The War of the Romantics - Alive and Well ?


 


            How are last centuryís Romantics faring with todayís ever-shrinking audience of classical music lovers? How frequently do we hear their works on the radio or in concert? Let us consider, on the one hand, the Leipzigers (Mendelssohn, Robert and Clara Schumann, and their "Messiah," Brahms); on the other hand, Liszt and those composers whose cause he promoted, Wagner and Berlioz, "musicians of the future."

            The following charts should be provocative for Lisztians and lovers of music from this period. In the first survey, the reader will note which works of these composers were played over a three-month period on one of the remaining two classical music stations in the New York City area. (There are 54 FM radio stations in this area!) Of the two, National Public Radio Station WNYC-FM seems by far the more venturesome and catholic in its programming. It claims to be the most listened to classical music station in the country.  In a 24-hour period one can hear a spectrum of music from Hildegard von Bingen to the croaking of Indonesian frogs.

            The following works by our battling Romantics were played on WNYC-FM during June through August, 1996. Note that an asterisk ( * ) indicates that a work was played sometime after midnight "While the City Sleeps." Lisztians will ponder how the "musicians of the future" and their more conservative friends are holding up.
 
 
  BRAHMS
MENDELSSOHN
SCHUMANN
1. Symphony # 1 1.String Symphony # 1 1. Symphony # 2
2. Symphony # 2 2. Symphony # 2 2. * Symphony # 2
3. Symphony # 3 3. Symphony # 4 3. * Symphony # 5 for strings
4. Symphony # 4 4. Capriccio Brillante in B minor 4. Symphonic Etudes 11 & 12
5.Piano concerto # 1 5.Concerto in D min piano/violin 5. Quartet in A
6. Piano concerto # 2 6. Piano trio # 2 6.Violin Concerto in D min
7. * Piano trio # 1 7. * Piano trio # 2 7. *Violin sonata
8. Piano quartet # 1 8. Violin concerto - E minor 8. Trio in F
9. Alto Rhapsody 9. Hebrides Overture 9. Fantasiestucke
10. Rhapsody in G minor 10.* "Paulus" 10.* Overture, Scherzo & Finale Op. 52
11. Intermezzi # 2&5 11.* A Midsummer's Night's Dream (excerpts) 11. Clara Schumann:Variations on Bellini's Cavatina ("Il Pirata")
12. Four Serious Songs 12. Fair Melasina Overture 12.Adagio & allegro for cello & piano Op. 70
13. Variations on a theme of Paganini 13.String quartet in e Op. 44 13.Waldzenen Op. 82
14. * Violin concerto in D Op. 77 14. String Symphony # 8 in D 14.*Violin sonata #2 Op. 121
15. *String Quintet in F Op. 80 15. Symphony  # 4 15.*Carnival Op.9
16. * Serenade #1 Op. 11 16. * Symphony # 1 16. Gesange der Fruhe Op. 133
17. Clarinet sonata in F Op. 120 17. Symphony # 3 17.* Piano concerto in A Op. 54
18. Piano sonata #2 in F# Op.2 18. A Midsummer's Night's Dream (excerpts) 18.*Carnival in Vienna Op. 26
19.* Piano sonata #3 in F Op. 5 19. Symphony # 5 19. Cello concerto in A Op. 129
20. Sextet #1 in B-flat 20.*Symphony # 2 20.* Symphony # 2
21.Symphony # 2 21. String quartet #6 in F Op. 80 21.*String quartet in A op. 41
22.* String quartet # 1 22. Songs without Words 22.Piano quartet in E-flat
23. Concerto violin/cello Op. 51 23. Sonata #2 for cello/piano 23. Album for the Young # 30
24.* Ballades #1,2,3,4, Op. 10 24. * Elijah Op. 70 24.Cello concerto
25.Piano quintet Op. 34 25.* Piano trio 25.* Frauenliebe und Leben
26. Hymn to the great Joachim 26. String Symphony 26.* Symphony # 4
27. Violin sonata # 2 27. Kreisleriana
28. *Viola sonata #2 in E-flat 28.Violin sonata # 1
29. Quintet for clarinet & strings 29. * Piano sonata #1 Op. 11
30. * Piano quintet Op. 34 30. Symphony # 1
31. * Variations on a theme of Haydn 31. * Five pieces "im volkson for cello Op. 102
32. * String sextet #1 Op. 18 32. Clara Schumann: Variations on a theme of Robert Schumann
33. misc. piano arrangements 33. * Symphony # 3
34. * Piano quartet # 11 Op. 25 34. * Davidsbundlerstanze
35. * Cello sonata # 1 Op. 38
36. * Viola sonata # 1 Op. 120
37. Violin sonata # 3 Op. 108

