Walter Braunfels: Phantastische Erscheinungen eines Themas von Hector Berlioz

Walter Braunfels Phantastische Erscheinungen eines Themas von Hector Berlioz
Phantastische Erscheinungen eines Themas von Hector Berlioz

Walter Braunfels: Phantastische Erscheinungen eines Themas von Hector Berlioz

Opus:
op. 25
Year of composition:
1914-1917
Scored for:
for large orchestra
Composer:
Walter Braunfels
Instrumentation:
3 3 4 4 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(2), hp(2), str
Instrumentation details:
piccolo
1st flute
2nd flute
1st oboe
2nd oboe
cor anglais
clarinet in Eb (+3rdcl(Bb))
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
bass clarinet in Bb
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
3rd bassoon
contrabassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in Bb
2nd trumpet in Bb
cornet in Bb (+3rdtpt(Bb))
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
tuba
timpani
percussion(2)
1st harp
2nd harp
violin I
violin II
viola
violoncello
contrabass
Remarks:
Study score available at Musikproduktion Höflich: www.musikmph.de
Duration:
47’
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Audiosamples

Phantastische Erscheinungen eines Themas von Hector Berlioz
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

“In my young years” – remembered Braunfels – “Frank Wedekind spoke to me about his flea ballet. Nothing came of the composition at the time. But when I later heard La damnation de Faust, I could not stop thinking of Mephisto’s flea song, and I set about composing a piece: life, deeds and opinions of a flea. Phantastische Erscheinungen eines Themas von Hector Berlioz later developed from this”.

The work that eventually emerged is very far indeed from what must have been a jolly and light-hearted portrait of that irksome insect. In the composition lasting nearly fifty minutes, Braunfels demonstrates the power of his invention as well as his impressive skill as an orchestrator, through presenting the Berliozian theme, 12 variations and finale. Listening to this sumptuous music one wonders why Fate has treated this work so unfairly.

World première

Location:
Zürich
Date:
30.11.1919
Conductor:
Volkmar Andrae

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