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Franz Schmidt' Third Symphony was composed in 1927-28, dedicated to and premiered by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, winning a first prize from the Columbia Graphophone Company of New York for the best symphony in the spirit of Schubert' 'Unfinished' S
Franz Schmidt est né en 1874 à Presbourg (Bratislava), Empire austro-hongrois (Slovaquie). Il étudia le piano avec Theodor Leschetizky (1830-1915), puis entra au Conservatoire de Vienne, où il eut comme professeurs Anton Bruckner (1824-1896), Robert Fuchs (1847-1927) et Ferdinand Hellmesberger (1863-1940), et dont il sortit diplômé en 1896. Professeur de piano à la Musikakademie de Vienne dès 1914, il en devint Directeur en 1925, puis Recteur de 1927 à 1937. Il est mort en 1939 à Perchtolsdorf, près de Vienne, Allemagne (Autriche). Parmi ses oeuvres majeures, on peut noter deux Quatuors à cordes, un Quintette pour piano pour la main gauche et quatuor à cordes, un Quintette pour clarinette, violon, alto, violoncelle et piano pour la main gauche, quatre Symphonies, ainsi que l'Oratorio "Le Livre aux sept sceaux".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"The greatest historically uninevitable composer since Bach"April 2 2014
Jeffery A. Triggs
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I disagree with the contention that this symphony is not "top notch material". Though the 4th is usually regarded as Schmidt's masterpiece, many people, including Harold Truscott (see http://www.amazon.com/The-Music-Franz-Schmidt-Orchestral/dp/0907689124/) consider the 3rd to be Schmidt's most genial symphony. It was entered in the Columbia Schubert competition in 1928, but Schmidt had actually begun work on it before he knew about the contest. Unaccountably in my opinion, it lost out to a relatively mediocre symphony, Kurt Atterberg's 6th. Supposedly the judges, who included Alexander Glazunov, did not want to give first prize to an Austrian and so chose the Swede and left Schmidt with first prize in the Austrian section. A work in the traditional four movements, it is only superficially in a "sunny" Schubertian spirit - as several critics have noted, a vein of "darker knowledge" runs through the work, though it is not the deep tragedy of the 4th symphony written after the premature death of Schmidt's only daughter. The 3rd is distinguished by its rich, chromatic harmonies, especially in the eerily ecstatic slow movement. While never abandoning traditional tonality, Schmidt takes it to the very boundaries, while making the striking but subtle dissonances palatable to the ear through silky orchestration. I have heard an interesting transcription of the slow movement for piano which comes across as much more harshly dissonant than the orchestral version. The 3rd Symphony represents the mature Schmidt in full mastery of his resources before the tragedy of his later years had set in. As such it is the spiritual companion of the gorgeous, "left hand" Piano Quintet in G major written about the same time on a commission from Paul Wittgenstein.
The Chaconne was originally written for organ and the version here was tastefully orchestrated by Schmidt himself. It is a rare work of beautiful sonorities well captured by Sinaisky and the Malmö Symphony. Sinaisky's cycle of all the symphonies is beautifully played and recorded, and I think will stand as the standard recording of these works for years to come. Hopefully they will also help to make more people familiar with this wonderful composer whose works deserve to be much better known and more frequently performed. I believe Robin Holloway once called Franz Schmidt the "greatest historically uninevitable composer since Bach", and as so often he was pretty much on the mark.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Chaconne is the winner hereSept. 22 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The orchestra plays beautifully and the recorded sound is very good. Too bad the symphony isn't top notch material. This is very busy music, not as melodic as other Schmidt symphonies, nor as emotionally involving. But it does have some pleasant moments here and there. The real winner here is Chaconne with its organ like sonorities. It's a more interesting and moving work than the symphony. I look forward to symphony 4 next, considered by some as Schmidt's masterpiece.