Walter Braunfels: Don Juan
PHILHARMONISCHES ORCHESTER ALTENBURG-GERA · MARKUS L. FRANK
Walter Braunfels was applauded as a pioneering representative of New Music. Leading conductors such as Hans Pfitzner, Ernst von Schuch, Bruno Walter, Arthur Nikisch and Wilhelm Furtwängler performed his orchestral works in major cities. But following the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, as a ‘half-Jew’ Braunfels also lost all his positions and was banned from performing or being performed. Braunfels’ name was consistently deleted from musical literature and reference works. In his Classical and Romantic phantasmagoria Don Juan, in seven movements Braunfels varies themes and motifs from Mozart’s opera Don Giovannni, premiered in 1787, deliberately placing himself in the tradition of German Classicism and Romanticism, which he sought to transfer into the 20th century with his own compositional means. Don Juan was premiered by Wilhelm Furtwängler in 1924.