The Lost Generation: Apostel, Kauder, Busch

The Lost Generation: Apostel, Kauder, Busch

AV2684 (Avie Records, CD)

FIRST RELEASE (24 May 2024)

Playing time: 74'06"
Tracks: 15
Booklet pages: 23
℗ 2024 The Orchestra Now
© 2024 The Orchestra Now
Main country of recording: United States of America
Country of manufacture: Austria
Reviewer: Geoff Pearce
Review of The Lost Generation: Apostel, Kauder, Busch published on 19 June 2024

The Orchestra Now
Leon Botstein, conductor

Hugo Kauder (1888-1972):

Symphony No 1
1 Bewegt
2 Sehr mäßig bewegt
3 Sehr breit und betragen
4 Ruhig, streng gemessen

Hans Erich Apostel (1901-1972):

Variations on a Theme by Haydn (1949)
5 Theme: Andante, più tosto Allegretto
6 Var I: Allegretto
7 Var II: Andante cantabile
8 Var III: Tagstück. Pastorale
9 Var IV: Vivace
10 Var V: Adagio
11 Var VI: Vivace
12 Var VII: Nachtstück, in Kubins Manier
13 Var VIII: Andante cantabile
14 Var IX: Allegretto

Adolf Busch (1891-1952) arranged for orchestra by Peter Serkin (1947-2000):

15 Variations on an Original Theme, for piano four-hands

If you've seen the Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro, you've seen and heard The Orchestra Now, the exceptional ensemble that appears in the movie's Tanglewood Music Festival scene. The Orchestra Now (TŌN), a New York-based graduate-level training orchestra comprised of the most vibrant young musicians from around the globe, was founded by conductor, teacher and music historian Leon Botstein, whose insatiable curiosity has resulted in rescuing countless musical works from oblivion. Their first recording for AVIE, The Lost Generation, brings together three German-speaking composers who were contemporaries of Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg, but whose music became supressed by historical events of the twentieth century. In November 2022, Botstein and TŌN gave the first US performance of Hugo Kauder's Symphony No 1. The largely self-taught Moravian-born composer had a distinguished career in Vienna until he was forced to flee the Nazis and arrived in New York in 1938. The first of Kauder's five symphonies was dedicated to Alma Mahler. Whilst his musical language is rooted in the tradition of Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler, he forged an individual voice with his ease and flexibility of harmonic and metrical shifts. German-born Austrian composer Hans Erich Apostel studied with Schoenberg and Berg. His works incorporated his mentors' expressionism and twelve-tone methods in equal measure. The Nazis deemed Apostel's music 'degenerate', but he lived out his life in Vienna until his death in 1972. His Variations on a theme by Haydn, performed frequently in the mid-twentieth century, is a homage to the second movement of Haydn's Symphony No 103, the Drum Roll, which itself comprises variations on a theme. Adolf Busch, one of the most celebrated violinists and chamber musicians of the twentieth century, was also a prolific composer. A staunch opponent of Nazism, he left his native Germany, arriving first in Switzerland and eventually the United States in 1939. A late Romantic compositional style imbues his Variations on an Original Theme, originally for piano four hands and presented to his wife as a Christmas present in 1944. Busch's longtime chamber music partner and son-in-law, the pianist Rudolf Serkin, frequently performed the work with his son Peter, who made this orchestration of his grandfather's composition, in a familial labour of love.

Recorded in November 2022 at The Fisher Center, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, USA.