07 June 2024

P.R. Jenkins

About Schmidt – DG continues its “Karajan Digital Library”

“All right, let’s make beautiful music together.”
Karajan starting a rehearsal of Saint-Saëns’ “Organ Symphony” in 1983

Maybe it’s time for Franz Schmidt. The symphonic composer with the very common German name has come in for increasing attention over the last 30 years. He was born in the same year as another composer in “Karajan Digital Library” Volume 8, Arnold Schoenberg, whose tonal works he knew well. Schmidt appears with his popular intermezzo from the opera “Notre Dame” and that goes well with another one-work composer in the edition, the Paris-born organist Camille Saint-Saëns and his “Organ Symphony”. Which works by Schoenberg are in it? All that Karajan ever recorded. Some wonderful late-romantic music (“Verklärte Nacht” and “Pelleas und Melisande”) and the atonal Variations op 31, one of Karajan’s most ambitious recording projects. Read more here. By the way – Schmidt was Karajan’s teacher at the Vienna Conservatory…

Richard Osborne: “Karajan. A Life in Music” Chatto & Windus, London. 1998

Stay Informed