Two new CDs published


Dr Sean Gabb:

Note: I’d never heard of Gernsheim before this morning, or heard any of his music. But, if his Fantasie op.81 is any indication of his talent, he is unjustly unknown. Many thanks to John Kersey, one of our regular contributors, for having brought his music back to life – and all praise for such fine playing.

I recommend John’s recordings to all our readers. The first reason shouldn’t need spelling out, but does. We are a movement of outsiders. Sometimes, we are odd in ourselves. More often, we have, by holding unfashionable ideas, placed ourselves at best on the margins. Some of us have artistic or other talents that, displayed without the accompanying libertarianism, might have made us moderately rich and famous. We have a duty to praise and generally support those libertarians who have such talents.

Indeed, there is occasional criticism on this Blog of the Jews. Whether or not any of this is justified does not concern me here. What does matter is how the Jews have, without losing themselves in the wider population, risen to considerable wealth and influence by consistent ethnic nepotism. The lefties have done the same. So have the Freemasons. We should learn from this. And the first lesson to be learned is that we should praise and support the talents of our fellow libertarians, no matter how apparently tangential they may appear to the core libertarian case.

The second reason is unpolitical. The German musical tradition between about 1750 and 1900 is one of the greatest of all human achievements. But those of us who are not musical scholars are unable to appreciate it in full. We can listen to the music of Beethoven and Schubert and Schumann and Mendelssohn and Brahms. We can listen to the alternative approaches, after Beethoven, of Liszt and Wagner. But we are not aware of the context in which these giants worked. They worked within, or reacted against, a large community of other musicians. If we do not know these other musicians, our appreciation of the great composers is defective. Imagine that we only knew of what was achieved in Hollywood between 1930 and 1950 by watching “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Maltese Falcon.” These are great works that stand by themselves. Of course, though, they are best appreciated by knowing what else was coming out of the main studios at the time.

Regardless of whether he was any good – and he seems to have been a man of solid ability – we should listen to the music of Friedrich Gernsheim.

For these reasons, and perhaps for others, I do most earnestly urge our readers to buy this CD. SIG

Originally posted on John Kersey:

Two new CDs have been issued by Romantic Discoveries Recordings:

Piano Music of Friedrich Gernsheim (1839-1916), volume 2
John Kersey, piano
RDR CD100

Audio sample: Fantasie, op. 81 (from vol. 1)

Total time: 76 minutes 13 seconds

Sonata in F minor, op. 1
1. Langsam, getragen (7’49”) 2. Lebhaft (3’31”) 3. Leidenschaftlich bewegt (10’06”)
Zwei Klavierstücke, op. 39
4. Lied (4’34”) 5. Gavotte (4’40”)
Tondichtung, op. 72
6. Hymnus (3’11”) 7. Romanze (5’45”) 8. Intermezzo (6’25”) 9. Jubilate (5’18”)
10. Waltz, op. 70 (4’50”)
Symbole, op. 59
11. Nachtstück (5’13”) 12. Elegie (5’11”) 13. Im Schilf (3’36”) 14. Romanze (3’00”) 15. Aeolus (2’55”)

Piano Music of Friedrich Gernsheim (1839-1916), volume 1
John Kersey, piano
RDR CD100

Total time: 72 minutes 16 seconds

1. Fantasie, op. 27 (21’04”)
Ins Stammbuch, op. 26
2. Andantino (1’49”) 3. Allegretto grazioso (1’40”) 4. Andante (3’39”) 5. Allegro con brio e giocoso (2’27”) 6…

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3 responses to “Two new CDs published

  1. I am becoming a bit of a connoisseur of obscure composers. I am familiar with Gernsheim, and regard him highly, although I do not know his music well as it is so little played.
    I have always held Mr Kersey’s writings on this site in high regard and I am very pleased to learn he is also a musician (and I am speaking as a failed musician!).
    I grew up on a diet of Radio Three, before it went all Irish, in the days when it was the Third Programme, then the Music Programme and largely from this source I have acquired a knowledge of music to rival many a professional musician.
    But it was only with the advent of internet radio that I realised how narrow, and often politically inspired, is the selection of composers featured by the BBC. They give a lot of air-time to modern nihilistic rubbish that could have been written by a chimpanzee, while ignoring many of the lesser-known wonderful composers in the musical firmament.
    I am going to disagree with you, Sean, when you describe composers such as Gernsheim as ‘outsiders’. Musical taste is very fickle. Composers go in and out of fashion. I once read a book written early last century featuring ‘great composers of the last century’ (the 1800’s). Louis Spohr was listed, but Brahms was not.
    Ferdinand Ries, for example, would probably be a major composer had he not been walking at Beethoven’s side.
    And Hans Rott, who is one of my favourite composers, might have flourished had he not incurred so much hostility from Brahms. He was a friend of Mahler’s, but sadly was mentally unstable; he once, while on a train journey, held a pistol to the head of a fellow passenger who was about to light a cigar, claiming that Brahms had packed the train with explosives and if his fellow passenger lit his cigar the whole lot would go up. He was thereafter committed to an asylum where he died at a young age.
    Kurt Atterburg is another little known favourite; head of the Swedish patents office for something like sixty years; shares my birthday and wrote nine superb symphonies.
    In more modern times we have Fartein Valen; Norwegian, loved cats, grew orchids and was rejected by his girlfriend because he was too ugly.
    As I write this, just to spoil my day, a track by that bloody idiot Ludovico Einaudi has just come on the radio. It infuriates me that such a talentless fraud can be taken seriously as a composer? Beats me!

  2. “As I write this, just to spoil my day, a track by that bloody idiot Ludovico Einaudi has just come on the radio. It infuriates me that such a talentless fraud can be taken seriously as a composer? Beats me!”

    It could have been worse – it might have been Catherine Jenkins “singing”(?)

  3. Interesting sample track. Thanks for highlighting this composer Sean. Reminds me a bit of Chopin.