Anton Urspruch (1850-1907), a name new to me, was a German composer, pedagogue and pianist who studied with Lachner, Raff and Liszt. He was said to be one of the latter’s favorite pupils. He composed many works, but, like Franck and Chausson, only one symphony. The piece is Brahmsian, but lighter and brighter, all to the good. It strikes me, after brief acquaintance, as very worthy of revival.
Marcus Bosch conducts the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie. I have posted the movements separately for easier sampling.
To hear other music in this series, click on the “neglected symphonies” tag at the bottom of this post.
Here’s your quick, mobile-friendly guide to Pacific Symphony concerts in January, with links to tickets. There are five concerts in all during the month.
The elegant and dashing violin virtuoso Ray Chen arrives Jan. 11-13 to play the greatest violin concerto of them all, i.e. Beethoven’s. On the second half of the program, guest conductor Michael Francis, making his debut with the orchestra, leads a rare performance of Elgar’s richly tapestried Symphony No. 1. Tickets here
The Grammy-nominated Russian-American violinist Philippe Quint then comes (Jan. 21) to lead the orchestra in a one-off performance of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” at the acoustically resplendent Soka Performing Arts Center. Tickets here
Later the same day, back at Segerstrom Concert Hall, organist Paul Jacobs, a national figure and local favorite, mans the Gillespie Concert Organ to perform a program of Bach and Liszt, including the Toccata and Fugue in D minor of the former and the mammoth Fantasia and Fugue on “Ad Nos, Ad Salutarem Unjam” of the latter. Tickets here
A scene from “A Song to Remember” (1944), with Cornel Wilde as Chopin, Stephen Bekassy as Liszt, and Paul Muni as Chopin’s teacher, Prof. Joseph Elsner. I laughed out loud the first time I saw this, many years ago. When Hollywood gets classical music wrong, it’s usually very wrong.
Halliwell’s capsule review of the film:
“Hilarious classical music biopic which was unexpectedly popular and provoked a flood of similar pieces. As a production, not at all bad, but the script …”
Jose Iturbi dubbed the piano playing.