About this Recording
8.557238 - BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 / SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 7 (Tintner Edition 6)
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TINTNER MEMORIAL EDITION • VOLUME 6

TINTNER MEMORIAL EDITION • VOLUME 6

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Symphony No.3 in E flat major, Op.55, ‘Eroica’  Performance recorded 30 March 1988

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

Symphony No.7 in C major, Op.105  Performance recorded 19 January 1999

 

With his nine symphonies, written between 1800 and 1824, Beethoven changed the course of symphonic history. Although he made few changes to the composition of the orchestra itself, he expanded vastly the traditional form as it had been developed in the time of Haydn and Mozart. In Beethoven’s compositional hands, the symphony developed a previously unimagined dramatic and musical weight. To his contemporaries Beethoven seemed an inimitable original, but to a number of his successors he seemed to have expanded the symphony to an intimidating extent.

 

The Symphony No.3 has a number of original features, including the substitution of a funeral march for the slow movement, a Scherzo for the Minuet, as in the D major Symphony, and a set of variations for the finale. It is, besides, on a heroic scale, scored for pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, trumpets and drums, with three French horns and the customary strings.

 

“There is an enormous advance between the First and the magnificent, often underrated Second Symphony,” said Maestro Tintner. “There in an even greater step forward to the enormous Eroica, an immortal tribute to the heroic spirit in triumph and sorrow. This is pure Beethoven, the ideals of the French Revolution translated into sound. Beethoven begins with a tune the thirteen-year-old Mozart had already used in the overture to Bastien and Bastienne, but what a difference! Karl Czerny, the pupil and friend of the master, insisted that Beethoven wanted two bars [150-151] at the end of the exposition repeated (the repeat sign is to be found in the original, but it is crossed out; the question is whether by Beethoven or someone else). [In this performance Maestro Tintner observes the repeat.]

 

“Apart from the enormous dimensions Beethoven introduces a completely new theme in the development section of the first movement, thereby almost obliterating the sonata form. And did he take the theme for the Variations of the wonderful last movement from his own music to the Creatures of Prometheus in order to pay tribute to the heroism of Prometheus the fire-bringer, who defied the Gods?”

 

Like Beethoven, the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius was effective in molding the large dramatic gestures of music. Sibelius was born into a Swedish-speaking household in 1865. It was at school that he first learned Finnish and developed an interest in the early legends of Finland.  Throughout the later nineteenth century there were profound divisions between the Swedish-speaking upper classes and the Finnish-speaking people, the cause of the latter embraced by influential nationalists and accentuated by the repressive measures introduced by Tsar Nicholas II, before the revolution of 1905. In this society Sibelius was deeply influenced by his association with the family of General Järnefelt, whose daughter Aino became his wife. Nevertheless linguistically Swedish remained his mother tongue, in which he expressed himself more fluently than he could in Finnish.

 

Sibelius’ musical abilities were recognized early, although not developed early enough to suggest music as a profession until he had entered university in Helsinki as a law student. His first ambition had been to be a violinist. It later became apparent that any ability he had in this direction was outweighed by his gifts as a composer, which had been developed first by study in Berlin with Goldmark and, more effectively, Robert Fuchs in Vienna.

 

In 1918 Sibelius wrote to his loyal friend and supporter Alex Carpelan outlining plans for three new symphonies. The third of these, Symphony No. 7 in C major, Opus 105, which was eventually completed in 1924 and given its first performance in Stockholm, was to have been in three movements, ending in a ‘Hellenic rondo’, and imbued with a feeling of Weltschmerz. In the end, the work was in one movement, an opening Adagio, a scherzo and a rondo, with a final return to the Adagio, and was first described as a Fantasia sinfonica. In many ways it may seem, in its massive unity of structure, a summary of the composer’s achievement. A solemn trombone theme assumes importance on the three occasions on which it appears. The busy scherzo appears, a natural progression from what has gone before, the trombone returning over the stormy texture.

 

The rondo section is at first lighter in mood, introduced by the French horn, gradually growing more sombre, although the dance predominates until the majestic trombone theme is heard again in a dramatic climax. The shimmering strings form a background to final thematic reminiscence, as the work draws to a triumphant end.

 

 

Georg Tintner was born in Vienna in 1917. He began studying piano at the age of six and to compose soon after. From nine to thirteen he was a member of the Vienna Boys Choir, where he also conducted the choir in performances of his own compositions. At thirteen he entered the Vienna State Academy as a composition prodigy, studying composition with Josef Marx and conducting with Felix Weingartner. At eighteen he was the conductor of a training choir of the Vienna Boys Choir, and trained the choir for a performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with Bruno Walter in 1936. His compositions were being performed in concert and broadcast by Austrian Radio, and at nineteen he became assistant conductor at the Vienna Volksoper.

