Hans Rott - His Music


Updated on
January 8, 2012
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Copyright Martin Brilla
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The music world began to take an interest in Hans Rott in 1989, following the world premiere of his Symphony No. 1 in E major, completed in 1880 and rediscovered by Paul W. Banks. The symphony's first movement had not been a success in a composition contest in 1878, despite Bruckner's dissenting vote. In the remarkably mature work of a 21-year-old we hear besides reminiscences of Wagner, Bruckner and Brahms also well-known themes from Mahler's œuvre which was conceived only years later.

Mahler who was familiar with the symphony and - as can be proved - had access to Rott's musical estate acknowledged the composer who had sunken into oblivion as "the founder of the new symphony ... as I understand it". In the end, however, he refrained from performing Rott's symphony with the Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra.

Rott's Œuvre does go far beyond this symphony, the more so as he might have begun composing already before 1874. Of about 80 compositions (part of them are only drafts) about 25 have come down to us in a performable state. Some works, among them a string sextet and essential parts of his Second Symphony, had been almost completely destroyed by Rott. All known compositions are kept in the Music Collections of the Austrian National Library in Vienna. In the meantime almost all performable works have been edited and published (for more detailed information please refer to the comments on the respective works).

Although Rott had been clearly influenced by his teacher Anton Bruckner on the one hand and by Richard Wagner's music on the other hand, he succeeds in creating music that is his very own, part of which is definitely ahead of its time. Thus especially the first part of the Pastoral Prelude and the Winter Song reveal impressionistic tendencies - years ahead of Debussy and Ravel. The double fugue of the Pastoral Prelude sounds like an anticipation of Max Reger's music.

Up to now, besides the Symphony No. 1 in E major which is being performed very often in Europe and the USA, the Symphony for String Orchestra, the Pastoral Prelude, the Prelude to "Julius Caesar", the String Quartet in C minor and other chamber music, lieder and choral works had their world premiere. The premiere of the Suite in E major is to take place in 2005.

So far the Symphony No. 1, the Pastoral Prelude, the Orchestral Prelude, the Prelude to "Julius Caesar" and the String Quartet in C minor are recorded on CD.

 

   
More about Hans Rott's Music:  
Works Index A Prelude to Julius Caesar (Frank Litterscheid)
Index of Playable Works "Do Not Laugh, Gentlemen..."
On the first performance of the "Pastoral Prelude for Orchestra" by Hans Rott (Thomas Leibnitz)
Recordings

Hans Rott (Eckhardt van den Hoogen)
- version française -

On the Origin of the Symphony No. 1 in E Major
(Bert Hagels)
"... An Intensive Talent ..." (Walter Weidringer)

Internationale Hans Rott Gesellschaft