 
 
 
 
BERLIOZ
LISZT
WAGNER
1. * Romeo & Juliette 1. Sonata in B minor 1. Tristan und Isolde: Prelude / Liebestod
2. * Romeo & Juliette 2.* Hungarian Rhapsodies # 2,6& 14 2. * Wesendonk Lieder
3. * Requiem 3. Mephisto Waltz # 1 3. * Das Rheingold (complete)
4. * Te Deum 4. * Rhapsodie Espagnole 4. Gotterdammerung: Siegfried's Rhine journey and funeral music
5. * Les Nuits d'été 5. * De Profundis 5. Faust Overture
6. The Damnation of Faust 6. The Devil's Trill: unnamed work by Liszt 6. Siegfried Idyll
7. Queen Mab's Scherzo 7. Piano concerto # 1
8. Symphonie Fantastique 8. Hungaria 1848
9. * Symphony Fantastique 9. Three Etudes de concert
10. Il Penseroso  
11. Canzonetta del Salvatore Rosa
12. * Missa Solemnis ("Gran")
13. Hungarian Rhapsody #  2
14. From the Cradle to the Grave
15. Years of Pilgrimage Bk. 1
16. Hungarian Rhapsodie # 19
17. Les Preludes
18. "Standchen" - Schubert
19. Mephisto Waltzes # 2,3 & 4
20. * Dante Symphony
21. Hexameron
22. * Faust Symphony

 
 

               The reader will note that some of the above works were broadcast several times in the course of three months.

Summary of music of the Romantics programmed over a three-month period:
 

Brahms               37 times

Mendelssohn    26 times

Schumann         34 times

*****************************

BERLIOZ                9 times

LISZT                    22 times

WAGNER                6 times

            In the following two charts the reader will note with what frequency our Romantic friends were performed at some of the summer festivals. The listing is evidently far from complete but provides further food for thought.

                                   European Summer Festivals - 1996

Festival Key:

A. Bregenz Festival, ( Austria)
B. BBC Proms
C. Barbican Centre
D. Bayreuth Festival
E. City of Birmingham Festival
F. Cromer, Britten Sinfonia
G. Chester Festival
H. Cheltenham Festival
I . City of London Festival
J. Cardiff Proms
K. Edinburgh Festival
L. Gainsborough Festival
M. Halle Orchetra
N. Munich Festival
O. Manchester Halle Festival
P. Ravella Festival
Q. Savonlinna Festival (Finland)
R. Schleswig-Holstein Festival
S. St.John's Smith Square Festival
T. Sydney Orchestra
U. Sydney Opera
V. Verbier Festival (Switzerland)
W. Wigmore Hall
X. York Festival
 
 
BRAHMS
MENDELSSOHN
SCHUMANN
1. Symphony # 4 (B) 1. Violin concerto in e -minor (B) 1. Piano concerto in A min (B)
2. Variations on St. Anthony Chorale (B) 2. Piano Trio # 2 (B) 2. Clara Schumann: Piano tro (B)
3. Piano Concerto # 2 (B) 3. "Elijah" (B) 3. lieder recital # 1 (I)
4. Violin concerto in D (B) 4. unnamed  works (C) 4. lieder recital # 2 (I)
5. Piano concerto # 1 (B) 5. "Elijah" (I) 5. lieder recital # 3 (I)
6. Symphony # 1 (B) 6. "Elijah" (J) 6. piano recital (H)
7. Piano quartet # 1(B) orch Schoenberg 7. string quartet (I) 7. piano quartet (G)
8. cycle of chamber works (K) 8. piano quartet (G) 8.piano & orch work (G)
9. violin & piano works (I) 9. orchestral works (M) 9. violin & piano works (G)
10. lieder (W) 10. piano & orch work (G) 10. orchestra & chorus work (G)
11. chamber music (W) 11. orch. & chorus work (G) 11. misc. works (T)
12. orchestral works (J) 12. violin & orch work (O)
13.orcherstra works (M)
14. violin & pianbo works (G)
15. orchestra & chorus work (G)
16. chamber music (L)
17. chamber music (L)
18. violin & orch. work (O)
19. chamber music (X)
20. unnamed works (A)
21. vocal & orch. works (R)
22. violin & piano works (P)
23. piano works (V)

