In this part, I will discuss the merits of the interpretation of some selected recordings. Also, an attempt is made to place them in the context of the life - work of Eugen Jochum. Any comments are very welcome! No pretention of completeness is made. The goal is to present information which contributes to the completeness of the musical portrait of Eugen Jochum.
Next to Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Haydn, Mozart and Wagner came Max Reger and Richard Strauß. From the contempory German composers, Eugen Jochum clearly showed affinity with Karl-Amadeus Hartmann, Paul Hindemith, Karl Höller, Carl Orff and Werner Egk.
During his frequent appearances in The Netherlands, he also performed music of contempory Dutch composers.
But also other contempories were to be found in his repertoire, such as Frank Martin.
In the recorded legacy of Eugen Jochum, Beethoven and Mozart come first: 88 resp. 91 recorded items on a total of 517. Next is Bruckner with 84 recordings (including 14 separately counted recordings of the Motets). Recordings of some other composers should also be mentioned: Brahms: 44, Wagner: 38, Haydn: 35 and Richard Strauß: 23.
In the book bearing the modest title: "Eugen Jochum", compiled and published by the Eugen Jochum-Gesellschaft e.V. Ottobeuren, a list containing perhaps all concert performances by Eugen Jochum has been made available. This list, compiled by Mrs. Myriam Scherchen and Mr. Rene Tremine (of Tahra Productions), is an extraordinary contribution to the biography of Eugen Jochum. Although many questions will inevitably remain, the importance of this list can hardly be overestimated. It provides us with the necessary insight about his repertoire, his choices and the evolution of his repertoire and the frequency with which he conducted over the various years.
Together with Tahra's ""Centenaire Eugen Jochum" Part III goes a list of the repertoire of Eugen Jochum of all works he conducted, not just the recorded ones. This immense list (more than 500 works by 158 composers) is so elaborated that only small additions, if any, could be made.
Eugen Jochum was widely known and acknowledged as a foremost Bruckner-interpreter. Presently, it seems even that this reputation partly hides the other parts of his legacy. In my opinion, Eugen Jochum should also be valued as a great Brahms, Wagner and R. Strauß conductor. In the words of Mrs. Veronica Jochum - von Moltke: "Er muß entbrucknert werden" ("he should be debrucknerized").
But the fact remains that Eugen Jochum was one of the foremost Bruckner conductors. The recorded legacy gives a clear testimony of this. From 1932 until 1987, Bruckner recordings are preserved. A curious document is the recording of a rehearsal of Bruckner III. In a recently published book, "Bruckner in the Netherlands" his work on Bruckner (with a list of performances) in Holland is described. Indeed several articles have been published about Eugen Jochum's Bruckner-interpretations, so that I can omit an in-depth discussion on this subject. A selection of my personal favorites of the Bruckner interpretations is presented instead.
In the next paragraphs, information about some selected recordings is presented with the aim of arousing curiosity in the readers mind for actually hearing the recordings.
Back to Eugen Jochum - Central Website - Introduction