Fritz Brun: Complete Orchestral Works (11CD)

Brilliant Classics
Current Stock:
Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, Adriano

In this release, the prominent conductor Adriano with help from the world renowned Bratislava and Moscow Symphony Orchestras, among others, draws together the first complete series of orchestral works by Swiss composer Fritz Brun (1878 –1959).

This set sheds light on the little-known composer’s repertoire, from the rhapsodies, the concertos, to ten sweeping symphonies.

Brun grew up in Lucerne and his time active as a composer coincided with a period of high creative output of Swiss music. Brun’s repertoire sits alongside other native composers such as Honegger, Schoeck and Bloch. The crowded market, combined with the struggle to find a publisher (only three out of his ten symphonies were published in his lifetime) offers one indication as to why Brun’s works failed to reach the mainstream public. While not a household name, Brun is often touted as the Swiss answer to Vaughan Williams and Edward Elgar. Brun’s works have a nostalgic touch; they draw on the Romantic and Classical eras in their emotional sincerity and defined forms, but always with a modern flavour.

The first CD opens with the bold staccato chords of Symphony No.1, reminiscent of late Beethoven, while Symphony No.2 has a lighter feel, as the composer paints an image of youth, love, heartbreak and the beauty of nature with rich harmonies inspired by Brahms and expressive Schumanninspired fanfares. This set showcases Brun’s works as a fascinating collage of cross-historical and crosscultural encounters.

After graduating from the Cologne conservatoire, Brun worked in Berlin, London and Dortmund where he took up various music posts. His music reflects his European travels and unites diverse inspirations from different countries and eras as equals on his musical plane. Modernist influences are skilfully interwoven into his compositions, the scherzo movements for example, draw on Stravinsky in their timbre and rhythms and Symphony No.5 liberally experiments with tonality. However, similar to his English counterparts, his music remains rooted in his homeland. Symphony No.3 is inspired by the Alps and it is his best known work, made particularly famous for its use of Italian-Swiss folk melodies. In his later life, Brun returned to Switzerland, where he served as director of the Berne Music Society until his retirement in 1941. The final bonus disc features historical recordings, in particular, the celebrated Paul Sacher (1906–1999) brings his interpretation of Variations for string orchestra and piano, and Brun conducts his own Symphony No.8.

This unique set of recordings is the result of over a decade of perseverance by Adriano to share these hidden gems with a 21st-century audience and bring Fritz Brun the recognition he so rightly deserves.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Symphonie Nr. 1 in h-moll/B minor (1901)
1 I. Allegro moderato 
2 II. Adagio non troppo 
3 III. Allegro energico – Andante molto sostenuto – Poco più mosso 
4 IV. Allegro con brio 

Ouvertüre zu einer Jubiläumsfeier (1950)
Overture to a Jubelee Celebration
5 Largo – Vivace 

Symphonie Nr. 2 in B-Dur/B flat (1911) 
1 I. Allegro moderato 
2 II. Allegro appassionato 
3 III. Adagio sostenuto 
4 IV. Non troppo vivace 

Symphonischer Prolog für grosses Orchester (1944)
Symphonic Prologue
Für grosses Orchester/for large orchestra
5 Lento - Allegro con brio 

Symphonie Nr. 3 in d-moll/D minor (1919) 
1 I. Allegro molto moderato, ma agitato 
II. Variationen über ein altes tessinisches Drei-Königslied 

Variations on an old Ticinese Epiphany carol 
2 Thema: Tranquillo 
3 Var. 1: Andante sostenuto 
4 Var. 2: Poco più mosso 
5 Var. 3: Alla Marcia 
6 Var. 4: Presto 
7 Var. 5: Sostenuto 
8 Var. 6: Adagio affettuoso 
9 III. Allegro non troppo 

Symphonie Nr. 4 E-Dur/E (1925)
1 I. Poco mosso, con tranquillità 
2 II. Mosso, con rabbia – Adagio sostenuto – Tempo I 
3 III. Andante – Allegro energico – Tranquillo – Wuchtig 

Rhapsodie für Orchester (1957)
Für Orchester/for orchestra
4 Andante – Mosso – Allegro moderato – Mosso 

Symphonie Nr. 5 Es-Dur/E flat (1929)
1 I. Chaconne 
2 II. Gehetzt, phantastisch 
3 III. Langsam 
4 IV. Rasch und wütend 

