Max Bruch

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Max (Christian Friedrich) Bruch (1838-1920), German composer and conductor, was considered a minor composer by the musical establishment – he had some success with a series of major choral works, including an early cantata and was in some demand as a conductor, holding posts in Germany and England before becoming director of the Berlin Academy. He also gets scant attention in musical reference works.

The great concert going public think of Bruch as one of the great writers for violin and orchestra and his works are programmed and recorded with great regularity.. His two concertos, the “Scottish Fantasy”[1] and the Serenade are mainstays of the genre. The first concerto[2] is usually included with those of Beethoven Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Elgar as the great romantic concertos for the instrument. It is sometimes thought of as the most romantic of the lot.

He also wrote an extremely popular piece for cello and orchestra, “Kol nidrei”,[3] and a suite of “Eight Pieces” for the interesting and rare combination of viola, clarinet and piano.