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8.579051 - SCHUMANN, C. / MÉNAGER, L.: Horn and Piano Works (Halsdorf, Kae Shiraki)
English 

Camillo SCHUMANN (1872–1946)
Complete Works for Horn and Piano

 

Camillo Schumann was born in 1872 in Königstein, where his father was city director of music. He had early practical experience in music when, as a twelve year old, he conducted the group of town wind players performing from the church tower. Musical studies took him to the Conservatory in Leipzig, where his teachers included Carl Reinecke, Salomon Jadassohn, Bruno Zwintscher, and Paul Homeyer. In 1894 he moved to the Berlin Musikhochschule, studying there with Clara Schumann’s halfbrother Woldemar Bargiel, and with Robert Radecke. In 1896 he was appointed organist at St George’s in Eisenach and to the Wartburg Kapelle. From here he established himself as an organist and pianist, as well as a remarkably prolific composer. Official recognition brought appointment as Grand Ducal Director of Music and Saxony Court Organist, with teaching responsibilities at the Brill Conservatory in Eisenach. In 1914 he turned primarily to composition, settling at Bad Gottleuba and, after the war and its depredations, obliged to serve again as organist at Markersbach and Langenhennersdorf. He died at Bad Gottleuba in 1946.

As a composer Camillo Schumann followed a traditional path, writing in a style that reflected his training and his own interests. His residence in Eisenach brought inevitable echoes of Johann Sebastian Bach, and his work, much of it unpublished, shows little of the contemporary world in which he found himself, the world of Schoenberg, of Stravinsky or of Debussy.

Camillo Schumann’s Sonata No. 2 in D major for horn and piano, Op. posth. is dated 1936. It opens with a D minor Andante sostenuto, introduced by the horn, echoed by the piano. The Allegro con anima that follows is in D major, the horn principal theme taken up by the piano. A second subject, marked Tranquillo, leads to a D minor central section, followed by the due return of the two themes. The piano introduces the A major Andante, the relative tranquillity of the movement interrupted by an Animato passage, followed by the return of the first material. The third movement, more Scherzo than Menuett, is in F sharp minor, with a contrasting trio section in F sharp major. The final Allegro molto con brio has the brisk main subject introduced by the horn, then taken up by the piano, the movement ending in an Allegro molto coda, the whole thematically related to the opening of the Sonata.

The Three Recital Pieces for Waldhorn with piano accompaniment, Op. 82 start with a C major Romanze, a piece that explores the figuration characteristic of the horn. The G minor Intermezzo leads to an ebullient Jagdstück (‘Hunting Piece’) where the horn is thoroughly at home.

Camillo Schumann’s Sonata in F major for horn and piano, Op. 118 was completed in 1911. It opens with an Andante sostenuto, with hints of what is to come in the following Allegro moderato, with its due introduction of two subjects, and with a contrasting section in brusquely dotted rhythms. The B flat major second movement continues to allow much of the melodic interest to the horn. The movement includes a touch of Adagio in a passage in G flat. The Sonata ends with an Allegro con brio that makes typical use of triplet figuration. Distant fanfares mark the approach of the coda and a spirited ending.

Based on information provided by the music editor, Nick Pfefferkorn.

 

Laurent MÉNAGER (1835–1902)
Sur la montagne, Op. 35

Laurent Ménager had his earlier musical training at the Athénée de Luxembourg, going on to study with Ferdinand Hiller in Cologne. On his return to Luxembourg he taught at the Luxembourg Conservatoire and at the Athénée, establishing himself nationally as a figure of importance in the music of his homeland.

Ménager contributed to various musical genres, including songs, choral works and operettas, and in 1857 founded the national choral association Sang a Klang. His Sur la montagne, Op. 35, for horn and piano, has also been arranged for horn and wind band. It evokes something of a mountain landscape, with echoes of the alpenhorn and of the changes of weather.

Keith Anderson


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