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Suite for Piano & Orchestra score
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Score of Macbeth
Score of Macbeth

Analysis of Raff's Music

Despite his fame in the second half of the 19th. century, Raff's reputation suffered such a calamitous collapse that little of his music was played in the next hundred years, and most of that was in the late 1990s. Paralleling and reinforcing this exclusion from performance went an academic disinterest which bordered on the Stalinist. Raff, one of the most celebrated composers of the 1860s-80s, was in danger of becoming a non-person to the musicologists of a hundred years later. Although happily this is no longer the case, there remains a dearth of serious academic and musicological studies of Raff in general and of his major works in particular.

To begin remedying this deficiency, published here are articles and other documents by respected authors, all of them authorities on Raff and his music. Many are available in both English and German versions, in both PDF and HTML format. Clicking the appropriate link will open the essay in a new window in your web browser. If you are unsure about PDF files, see these notes.

Analysis by Dr Avrohom Leichtling
Dr Avrohom Leichtling, one of the foremost authorities on Raff's music, has written extensively about a number of Raff's most important compositions and brings a composer's insight to his detailed and absorbing essays analysing them. These are significant contributions to our understanding of Raff and his music. Several have been written as forewords to new editions of Raff scores published by Edition Nordstern, and others for facsimile reprints of study scores available from Musikproduktion Jürgen Höflich. They are made availabe here with the publishers' kind permission. All Dr Leichtling's essays can be viewed or downloaded in PDF or HTML format and those written as score forewords are availble in both Englsh and German.

          Violin Concerto No.2 ( available in PDF and HTML format). Written exclusively for raff.org.
  The two Piano Quartets ( available in PDF and HTML format). Full text of Divox CD notes.
   
  Forewords to Edition Nordstern new editions:
Suite for Violin & Orchestra
Prelude to Shakespeare's The Tempest
   
  Forewords to Musikproduktion Jürgen Höflich facsimile reprints:
Symphony No.1 An das Vaterland op.96
Symphony No.4 op.167
Symphony No.6 op.189
Symphony No.8 Frühlingsklänge op.205
Symphony No.9 Im Sommer op.208
Symphony No.10 Zur Herbstzeit op.213
Symphony No.11 Der Winter op.214
Concertante: Die Tageszeiten op.209
Cello Concerto No.1 op.193
Suite for Piano & Orchestra op.200
Overture: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott op.127
Prelude to Shakespeare's Macbeth WoO.50
Singer's orchestration of the Cavatine op.85 no.39

Forewords for Edition Nordstern by Volker Tosta and Prof. Matthias Wiegandt
The publishing house of Edition Nordstern has built up an unrivalled repution for its new critical editions of Raff scores. Each issue is prefaced by a substantial foreword, impeccibly researched and entertainly written by series editor Volker Tosta or by Raff doyen Prof. Matthias Wiegandt. These important contributions to Raff scholarship are reprinted with Edition Nordstern's kind permission. Most are available in both English and German versions in both PDF and HTML format:

         Symphony No.2 op.140
         Violin Concerto No.1 op.161
         Elegie WoO.4
         Fantasie-Sonate op.168
         Piano arrangement of J.S. Bach's Six Cello Suites WoO.30
         Instrumentation and arrangment of Liszt's sketches for the Prometheus Overture RV 539

The Alan Krueck Archive
The Alan Krueck Archive will eventually include all Dr Krueck's surviving articles, papers and usable research documents concerning Raff and his music. The analyses of Raff's twelve symphonies which he prepared for his unpublished book are very significant additions to the body of Raff scholarship and his translation into English of Helene Raff's 1922 biography of her father will prove an indispensable aid to anyone studying Raff's life. Also to be included are the various fascinating papers which he read at musicological conferences, his prefaces to several new editions of Raff scores, his reviews of concerts featuring music by Raff and his CD insert notes for Raff recordings.

The archive currently comprises:

           Analysis of Raff's symphonies:
         Symphony in E minor WoO.18 (lost)
         Symphony No.1 An das Vaterland op.96
         Symphony No.2 op.140
         Symphony No.4 op.167
         Symphony No.6 op.189
         Symphony No.7 op.189 In den Alpen
         Die Jahreszeiten Symphony Cycle
         Symphony No.10 Frühlingsklänge op.205
         Symphony No.10 Zur Herbstzeit op.213 (fragment)
         Symphony No.11 Der Winter op.214

           Papers to musicological conferences:
         Researching Raff: Considerations and Revelations
         Identity Crisis - The Vienna Competition of 1862
         Maledictory Musicology
         A tale of two Lenores - or is it three?

Historical Analysis
In his day, Raff was a very considerable figure and contemporary music periodicals featured extensive reviews and analysis of his music. Although obviously lacking the objectivity and perspective afforded by the intervening 125 years, they give a good indication of his contemporaries' regard for Raff's music:

         Analysis of Symphonies Nos.3, 5 and 11 Book on famous Symphonies
         Analysis of La Fileuse op.157 No.2
         English premiere of Welt-Ende Newspaper report
         Review of four new Raff works English musical periodical

Article: "Joachim Raff: The Piano Trios" by Larius J Ussi
The Cobbett Association is dedicated to the preservation, dissemination, performance, publication and recording of rare and neglected chamber music of merit; chamber music which is no longer in the standard repertoire. It publishes The Chamber Music Journal in which Larius J Ussi's comprehensive survey of Raff's piano trios appeared in 2006. The Cobbett Association's kind permission to make it available here here is gratefully acknowledged.

         Read Larius Ussi's article in PDF format.

Recording booklet notes: "Raff's Six Morceaux op.85 & Ten Sonatilles op.99"
Pianist Eric Le Van has kindly provided a copy of his exemplary essay written for the booklet accompanying Tudor's CD (Tudor 7109 - review) on which he and violinist Michaela Paetsch Neftel play Raff's Six Morceaux op.85 and give the recording premiere of the Ten Sonatilles op.99.

         Read Eric LeVan's essay in PDF format (also HTML).

Article: "The symphonist Joachim Raff"
This fascinating article "The symphonist Joachim Raff" (© Die Tonkunst 2006) by musicologist Dr Markus Gärtner appears in the German language online music magazine Die Tonkunst. The subtitle: "With a note on the 'history' of post-modernism", gives hints at its perceptive argument that Raff was the unrecognised precursor of what was to become the post-modernist movement in music.

         Read Dr Gärtner's article in PDF format at Die Tonkunst (in German, © Die Tonkunst 2006).

More...
Further detailed analysis of Raff's music can be found in Matthias Wiegandt's book "Forgotten Symphonists", Carol Bevier's dissertation on Raff's programme symphonies and Molly Johnson's monograph on the "Maria Stuart" song cycle - details of all in the Books section.

About Adobe Acrobat PDF files
The essays are published in Adobe Acrobat PDF format so that you can read and print it out whatever your operating system - Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix, OS/2, Solaris etc. Many computers have the Acrobat Reader installed as standard and, if you do, clicking on the icon will open the essay in your browser automatically.

Tip!
You may prefer to download and save the file direct to your computer rather than wait for it to open in your browser first. Each operating system has its own way of doing this. For example, using Internet Explorer with Windows, just right click on the appropriate PDF icon or text link and then select the "save target as..." option.

Don't have Acrobat Reader installed on your system? You will need Acrobat Reader 5 or later. Download it free from Adobe.

© 1999-2014 Mark Thomas. All rights reserved.