Symphony in C major (Hiller, Ferdinand)

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Publisher. Info. Holograph manuscript, n.d.(ca.1830s)?.
Misc. Notes Universitätsibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg, Mus Hs 86.
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General Information

Work Title Symphony in C major
Alternative. Title
Composer Hiller, Ferdinand
I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No. IFH 97
Key C major
Movements/SectionsMov'ts/Sec's 4 movements:
I. Molto allegro ( = 160)
II. Adagio ma non troppo ( = 80)
III. Intermezzo. Vivace ( = 116. A minor)
IV. Finale. Allegro vivace con molto di fuoco ( = 144)
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 1830 ca. (?)
First Performance. 1877-02-27 — Cologne (earliest known so far)
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Romantic
Piece Style Romantic
Instrumentation Orchestra: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons + 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani + strings

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Goethe Universität collection also includes manuscript orchestra parts from this C major symphony (as identified by Christine Ihl in her inventory of the collection) some of which are signed and dated by musicians in the period 1877-1880 suggesting several performances during that time. Such markings include the following:

  • One cello part marked performed for the first time in Cologne on Feb. 27, 1877.
  • Second oboe part marked: "L. A. Benavente. Amsterdam Park 22.1.[18]79."
  • First clarinet marked: "Bremen[,] d[.] 19.2.[18]78. F. Richter."
  • Second clarinet marked: "Bremen[,] den 19[.] Feb[.] 1878" and "Amsterdam[,] 21.3.1879."
  • First bassoon marked: "Bremen, 19.2.[18]78. Ch. Hildebrandt unter persönlicher Leitung des Componisten Frenzel[.] Amsterdam 1879/31. Jan. 24[.] März."
  • Second bassoon marked: "1. G. Duysens[,] Amsterdam[,] 24 Mars 1879. Zum Musikfest Düsseldorfl,] 9.8.[18]80 [...] 50 Min[.]"
  • First horn marked: "Breedhoff[,] 24 te Märs 1879. Amsterdam. 37 Minuten."
  • Second horn marked as follows: "H. WolffI.] Düsseld. 9.7.1880. [...] van Smirren. 24 te Märs 1879. Amsterdam 37 Minuten."
  • Third horn marked: "I. Külls[.] Düsseldorf[,] den 9[.] August 1880."
  • Fourth horn marked: "Breedhoff Amsterdam[,] 24 Maart 1879. O. Sopp[.] Düsseldorf[,] den 9 ten August 1880."
  • First trumpet marked: "Leipzig[,] d. 25[.] Oct. 1877. (Gewandhaus.) Jacob [...] Amsterdam Park, 24[.] März 1879. 37 Min."
  • Second trumpet marked: "Philharmonisch. Concert Amsterdam[,] 24[.] Maart [18]79. 1 e Uitvoering. Düsseldorf[,] d. 9. August 1880."
  • First tenor trombone marked: "Leipzig[,] den 25.10.[...]. J. W. Schmieder. Philharmonische Concerte Amsterdam[,] 24. März 1879."
  • Second tenor trombone marked: "Fritz C. Franke Düsseldorf, den 9.8.[18]80. Steinbrück Amsterdam[,] 24[.] März 1879. Philharmonisch Concert Einstudirt in zwei Proben"
  • Bass trombone marked: "Carl I[.] T[.] Franke 1 te ausführing Philharmonische Concert Amsterdam Einstudirt in 2 Probe Düsseldorf[,] d[.] 9.8.[18]80. C. Bannier."
  • Timpani marked: "M. S. Kinsbergen[,] 24 Maart 1879. Park Amsterdam[,] 1 ste Uitvoering Rob. Tesikow. d. 5.8.[18]80. Düsseldorf zum Musikfest."
  • One first violin part marked: "B. D. Benedicts Jr / N. Wedemeyer / Amsterdam[,] 24 März [18]79. Otto Mehr / Georg Essigke / Altona 1878."

Hiller's (31-page but 150-plus Mb...) first datebook (1825-1831) may be able to offer more accurate dating. Can't seem to find it in there, however or in the 1832-1836 one, suggesting perhaps a date between the November 1831 end of the first book and May 1832 beginning of the 2nd, perhaps... though neither book is comprehensive. The February 5 1831 completion of the symphony in E minor (#2?) is lost in the silence of the first datebook between January and April 1831, for example... so...)

Or perhaps Goethe Universität's assertion of a date of ca.1830 for this symphony is incorrect and it actually dates from the late 1870s when its first known performances occurred.
  • Could be. Wonder if there's other evidence, eg a mention, of _a_ C major symphony by Hiller from the 1830s (but if so, absent incipits, it might not be this one)... - ES

The 1878 marking on the clarinet part adds a bit to something I just noticed, too... NZM, 1878 Jg 45 p.267 mentions a Bremen performance of Hiller, F.v. "Cdursymphonie" which would then be -this- one... but I wonder if any such symphony is mentioned in 1830s journals?... anyway.