Symphonie Nr. 10 B-Dur/B flat (1953)
5 I. Allegro non troppo 
6 II. Mosso 
7 III. Adagio 
8 IV. Vivace 

Symphonie Nr. 6 C-Dur/C (1933) 
1 I. Praeludium: Poco Andante 
2 II. Mosso, non troppo – Lento – Tempo I 
3 III. Andante amabile, quasi Allegretto 
4 IV. Tema con variazioni 

Symphonie Nr. 7 D-Dur/D (1937)
5 I. Nachklang: Andante tranquillo 
6 II. Vivace 
7 III. Intermezzo: Andante con grazia 
8 IV. Allegro 

Symphonie Nr. 8 in A-Dur/A (1942)
1 I. Allegro vivace 
2 II. Andante (nach einem alten Berner Volkslied/after the old Bernese folk song „Schönster Abestärn”) 
3 III. Notturno: Andante comodo 
4 IV. Allegro non troppo 

OTHMAR SCHOECK (1886-1957)
3 Lieder für eine Altstimme & Klavier (1914) 
3 Songs for alto & piano

Orch. Fritz Brun (1916)
5 I. Auf meines Kindes Tod (Joseph von Eichendorff) 
6 II. Die drei Zigeuner (Nikolaus Lenau) 
7 III. Jugendgedenken (Gottfried Keller) 

Symphonie Nr. 9 F-Dur/F (1949-50)
1 I. Vorspiel: Vivace 
2 II. Serenade: Allegretto comodo 
3 III. Liebesruf: Andante sostenuto 
4 IV. Im Kreis der Freunde: Allegro 
5 V. Glaube und Zweifel – Lob Gottes und der Natur: Andante 

6 Aus dem Buch Hiob (1906) 
From the book of Job
Symphonische Dichtung für Grosses Orchester/Symphonic poem for large orchestra

Konzert für Klavier & Orchester in A-Dur/A (1946)
Concerto for piano & orchestra
1 I. Allegro moderato 
2 II. Andante sostenuto — 
3 (III.) Allegro 

Variationen für Streichorchester & Klavier über ein eigenes Thema (1944)
Variations for string orchestra & piano on an original them
4 Thema: Andante tranquillo 
5 Var. 1: (Andante tranquillo) 
6 Var. 2: Poco più mosso 
7 Var. 3: Lo stesso tempo 
8 Var. 4: Mosso 
9 Var. 5: Die Viertel etwas ruhiger als vorher 
10 Var. 6: Vivace (nicht eilen!) 
11 Var. 7: Largo (espressivo) 
12 Var. 8: Allegro 

13 Divertimento für Klavier & Streicher (1954) 
Divertimenti for piano & strings

Konzert für Violoncello & Orchester d-moll/D minor (1947)
Concerto for cello & orchestra
1 I. Allegro moderato 
2 II. Andante sostenuto, con sentimento 
3 III. Allegro animato 
4 Verheissung (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) (1915) 
Für gemischten Chor, Orgel & Orchester/for mixed choir, organ & orchestra

5 Grenzen der Menschheit (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) (1932) 
Für Männerchor & Orchester/for male choir & orchestra

5 Lieder für eine Altstimme & Klavier (1913-1916) 
5 Songs for alto & piano
Arr. Adriano for alto & string sextet (2014)
6 I. Lebensgenuss (Friedrich Hölderlin) 
7 II. Die Entschlafenen (Friedrich Hölderlin) 
8 III. Abendständchen (Clemens Brentano) 
9 IV. Es wehet kühl und leise (Friedrich Schlegel) 
10 V. Der Wunsch (Friedrich von Hagedorn) 

Symphonie Nr. 8 in A-Dur/A (1942)
1 I. Allegro vivace 
2 II. Andante (nach einem alten Berner Volkslied/after the old Bernese folk song „Schönster Abestärn”) 
3 III. Notturno: Andante comodo 
4 IV. Allegro non troppo 

Variationen für Streichorchester & Klavier über ein eigenes Thema (1944)
Variations for piano & string orchestra on an original theme
5 Thema: Andante tranquillo 
6 Var. 1: (Andante tranquillo) 
7 Var. 2: Poco più mosso 
8 Var. 3: Lo stesso tempo 
9 Var. 4: Mosso 
10 Var. 5: Die Viertel etwas ruhiger als vorher 
11 Var. 6: Vivace (nicht eilen!) 
12 Var. 7: Largo (espressivo) 
13 Var. 8: Allegro