 
 
BERLIOZ
LISZT
WAGNER
1. Damnation of Fause (C) 1. work for voice & piano (W) 1. misc. works (I)
2. guitar works (E) 2. Piano concerto # 1 (B) 2.lieder (I)
3. work for soprano & orch (H) 3.orchestral work (F)
4.Damnation of Faust (N) 4. opera (U)
5. work for soprano & orch (V) 5. The Flying Durchman (Q) three performances
6. Symphonie Fantastique (B) 6. Tannhauser (Q) 5 performances
7. Le Corsaire - overture (B) 7. Meistersinger (D) 2 performances
8. Tristan und Isolde (D) 2 performances
9. Das Rheingold (D)
10.Die Walkure (D)
11. Siegfried (D)
12. Gotterdammerung (D)
13. Parsifal (D) 2 performances
14. Die Meistersinger (B) orchestral suite
15. Prelude & Liebestod: Tristan und Isolde (B)

                              Some Major American Festivals - Summer 1996

Festival Key:

A. Los Angeles Philharmonic
B. Highland Park (Illinois)
C. Philadelphia Orchestra
D. Tanglewood
E. Aspen Festival
F.Litchfield Center (CT)
G. Caramoor Festival (NY)
H. Lincoln Center Festival
I. Saratoga Festival
J. Cleveland Orchestra
 
 
BRAHMS
MENDELSSOHN
SCHUMANN
1.Symphony # 4 (A) 1. Piano concerto # 1 (A) 1. Symphony # 4 (E)
2.Violin sonata in A (B) A Midsummer's Night's Dream (E) 2. Cello sonata in  E minor (B)
3. Violin concerto (B) 3. "Elijah" (F) 4. songs (B)
4. Symphony #1 (B) 4. Piano trio in C minor (G) 5. Symphony # 2 (B)
5. Piano concero #  2 (B) 5. A Midsummer's Night's Dream (D) 5. Symphony # 2 (B)
6. Symphony # 1 (C) 6. Scenes from ":Faust" (B)
7. Violin concerto (C) 7. Piano concerto (C)
8. Piano concerto # 2 (D) 8. String Quartetr # 3 (H)
9. A German Requiem (D) 9. voice & piano (D)
10. Intermezzi & Capriccios (D) 10. "Frauenliebe und lieben" & Mary Stuart songs (D)

 
BERLIOZ
LISZT
WAGNER
1. Roman Carnival Overture (B) 1. Totentanz (J) 1. Siegfried: Forest Murmurs (E)
2. Symphonie Fantastique (I) 2.  Piano concerto # 1 (C)
3. Les Nuits d'été (I) 3. Piano concerto # 1 (D)
4. Symphonie Fantastique (J) 4. "La Lugubre Gondola" arr. Adams (D)
5. Harold in Italy (C)
6. Romeo & Juliet (complete) (H)
7. Four songs from "Nuits d'été" (D)

Brahms                 33

Mendelssohn      17

Schumann           21

*******************

BERLIOZ                14

LISZT                        6

WAGNER               16

            It would appear that in both recorded and live performances covered in this overview the more traditional Romantics made a stronger showing and received greater exposure to audiences. Many areas of Lisztís repertory remained unexplored. Much of his truly "New Age" music remains unknown. Although his lance was hurled far into the future it would seem it has yet to land in some places.

        Meanwhile, at the approach of Christmas with its miraculous multiplication of "Messiah"s, we recall how Liszt had to have his arm twisted to conduct this tired work. Lisztians will yawn their way through another season, hoping that here and there some brave soul will have the imagination to program the Christmas segment of "Christus." Even though Liszt said, "I can wait," arenít we challenged to try to shorten the wait?
 

Copyright 1998. Richard E. Cross