Music of Gene Gutchë
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR825     Release Date: 2000-01-01

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; David Zinman, Conductor; The Louisville Orchestra; Jorge Mester, Conductor; Marvin Dahlgren, percussion; St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Leopold Sipe, Conductor; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Max Rudolf, Conductor

"Gene” [Romeo Maximilian Eugene Ludwig] Gutche was born in Berlin, Germany, on 3 July 1907. What brought him to this country, and why was he in his forties before his compositions first began to be heard?In a story as old as music history (and not unlike the father-son scenarios of Handel and Telemann, for instance) Gutche’s father, a well-to-do European businessman, was not amused by the notion of his son “wasting” himself on music. An eventual truce was reached to make possible piano lessons with Busoni, but Gene also pursued business, philosophy, and linguistics studies at the Universities of Heidelberg, Lausanne and Padua. However, his heart was elsewhere.In 1925 at age eighteen, Gene cut loose from the parental leash, left his German homeland — forsaking a sizable inheritance in the process — and followed his muse, as far away from home as possible. Since an uncle was a priest in Minnesota, Gutche came to the United States, arriving at Galveston, Texas, with little of either money or practical experience, and few prospects. For the better part of a year he wandered through the heart of America, earning his keep by working at various odd jobs, including migratory grain harvesting and piano teaching. He finally got to Minnesota, only to discover that his uncle had been reassigned to Canada. Nonetheless, Gene’s piano playing attracted some local patrons and he chose to settle in the Twin Cities. Soon afterwards, he began composition studies with Donald N. Ferguson at the University of Minnesota. And he married. Still struggling with the demon ‘practicality,’ Gene and his young wife Marion moved to New York City in 1935, where his early business training and innate linguistic ability stood him in good stead. But his heart yearned to compose, and after eight years of variously successful, employment adventures, he returned to Minnesota. Marion got a day job and Gene studied composition in a graduate program at the University of Minnesota under Dr. Ferguson and James Aliferis. By special dispensation, he also attended Minneapolis Symphony rehearsals under Mitropoulos and Dorati, a very special sort of classroom.

In 1950 Gutche had achieved his Master’s degree in music from the University of Minnesota (with a First Symphony and Third String Quartet as theses) and three years later earned a doctorate at the University of Iowa under Philip Greeley Clapp (with a Third Symphony and Asymmetric Ballet). By the middle 1950s, his compositions were being performed with increasing frequency in the midwest, and soon were gaining added national and international recognition in the form of prizes and awards. Principal among his works are six symphonies, zhree piano sonatas, five concerti, four stringquartets, and more than a dozen programmatic orchestral scores. Conductors from Stokowski to Schippers to Skrowaczewski, and ensembles such as the Fine Arts, Composers and Lark String Quartets have been advocates of Gutche’s music. His magnum opus, an hour-long symphony Akhenaten (Op. 51, no. 2, scored for orchestra, tenor soloist and large chorus), was premiered by the Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony in 1983.

“Humanity is a deep well. The artist throws a pebble into the well. Despairingly he turns when, suddenly, he hears the splash. So our artists in the creation of a culture search for a response in the deep well of the American people.” —G. G.

This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Various Artists

Music of Gene Gutchë

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Icarus, Op. 48: I. Cristóbal Colón
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Icarus, Op. 48: II. The Sea
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Icarus, Op. 48: III. Insurrection
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Icarus, Op. 48: IV. Isthmus
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Genghis Khan, Op. 37
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Bongo Divertimento, Op. 35: I. Rondo
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Bongo Divertimento, Op. 35: II. Perpetuo
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Bongo Divertimento, Op. 35: III. Pettifoggery
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Bongo Divertimento, Op. 35: IV. Bluebottle Fly
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Bongo Divertimento, Op. 35: V. Pasticcio
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Bongo Divertimento, Op. 35: VI. Magpie
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Bongo Divertimento, Op. 35: VII. Rondo (finale)
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Fifth Symphony for Strings, Op. 34: I. Dotted Quarter note = 96
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Fifth Symphony for Strings, Op. 34: II. Burletta
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Fifth Symphony for Strings, Op. 34: III. Mesto
Gene GutchÌÇ
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Fifth Symphony for Strings, Op. 34: IV. Lesto (agile, nimble, quick)
Gene GutchÌÇ
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