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Past Project

Moehn Violin Concerto Collaboration

By April 1, 2019May 8th, 2020No Comments

Spring 2019

The following is from an article describing the project:  

A treasure trove of musical scores written by a pivotal figure in 20th century German music has been resurrected from a Saskatoon basement.

Music written by Heinz Moehn, a German composer and leading editor of musical scores by Mozart, Stravinsky and other towering figures in classical music, had been believed lost.

Saskatoon musicians were astonished to discover the German composer’s papers were right here in the city – stored by his grandson in a plastic bag in his basement, alongside his family’s camping equipment.

For 30 years Johannes Dyring, grandson of the German musician and editor, preserved Moehn’s archive which he describes as “a pile of yellowing and tatty manuscripts,” hoping that one day his grandfather’s concertos and choral works would again be performed.

But it was in Saskatoon– where Dyring moved from Sweden to work at the University of Saskatchewan in 2015–that the right synergy existed between musicians and music scholars to resurrect his grandfather’s work.

The re-emergence of the lost manuscripts has inspired the North American premier of a ‘beautiful’ Moehn concerto entitled Music for Violin and Orchestra, last performed 80 years ago in Germany.

It was a chance conversation between Dyring, Director of Usask Innovation Enterprise, and a Saskatoon trumpet player at a business lunch that set in train the events which will culminate in its Canadian premiere by the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.

The catalyst was Dean McNeill, USask professor of brass and jazz who plays the trumpet in the orchestra. He was fascinated to learn that Dyring had not only brought Moehn’s scores to Canada, but was keen for them to be performed here.

McNeill introduced the composer’s grandson to Eric Paetkau the Music Director of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and handed him a copy of the music, suggesting it could be an exciting artistic venture.”

My role in the project was to take the original manuscript and edit it for modern use.  This included writing out obsolete instruments (like the pretty much obsolete Bass Clarinet in A), interpreting the composer’s edits made after the original first performance, and adding modern “quality of life” additions that older scores sometimes didn’t have – like measure numbers, and rehearsal markings.  Attached are examples of the first page of music from the original, and the first page of music from the edited version.

Click here to read HJM Musik fuer Violine und Orchester Original First Page.

Click here to read HJM Musik fuer Violine und Orchester Edited First Page.


Paul Suchan

Author Paul Suchan

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