Max Christian Friedrich Bruch (1838-1920)

Episodes

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02The Court Composer: Coblenz20110308

Donald Macleod focuses on the works Bruch wrote as court composer in Coblenz.

Donald Macleod looks at the works Bruch wrote as a court composer in Coblenz, and the influence of folksong on his melodies.

Though Bruch went on to compose two more violin concertos and plenty of other works, he never struck gold as he did in his first Concerto for violin.

The Concerto was so wildly popular that musicians would lie in wait for him on street corners in Naples, ready to break out into it when they saw him coming.

04A German In Liverpool20110310

Donald Macleod focuses on Bruch's stint as director of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society.

Donald Macleod looks at Bruch's stint in Liverpool as Director of the Philharmonic Society.

Although he enjoyed domestic life in Sefton Park with his young bride Clara, his relationship with the city was uneasy.

While his arrival was much trumpeted in the newspapers, his departure was barely remarked on.

He wrote to his former teacher Hiller a year after beginning work there: "I am too much a German, and my whole being and feelings are too deeply rooted in German soil for me ever to consider myself to be at home among the driest, most boring, most unmusical race on earth".

05 LASTCursed Brandenburg Desert - Berlin20110311

Donald Macleod examines Bruch's final years, spent in Berlin.

Bruch felt that he had never had his due in Berlin, and that on the contrary his music and his talents had been consistently underrated there.

His experience of working with orchestras and his treatment by the press - "treated either as a schoolboy or a scoundrel" - as he put it, left him feeling deeply resentful.

But he spent his final three decades in the city, and fortunately found a prominent job as Director of Masterclasses for Composition at the Berlin Academy.

Donald Macleod examines Bruch's final years.