Paul Büttner symphonies
Posted by Rob Maynard on February 10, 2017, 12:04 pm
Artistic criticism is very largely a subjective occupation. While David Barker did not think very highly of Büttner's fourth symphony, it's become, after repeated listening, something of a favourite of mine. Indeed, I actually nominated it as an "Unheralded Masterwork" in our old MusicWeb Recommends feature. |
In his review, David observed that "checking on Presto and ArkivMusic revealed that this is the only recording of his music currently available, so I don’t feel too bad about my ignorance of his existence". Clearly, however, I'm not the only Büttner fan, for if you go to YouTube and search "Büttner symphony" you will find that someone has posted there full length performances of the other three. The details are:
No.1 in F major (1898): Sinfonieorchester der Hochschule für Musik, Dresden / Rudolf Neuhaus (thought to be a 1950s recording)
No.2 in G major (1908): Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra / Gerhard Pflüger (1960s?)
No.3 in D flat major (1915): Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra / Heinz Rögne (1960s?)
Encountering the fourth symphony in isolation as he did, David concluded that Büttner seemed to have little in the way of an individual musical identity. Listening to the four symphonies in sequence confirms, on the other hand - at least to my own entirely subjective ears - that, while very much in the Late Romantic mainstream, Büttner does exhibit a personal voice that I, for one, find especially attractive and appealing.