowledge orders is a bit hit and miss but they do send out the CDs so I am not worried if I don't get an email confirmation. I have previously ordered 6 CDs from them and I received them all - fairly quickly I might add.!There was no need to order Rufi Sym 1 as I already had it along with Symphonies 5 and 6 (old numbering). Very pleased that Rufinatscha is again getting a lot of attention on UC!

Alan Howe

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 30 December 2014, 08:12 »
We'll be interested to read what you think of the 3rd Symphony, Dennis.

Richard Moss

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 30 December 2014, 09:41 »
Folks,

Just to let you know that I have received an e-mail confirmation for the symphonies 1-4 CDs I have just ordered (yesterday - many thanks to Alan for his help over this).  Looking forward to their receipt.  As the e-mail was so quick, it must be automated, so I wonder if there was a hiccup in giving your e-mail address (although I accept it could just as easily be their web-site instead).

Cheers

Richard

Alan Howe

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #9 on: Tuesday 30 December 2014, 12:16 »
Glad you've received confirmation, Richard. Now for the CDs themselves...

Gauk

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday 07 January 2015, 22:39 »
I would suggest Ferdinand Ries ... To me, much more interesting than Rufinatscha.

Gareth Vaughan

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #11 on: Wednesday 07 January 2015, 22:42 »
But this is a thread about Rufinatscha. I also like Ries too (very different from Rufinatscha, though) - why not start a new thread about his symphonies?

Alan Howe

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #12 on: Thursday 08 January 2015, 03:51 »
I venture to suggest that Ries' symphonies, while exceedingly interesting and enjoyable, hardly compete with those of Rufinatscha (or Berwald) for originality. Are they not too tied to their Beethovenian models for that?

eschiss1

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #13 on: Thursday 08 January 2015, 19:01 »
I'm not sure originality is the reed on which I would want to break my hand here, but then I find it overrated, as an aim certainly and as a consequence too (and I say this as someone whose musical tastes are not even especially "reactionary", I think.)  (And while Berwald does things very few composers had done before him, that does not seem his chief merit. We don't discuss Eggert much even when we're not talking about just this particular period, and formally and otherwise his symphonic music is quite original... - actually, if it weren't that he were outside the period we're talking about, and that he wrote only 4 known symphonies, less than the 5 you're looking for- ... of course, so did Berwald, but who's counting; and I suppose there are other reasons for supposing Gouvy's to be insufficiently competitive - then I would have brought in Eggert with much more serious élan...)
"A cat, as I keep on saying, is also a cat for a' that..." - from Natsume Sōseki's Wagahai wa Neko de Aru (I Am a Cat, part 2 chapter 1)

Alan Howe

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #14 on: Thursday 08 January 2015, 19:49 »
With Rufinatscha, originality is a fact of life. It just hits you straight between the ears. Once you've heard his symphonies, you think: where did this come from? Of course, originality is not the be-all and end-all, otherwise I wouldn't be such a Reinecke fan (for want of a better example). But there's no denying that Rufinatscha is simply different - especially in his symphonies...