Author Topic: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1  (Read 4196 times)

Gauk

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #15 on: Sunday 11 January 2015, 18:28 »
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?

Because the question was asked, "who else between, say, Beethoven and Brahms, wrote five symphonies of such stature", and I am suggesting an answer.

Actually, there is a far more obvious answer, which is Schubert, who I would suggest is the main influence on Rufinatscha, along with Schumann and Mendelssohn. And indeed, Mendelssohn also wrote five symphonies.



eschiss1

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #16 on: Sunday 11 January 2015, 18:58 »
Schubert - symphonies 5, 8 and 9 at most, I think, given the bounding conditions.
"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 #17 on: Sunday 11 January 2015, 19:34 »
I don't hear any influence on Rufinatscha from either Schumann or Mendelssohn. Beethoven: yes. Schubert: possibly, although the Unfinished wasn't performed until 1865.

Schubert is really a symphonic contemporary of Beethoven. Only his 9th (1825-6) post-dates Beethoven 9 (1824). This is essentially true of Ries too: only his Op.181 (1835) post-dates Beethoven 9.

Gauk

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #18 on: Tuesday 13 January 2015, 10:23 »
I don't hear any influence on Rufinatscha from either Schumann or Mendelssohn. Beethoven: yes. Schubert: possibly, although the Unfinished wasn't performed until 1865.

Schubert is really a symphonic contemporary of Beethoven. Only his 9th (1825-6) post-dates Beethoven 9 (1824). This is essentially true of Ries too: only his Op.181 (1835) post-dates Beethoven 9.

Rufinatscha's harmonic language has strong echoes of Schubert, and he would not have needed to have heard the last two symphonies to catch an influence.

Alan Howe

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #19 on: Tuesday 13 January 2015, 11:36 »
To me Beethoven is the stronger influence, although the expansiveness is definitely more Schubertian.

Lucanuscervus

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #20 on: Tuesday 13 January 2015, 14:27 »
btw:  in Rufinatscha's  b minor Symphony (No.5) - Scherzo - you can hear some kind of    anticipation of Bruckner !

Alan Howe

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #21 on: Tuesday 13 January 2015, 16:38 »
Thanks, Lucanuscervus. It would be of great interest to hear the views of an expert on the stature of Rufinatscha's symphonies. Wenn auf Deutsch, würde ich gerne übersezten!

John H White

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #22 on: Thursday 15 January 2015, 21:57 »
Alan, whilst I reckon that alongside Lachners 5th & 8th symphonies,Rufinatscha's last 2 symphonies are amongst the finest works in that genre produced between the Beethoven/Schubert era and those of Brahms & Bruckner, I wouldn't say that his earlier symphonies were up to that standard. No 1 sounds in its opening movement very much like Berwald in style. ( Just as Mahler 1 sounds very much like Hans Rot 1).
   Quite honestly, I think Rufinatscha's 2nd Symphony is inferior to his first one but, with the newly reconstructed and recorded No 3, we see quite a leap forward although, in my humble opinion, not quite up to the standard of Nos 5 & 6 ( or should I say, 4 & 5? ) Anyway, just what does greatness consist of in a symphony or a composer for that matter? Rufiatscha's last 2 symphonhies contain some beautiful melodies rarely met with in any works of this type but, if greatness consists of a really thorough mastery of counterpoint, I would say that Lachner wins hands down!
    Now I must have my parachute ready as I await being shot down min flames! :)
Cheers,
     John.

Alan Howe

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #23 on: Thursday 15 January 2015, 22:43 »
Parachute at the ready, John?  ;)

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No 1 sounds in its opening movement very much like Berwald in style

It must be the other way round, I think. Rufinatscha 1 and 2 were both written before any of Berwald's completed symphonies.
Personally, I can't hear the connection at all, but I probably have cloth ears...

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but, with the newly reconstructed and recorded No 3, we see quite a leap forward although, in my humble opinion, not quite up to the standard of Nos 5 & 6 ( or should I say, 4 & 5? )

I'd say Nos 3, 4 and 5 (new numbering) form a trio of very fine-to-great symphonies.

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if greatness consists of a really thorough mastery of counterpoint, I would say that Lachner wins hands down

You may well be right about Lachner's mastery of counterpoint. The problem with Lachner ultimately is the material he's working with: in my view it just isn't of sufficient interest to sustain what he does with it.

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I think Rufinatscha's 2nd Symphony is inferior to his first one

I don't agree at all. It's very different in tone. I've found it's the symphony one has to listen to most to 'get it'.

So, there we are: a good old UC disagreement. But I'd never have listened to Lachner or Spohr (nor appreciated the riches of their music) without your prompting, John, so I am forever in your debt.

John H White

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #24 on: Friday 16 January 2015, 21:29 »
It looks as if we'll have to agree to disagree Alan. However, I'm sure we all owe you a great debt for introducing us to the music of Rufinatscha, particularly the last 2 symphonies.
     With regard to Spohr, like many others of his lesser known colleagues, his output is somewhat patchy, but when he is good he is very good., as in the 2nd & 5th symphonies, the Nonet and the 5th piano trio. One thing about him is that he was always ready to try something new, even when it didn't quite work out, as with his 4th and 7th symphonies.
    By the way, I'll take your tip and listen to Rufinatscha's 2nd symphony a few more times and then go back to No 1 to re-assess them both.
Cheers,
     John.

Alan Howe

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #25 on: Friday 16 January 2015, 22:56 »
Great to disagree with you, John! And thanks again for all your insights.

Gauk

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #26 on: Monday 19 January 2015, 21:33 »
I think it would be a stretch of the imagination that either Rufinatscha had access to Berwald's works or vice versa. Although neither would depend on performances to learn what was being composed elsewhere, but on published works and piano reductions, is it likely that either would have even heard of the other, given that neither were musical celebrities in their day?

eschiss1

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #27 on: Tuesday 20 January 2015, 12:53 »
Likely, no, but possible, yes; Rufinatscha's published works received notices - and sometimes detailed descriptions (as with the reduction of his D major symphony) - in contemporary music journals, and his pupils may(?) have spoken about him to others - it would be nice in principle to have at least somewhat more detailed biographies of all the people involved, I think, not just the somewhat more famous (Brüll, e.g.) of them, and translations/annotated editions of their correspondence as has been done professionally for other composers. But that if done at all (if one agrees that it would be a good thing) would be a matter for the future :)
"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 #28 on: Tuesday 20 January 2015, 15:43 »
I still can't hear any connection between Rufinatscha and Berwald anyway. The former's sensibility is clearly Austrian; the latter's is Nordic.

John H White

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Re: Rufinatscha Symphony No.1
« Reply #29 on: Wednesday 28 January 2015, 12:01 »
I've now listened to Rufinatscha's first 2 symphonies a number of times and I now give them equal rating, so I must take back what I said earlier about No 2. However, I still think the jerkiness in the opening movement in No1 bears a resemblance to that which tends to characterise Berwald's symphonies.
Cheers,
     John.