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A monumental work

Hans Rott's Symphony in E -

'... outstanding recording.'

Hans Rott: Symphony (c) 2002 CPO

The life of Hans Rott was cruelly short and yet among his few compositions there was one, a great symphony, that made a powerful impression on his organ teacher, Anton Bruckner, and had a significant influence on the work of his contemporaries, notably Gustav Mahler, two years his junior.

The story, briefly, is this: Rott was born in Vienna on 1 August 1858, the son of an actor and his mistress who eventually married in 1862 after the death of the actor's wife. In the meantime, young Rott had acquired a half brother fathered by Archduke Wilhelm. Family finances were healthy, and he was allowed to pursue his musical talents. At the age of fourteen his mother died, and two years later Rott entered the Vienna Conservatoire, but family circumstances deteriorated; his father died and he was forced to leave studies for an office job, but in due course found an organist post with free lodging.

Composing continued; songs, a string quartet, the beginning of an oratorio, and a symphony for string orchestra, completed in 1875 when he was seventeen. Two years later he began the Symphony in E major and submitted the first movement for his diploma prize at the conservatory, and was the only student to fail -- though he was highly commended. The Symphony was completed in 1880.

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Copyright © 20 October 2002 Patric Standford, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK


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