Overview of the orchestration projects completed by Stefan Esser and me (Berkant Haydin, the author of the Marx website):
"EIN NEUJAHRSHYMNUS", arr. for mixed choir and orchestra (2004) "BERGHYMNE", arranged for mixed choir and orchestra (2005)
February 23rd, 2005: The publisher Universal Edition, Vienna, confirms the publication of our orchestral arrangement of "EIN NEUJAHRSHYMNUS".
September 21st, 2005: Universal Edition now also confirms the publication of our orchestral arrangement of "BERGHYMNE".
Autumn 2007: After negotiations with Berkant Haydin, the Label Chandos und the conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Jiri Belohlavek) confirm a CD recording of all choral-orchestral works including our arrangements of "Ein Neujahrshymnus" and "Berghymne" to be coupled with all orchestral songs for high voice (soprano: Christine Brewer). Date of recording: May/June 2008
"Ein Neujahrshymnus" ("A New Year's Hymn")
After the actual project seemed to be finished, I had the idea of making a synthesized recording of our score that should sound as "realistic" as possible. After 70 hours of work, I was able to present a synthesized recording about which I can claim that the orchestral sound is unexpectedly close to the sound world created by a real orchestra. You can now listen to a couple of samples of this Demo as MP3 files. The samples are offered in slightly lowered quality (due to legal reasons) but please rest assured that this will NOT spoil the pleasure of listening to them! Each of the MP3 files provides approx. 30 seconds of music and the files are small enough so that everyone (even those who use a slow modem) will have the chance to enjoy these samples:
| MP3 Sample 1
| MP3 Sample 3
| MP3 Sample 5
| MP3 Sample 2
| MP3 Sample 4
| MP3 Sample 6
(Note: Instead of clicking these MP3 files, you can also download them by right-clicking and selecting "Save target as" or "Save link target as".)
Early in January 2005, I ordered a copy of Marx's unpublished work "Berghymne" from the Austrian National Library, a work which previously had been listed in my Discography section as an "unfinished draft of a work for choir and orchestra").
Surprisingly, the score turned out to be a finished "Particell" (a reduced score), i.e. a kind of extended piano score including choral voices (unison) and a few basic orchestral voices. On the top of page 1 of the score, Marx had included the headline "Berghymne for choir and orchestra". Hence, Marx obviously wanted this piece to be worked out for choir and orchestra on a later occasion, and so he captured the essentials in this Particell score, but although his score already includes the outline, he never made the orchestration, perhaps due to lack of time. Also, aside from Marx's unpublished organ and piano pieces and his also unpublished five orchestral songs after Hugo Wolf, "Berghymne" is the only finished work among his unpublished manuscript scores. For these reasons, and since Stefan Esser and I had just completed the orchestration of "Ein Neujahrshymnus" (see above), we immediately knew that it was literally necessary to orchestrate "Berghymne", too. Our arrangement of "Berghymne" for mixed choir and orchestra was completed on March 5th, 2005.
"Berghymne" is a very short piece but still amazingly symphonic why it absolutely deserves to be titled "Hymn". There's no need to mention that this unpublished work has never been performed. Unfortunately, it was impossible to trace the year of origin of Marx's Particell score. However, due to the stylistic resemblance to Marx's other choral works, we have to assume that he wrote it between 1910 and 1914 which is the period when all of his other choral works were composed.
"Berghymne" is actually one of those rare curiosities of music history leaving behind some mysteries that will most likely remain unrevealed forever. Due to some obvious similarities, one can compare "Berghymne" to "Der Sturm" by Erich W. Korngold, which is another unique gem for mixed choir and orchestra: Both works are very short; both were written in the very same period; both remained unpublished and were never performed and never mentioned by the composer. It was the producer Miguel Kertsman (who is also producing ASV's "Complete Orchestral Music of Joseph Marx" series) who made possible world premiere recordings of "Der Sturm" and other Korngold works that are now available on four Korngold CDs produced by Mr. Kertsman for ASV.
Since a performance of "Berghymne" will take only 3 minutes, the chances of being performed by itself are low. Fortunately, the compositional structures of "Berghymne" allowed us to use almost exactly the same instrumentation as for "Ein Neujahrshymnus", so that these two works can be performed or recorded successively without the necessity of adding or rearranging instruments or choir members between the two works (a live performance of "Ein Neujahrshymnus" and "Berghymne" performed successively would take approx. 15 minutes).
Just as I did with "Ein Neujahrshymnus", I made a synthesized recording of "Berghymne". Enjoy the complete piece as an MP3 file:
Conductors, choirmasters, choir members, musicians and of course any other visitor of this website: I'm looking forward to reading your mail: Thank you!
© 2001-2006 Berkant Haydin