Friday, March 13, 2020

Unsung composers: Franz Schmidt

This is a new series for the blog, although partly similar to a series of posts 5-10 years ago, which I now converted to draft status. I will focus on composers I like very much that did not make the top100 composers list as compiled from personal preferences of 56 Talk Classical members (link).

Franz Schmidt (1874 - 1939) was an Austro-Hungarian composer, whose reputation has been tarnished by his alleged sympathies with the Nazi regime (which were not entirely clear by the way). In addition, he is often dismissed as an anachronism, stcking to a late romantic style. In reality, there are plenty of more modern influences in his works. His oeuvre includes four substantial symphonies, chamber music, an oratorio, organ music and two operas (Wikipedia).

Some recommended works: symphony 4, the oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln, the string quartets, the clarinet quintets and the Variations on a Hussar Song for orchestra.  A good starting CD would be the combination of his fourth symphony and Variations on a Hussar Song on a Naxos disc (Amazon link).

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