Hans Rott Newsletter 5 (February 2003)

Updated on
August 23, 2017
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1. Hans Rott on Air

An important date for all who have not yet heard resp. recorded the first German performance of the Pastoral Prelude which I highly recommend:

March 5, 2003 HR (Hessischer Rundfunk/Hessian Radio Station) 2
08.05 p.m. Symphony Concert from Berlin
  Hans Rott: Pastorales Vorspiel (Pastoral Prelude)
  Schubert/Liszt: "Wayfarer's Fantasy" D 760
  R. Strauss: 2nd Suite from "Rosenkavalier"

(Recording of the first German performance on March 22, 2002, Berlin, Konzerthaus)

  Barry Douglas, piano
Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester, Jac van Steen
And a few days later:

März 18, 2003       HR (Hessischer Rundfunk/Hessian Radio Station) 2
10:05 a.m. Konzert am Vormittag (Morning Concert)
  Wagner: Overture to "The Flying Dutchman"
  Crusell: 1st Clarinet Concerto in E-flat major op. 1
  Mozart: Piano Sonata in B-flat major KV 333
  Hans Rott: Symphony No 1 in E major; Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra, Gerhard Samuel


2. The Würzburg Bruckner Festival 2002 (Part III)

As my report about the matinee on October 12, 2002 ("Lieder, Piano Pieces and Quartets by Anton Bruckner and Hans Rott") in Newsletter 3 had unfortunately been a very short one, I am very glad that another member of the Internationale Hans Rott Gesellschaft, Mrs Annette Salmon, who had been one of the audience, too, was so very kind as to write down her impressions:

It was with a beating heart that I arrived at the Great Hall of the Würzburg Conservatoire for I was about to witness a 'historic moment'! and it was in the front row where I took a seat right away!

The concert was introduced by Erwin Horn. The programme featured pieces by Anton Bruckner and Hans Rott.

First, Markus Bellheim was interpreting Bruckner's "Erinnerung", a character piece for piano in A-sharp major. Next the accompanied Marina Spielmann (soprano) who sang five Bruckner Lieder. The last piece by Bruckner, the String Quartet in c minor was played by the Arco-Quartett. It had been an impressive performance indeed and a very pleasing one for it had been works hardly ever heard in concert halls.

The climax, however, was still to come: The String Quartet in c minor by Hans Rott.

To increase the tension, there were three Rott Lieder first! It was the first surprise: Hans Rott had composed beautiful songs, which again had been very beautifully interpreted by Johannes Weinhuber and Markus Bellheim!

Then the great moment had come for me, and I caught my breath as apparently did the audience, too! There was no coughing, no noise, no fly to be heard any more; the audience was completely concentrating - as were the four string players on the stage: for the first time we had an opportunity to listen to this String Quartet being played in its five movement version! It had been a very impressive moment!

Would this work by Rott meet the expectations we entertained after having heard his Symphony in E major?

Indeed: We heard a very interesting and beautiful String Quartet being interpreted by the young Arco-Quartett.

We know that Gustav Mahler had studied the score of the Symphony in E major. I now ask myself whether he also knew the score of the String Quartet, especially that of the Adagio. To me Rott's Adagio seemed to be the birth certificate of the Adagietto of Mahler's Fifth! Which had been the second surprise! Let's hope a musicologist will attend to this issue!

The concert was concluded by more Rott Lieder. I must not forget to mention the "Pater Noster" (a baritone solo, accompanied by a string quintet plus double bass), for that had been a first performance, too.

The artists' performance must be highly praised. They gave us a wonderful concert and a lovely time. A big 'thank you' goes also to Erwin Horn who had been responsible for the entire organization.

It was only when the concert was over that I turned round: The hall was full, about 300 people who had not coughed once and enjoyed the concert as intensively as I had!

Annette Salmon

3. The "Julius Caesar" Score Available Now

The publishing house of  Doblinger/Wien has accepted the "Prelude to Julius Caesar" for publication, the first work by Rott in their programme. Performance materials (edited by Frank Litterscheid) can be hired, a study score (order no. Stp. 726) be bought as of now.

Doblinger intend to publish further works by Rott. Any news in this respect will be passed on by me.


4. The Performance of the Symphony No. 1 in E major by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

To me one of the greatest surprises of the year 2002 had been the announcement that the well-renowned Detroit Symphony Orchestra was going to give several performances Rott's Symphony No. 1 in January 2003. I was not only lucky to attend the first performance but also able the Orchestra's rehearsals.

Already during the rehearsals the performance had been mostly as good as the remembered studio recordings. Especially the 3rd movement proved the quality of the musicians, especially the brass, and here above all the horns.

Yet the rehearsals did not convey an overall impression, for even in the last rehearsal Järvi did many alterations and he was rehearsing details so that it was only in the concert that the Symphony was played completely and the movements in the right order.

The premiere on January 16, 2003 had been very well attended. The concert began with the Violin Concert op. 35 by Tchaikovsky; the soloist was Vadim Gluzman who was justly celebrated by the audience.

The performance of the Symphony held some surprises in store for me, despite having attended the rehearsals, for Järvi had had some more alterations up his sleeve.

The 1st movement turned out very well, which for one thing was due to the orchestra's quality, for another to the good acoustics of the hall.

The 2nd movement was played considerably faster than in the interpretation by Segerstam. In a talk Maestro Järvi stressed that, in his opinion, the instruction "very slow" was permitting that tempo, too.

The Scherzo became a special experience: It was dance-like, carrying away, and full of contrasts.

In the 4th movement, Järvi again deviated from the instruction "very slow" and did it very fast; it lasted less than 20 minutes! To Järvi's understanding a tempo instruction is just a relative expression and he wants to stress the "beautiful melodies" by playing them faster.

It must be mentioned that many interested people gathered one hour before the concert began for a CocerTalk in which Charles Greenwell gave them a very good introduction into the Rott Symphony. For Greenwell dedicated less than one third of the given time to Tchaikovsky's (very popular) Violin Concert used the remaining time to introduce the audience to the life and work of Rott. He even presented a short analysis of the work along with music examples.

In the next Newsletter of the Internationale Hans Rott Gesellschaft you will read more detailed report about the rehearsals, the concert and the talks with Neeme Järvi.


5. The latest Rott CD - A Review Comparing the CDs

I am not yet able to give a final judgement about the latest recording of the Symphony No. 1 in E major (Orchestre National de Montpellier, Friedemann Layer). Anyway this recording is a very interesting one in the reception history for it sometimes deviates very strongly from the hitherto known CDs: For instance it offers an unusual slow interpretation of the 1st movement and frequently strives to follow Rott's instructions to the point.

In this context it is with great pleasure that I am able to announce that before long you will find on the Rott Site a review by the experienced critic Steve Francis Vasta in which he compares all the recordings.


5. Choral Works

After no less than nine works by Rott had experienced their first performance during the last year, there will have taken place at least one performance of all - hitherto known - playable compositions in the not too distant future.

A further important step into this direction is the first performance of both of Rott's Choral Works with Caroline Prozeller conducting which will take place in Würzburg this spring. More details will be given soon. By the way, Doblinger will publish those works, too.


6. Newsletter No. 4

It was by mistake that the last newsletter had not been sent to all subscribers, for which I do apologize. It therefore will be distributed again along with the present one, and I count on the understanding of all those of you who will receive it for a second time now.


Thank you very much for your interest and best regards,

Martin Brilla


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