Joseph Marx ( 1892-1964 )

Not related to Karl Marx but one of the nearly forgotten composers, who unashamedly continued to compose in a romantic style, ignoring the musical developments around him, such as some of the dead ends in 20th century composition like 12 tone music and its follower serialism. I fell in love with his symphonic tone poems first, particularly the “Nature Trilogie”, some of almost overbearingly romantic gesture and never ending stream of Wagnerian/Strauss style harmonies. Then there is the monumental “Herbstsymphony”, a near 60 minute colossal work. He wrote absolutely charming piano music, again very Straussian, but unlike the rather bland and very early works by Strauss much more complex and harmonically twisted.
There are glorious orchestral songs and 3 string quartets.
His most daring work seems to me the 40 minute piano concerto “Romantisches Konzert”. An explosion of harmonic wealth and grand, romantic gestures. The difficulty of this concerto is quite unbelievable, and it needs a virtuoso of the caliber of the great Jorge Bolet to pull this one off. What a wonderful and unexpected alternative for people like myself who are fatigued by the endlessly repeated Rachmaninov concertos…
Here are a priceless live recording with the fabulous NY Philharmonic, the Herbstsymphonie and one orchestra song.