4th Symphony (Büttner)

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Paul Büttner's Symphony No. 4 in B minor , composed in1918,can be regarded as the main work of this composer. It was premiered on March 18, 1919 in Büttner's hometown of Dresden. The Saxon State Orchestra Dresden played under the direction of Hermann Ludwig Kutzschbach .


2 flutes , 2 oboes , 2 clarinets , 2 bassoons , 4 horns , 2 trumpets , 3 trombones , 1 tuba , timpani , percussion, 1 harp and strings.

The work

The first movement ( moderately agitated , 6/4 time) begins with a rather calm, memorable theme that runs through the entire movement. Gradually, with the introduction of a second theme, the sonata-shaped movement is brought to the climax, in order to join the calm beginning towards the end.

In terms of mood, the Scherzo ( Presto , ¾ time) represents a counterpart to the first movement. Büttner wrote a powerful and very rhythmic march-like movement that cultivates a combative attitude, not without a twinkle in the eye (the symphony was written during the First World War ).

In the third movement ( Andante maestoso , ¾ time) a little calm returns. A contemplative main theme is introduced, which runs through the sentence like a red thread in the most varied of variations. As a memento, the combative accents of the second movement come into play again, in order to return to the theme of the beginning at the end.

With the finale ( Allegro , 4/4 time) flamingly provided by the composer with the performance instructions , Büttner begins the final spurt. The stormy main theme is certainly not just coincidentally reminiscent of the main motif from Richard Wagner's Fliegendem Holländer . Crashing cascades of horns alternating with pastoral quiet zones drive the movement towards the end. One hears the motifs of the first movement one last time before the symphony passes gently in B major.

The playing time of the work is about an hour.

Sound sample