Paul Juon’s brilliant Symphony in A major Op. 23 made a circuit in many major concert halls in the world after its premiere by the Meiningen Court Orchestra under Fritz Steinbach in 1905. This month you can experience the work twice: It will be performed by the Bern Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mario Venzago in Kulturcasino on 4 and 5 December 2014.
The Symphony in A major by the Moscow born German-Swiss Paul Juon (1872-1940) is Russian, at the same time a set of variations is the major aspect of his work. Russian melancholy is the main idea of the music that is presented monophonic first, followed by six musical character images.
After the Symphony in A major achieved successes in Germany, England, Holland, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Russia and America, it was forgotten. So it was with the composer himself, a highly esteemed and much performed composer during his lifetime, but soon forgotten after his death. For several years now, his music has a renaissance.
“In 1905, a symphony of mine was performed by Meininger music director Fritz Steinbach with great success in Berlin. Immediately afterwards the director of the School of Music during that time, Joseph Joachim, called me a teacher at this institute. Soon I became a professor, also elected to the Academy. Different honorary positions were given to me, for example, I’m curator of the Mendelssohn Foundation, a member of the State Experts chamber, etc.”– Paul Juon to the Chur music director Ernst Schweri, 09/15/1923
The Symphony in A Major had opened doors for Paul Juon and he became a very popular teacher and composer in Berlin.