 

In 1938 he fled the Nazis, spending a year in England before emigrating to New Zealand. For several years he ran a poultry farm – as a result of which he became a total vegetarian – before becoming Music Director of the Auckland String Players and Auckland Choral Society in 1947. He was also an avowed socialist and pacifist, and as such he rode a bicycle as “a symbol of the ultimate in harmlessness”.

 

In 1954 he went to Australia as Resident Conductor of the National Opera and then the Elizabethan Opera. In the following years he toured Australia widely and pioneered television opera with the Australian Broadcasting Commission. In 1964 he was Music Director of the New Zealand Opera, and in 1966-67 was Music Director of the Cape Town Municipal Orchestra. Although offered an extended contract, Tintner left for political reasons. He went to London and Sadler’s Wells (English National Opera) for three years, with guest appearances with the London Mozart Players, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia and the London Symphony Orchestra for the BBC.

 

He returned to Australia in 1970 as Music Director of the West Australian Opera Company. In 1971 he was invited as Music Director of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, a visit so successful that it was repeated seven times. Tintner had a special rapport with young musicians, conducting many concerts with the national youth orchestras of several countries. A 1974 series of lectures have been broadcast many times in English-speaking countries, and he was renowned for his concert introductions, some of which may be heard in this edition.

 

Tintner’s repertoire included 56 operas, about two-thirds of which he conducted from memory. In 1974 he became Senior Resident Conductor of the Australian Opera for two years. While there he conducted now-legendary performances of Fidelio, expressive of his lifelong commitment to compassionate humanism. From 1976 Tintner was Music Director of the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra until moving to Canada at the end of 1987 as Music Director of Symphony Nova Scotia. He appeared with all Australian, New Zealand orchestras and opera companies, and later with all major Canadian orchestras including the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. In the United States he toured with the Canadian Brass and appeared with the Michigan Opera Theatre.

 

He made many commercial recordings, including some for the CBC which are being reissued in the present Memorial Edition. His Naxos series of all eleven Bruckner symphonies brought him worldwide acclaim in his final two years.

 

Georg Tintner has been honoured in four countries, being awarded several honorary doctorates and honours including the Officer’s Cross of the Austrian Order of Merit. He was a Member of the Order of Canada.

            He died in Halifax in October 1999.

 

Tanya Tintner

 

Symphony Nova Scotia (SNS) is Canada’s only fully professional symphony orchestra east of Quebec City. Founded in 1983, the 37 musicians of Symphony Nova Scotia have a mandate “to enhance the quality of life of citizens of Nova Scotia”. Symphony Nova Scotia is dedicated to sharing live classical music with audiences across Nova Scotia through its concerts, and with all Canadians through its many CBC broadcasts. The orchestra also collaborates with other music, theatre, and dance partners, and has recently established the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus.

 

musicians on this recordings:

Concertmaster: Philippe Djokic, George Maxmann.  Violin: David Adams, Janet Dunsworth, Chun-He Gao, Beverley Grove, Mishan Han, Celeste Jankowski, Jennifer Jones, Ryan Kho, Hibiki Kobayashi, Lap Hok Kwan, Dorota Kwiecinska, Karen Langille, Anita Gao Lee, Yi Lee, Marcelle Mallette, Ken Nogami, Anne Rapson, Anne Simons, Peter Stryniak, David Thompson, Christopher Wilkinson.  Viola: Margot Aldrich, Binnie Brennan, Chris Buckley, Yvonne DeRoller, Sara Hartland-Rowe, Jean-Luc Plourde, Susan Sayle, Burt Wathen.  Cello: Norman Adams, Hilary Brown, Pierre Djokic, Alex Grant, David Moulton, Laszlo Muranyi, Mark Rodgers, Shimon Walt.  Bass: Max Kasper, Paulette Saurisseau, Lena Turofsky, Catherine Williams.  Flute: Lucie Batteke, Patricia Creighton, Christine Feierabend.  Oboe: Suzanne Lemieux, Margaret Pheby.  Clarinet: Richard Hornsby, Margaret Isaacs, John Rapson.  Bassoon: Christopher Palmer, Ivor Rothwell.  Horn: Steven Field, Margaret Howard, Mary Lee, Robert McCosh, Anne Marie Monaco, Gina Patterson.  Trumpet: Curtis Dietz, Robert Dutton, Richard Simoneau, Jeffrey Stern, Geoffrey Thompson.  Trombone: Gregory Burton, James Eager, Sophie Pelland.  Timpani/Percussion: Michael Baker, James Farraday.

 

In the recordings in this series the second violins are place on the right of the conductor, for the antiphonal effect between first and second violins these composers expected to hear.


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