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Marx: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3- Alt-Wiener Serenaden / Partita in Modo Antico / Sinfonia in Modo Classico

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Allegro Moderato Ma Deciso (Intrada)
  2. Andante Appassionata (Aria)
  3. Tempo Di Menuetto
  4. Scherzo Con Marcia (Presto)
  5. Allegro Poco Moderato
  6. Presto
  7. Adagio Molto
  8. Vivace
  9. Allegro Con Brio
  10. Adagio Ma Non Troppo
  11. Tempo Di Minuetto
  12. Poco Presto


Product Details

  • Orchestra: Bochum Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Steven Sloane
  • Composer: Joseph Marx
  • Audio CD (January 25, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Asv Living Era
  • ASIN: B00064WSL4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,145 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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When Wilhelm Furtwaengler in 1952 called Joseph Marx (1882-1964) the 'leading force of Austrian

music', Marx's 50-year-old career as a composer was already over; but as one of the most

dazzling and important personalities in 20th-century Austrian music, he had already left his

mark on whole generations of musicians. Highly revered by the great majority of his Austrian contemporaries, Marx also enjoyed within the

international community an undisputed reputation as a remarkable composer and teacher.

As an impressionist who nonetheless called himself a 'Romantic', Joseph Marx never tried to

conceal his deep admiration for the founding fathers of music - such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,

Robert Schumann, Johann Sebastian Bach, Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert. Thus it was that he

sometimes used in his own works variations of old tunes, as for example in his Alt-Wiener Serenaden, in

which he quotes themes from the works of Karl Michael Ziehrer and Joseph Haydn, or in his works for

string orchestra such as Partita in modo antico and Sinfonia in modo classico, in which Marx paid most

impressive homage to his musical models. But why did Marx, towards the end of his composing life (from

approx. 1935-45), turn away from his impressionistic and late Romantic style to devote himself for the most part to chamber-like music in the early Romantic and classicising manner?
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Joseph Marx (1882-1964) was considered a conservative throwback toward the end of his life because much of his music was written in a combination of late Romantic and Impressionistic styles. But when he came to write the three late works presented here he became even more conservative in the sense that he reverted to even older styles, those of the Renaissance polyphonists or the symphonists and quartet writers of the Classical period, Haydn in particular. There certainly was precedent for that sort of homage to the styles of earlier masters, and it is no surprise that Marx, whose knowledge of the old masters was profound, should do the same.

The first of these works is 'Alt-Wiener Serenaden' ('Old Viennese Serenades'), a four movement work for large orchestra that invokes the music of his beloved city and of some of the music associated with it. The first movement, 'Intrada,' immediately strikes one with its charm and evocation of times past, gemütlichheit and courtly manners combined. 'Aria' is a dreamy song featuring wind solos. The 'Minuet' is really more of a Ländler, that forerunner of the waltz entirely fitting in a Viennese suite; it quotes Haydn directly. The 'Scherzo con marcia (Presto)' is a lightly scored contrapuntal romp.

Marx wrote three string quartets. In the 1940s he orchestrated the Second and Third for string orchestra. The string quartet versions have already been recorded on ASV by the Lyric Quartet. The versions for string orchestra do not appreciably change the musical materials of the quartets, but the sound of the full ensemble is richer.

'Quartetto in Modo Antico,' arranged from the Second Quartet, comprises four movements in, in order, the Mixolydian, Dorian, Phrygian, and again Mixolydian modes.
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