Joachim Raff

Biography

Born: May 27, 1822 in Lachen, Switzerland   Died: Jun 24, 1882 in Frankfurt, Germany   Country: Germany   Period: Romantic
One of several forgotten Romantic composers whose works found a performance renaissance near the twentieth century's end, Joachim Raff was the son of a German organist from Württemberg. The family had modest resources, and Raff's only formal education consisted of teacher-training studies at a Jesuit school. But he was determined on a musical career and taught himself the essentials of composition.
Raff eventually sent some of his piano
Read more music to Mendelssohn, who recommended them for publication. Encouraged, the young composer moved to Zurich, continuing to teach himself from treatises. In 1845 Liszt played a concert in Basle, and, in a journey reminiscent of Bach's supposed pilgrimage to hear Buxtehude a century and a half before, Raff walked all the way there to hear it. He met Liszt and showed him some of his music; the great virtuoso-composer took Raff back to Germany and got him a job in a music shop in Cologne. However, Raff also became a critic, and his writings so antagonized certain local personalities that he was forced to leave the city. He settled in Stuttgart, where he formed a lifelong friendship with the conductor Hans von Bülow.
In 1846 he finally met Mendelssohn and made plans to study with him. However, Mendelssohn died in November of that year. Once again Liszt came to the rescue, finding a job for Raff in Hamburg as a representative of his publisher's firm, Schuberth. When Liszt gained a position as kapellmeister in Weimar, he hired Raff as an assistant. Like most composers, Liszt found the mundane part of the job, like making fair copies of the music to send to printers and extracting parts, to be tedious and uncreative, and he was happy to be able to delegate it to an employee; in addition, Raff orchestrated some of Liszt's early symphonic poems (some of which Liszt revised in later years when he was more skilled at orchestration).
In 1856 Raff gave up that position and moved to Wiesbaden to give piano lessons and compose. Raff had closely studied music of past eras, and as a result he saw his mission as one of reconciliation between the latest developments in music and the techniques of the past. Thus, many of his works combine Baroque counterpoint and Classical forms with his own generation's interest in program music. In 1877 Raff was appointed director of the Hoch Conservatory, and held the post until his death. He taught composition; among his pupils was the American, Edward MacDowell.
Raff's music was very highly regarded during his lifetime, a judgment that has not been seconded by history. Some commentators of the time ranked him with Wagner and Brahms. His music is well crafted, with brilliant orchestration and strong melodies; in fact, its entertaining qualities, it is now clear, damaged the music's durability by resembling too closely the salon music of the time. He was highly prolific, writing eleven symphonies (most of which have programs), and numerous other symphonic works and concertos. He wrote six operas, four of which have never been performed, and a huge amount of piano and chamber music. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 79 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Wagner: Music for Violin & Piano / Schubert, Bartos
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99023 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joachim Raff,  Richard Wagner,  August Wilhelmj
    Performer:  Gerald Schubert,  Bernadette Bartos
    CD: $18.99
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  • 2.
    Raff: Piano Works / Nguyen
    Label: Grand Piano   Catalog: 728 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    Performer:  Tra Nguyen
    CD: $48.99
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  • 3.
    Encores
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552536 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Ottokar Novácek,  Paul Ben-Haim  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Sanders,  Itzhak Perlman
    CD: $14.99
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  • 4.
    Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552439 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 77
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Ray Still,  Samuel Sanders  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster,  Daniel Barenboim,  Itzhak Perlman,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $287.49
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  • 5.
    Cyprien Katsaris: The Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875050462 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Josef Gelinek,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris
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    CD: $23.99
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  • 6.
    Raff: Piano Works, Vol. 6
    Label: Grand Piano   Catalog: 655 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    Performer:  Tra Nguyen
    CD: $17.99
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  • 7.
    Joachim Raff: Piano Music, Vol. 5
    Label: Grand Piano   Catalog: 654 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    Performer:  Tra Nguyen
    CD: $17.99
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  • 8.
    Raff: String Quartets Nos. 2, 3, 4 & 8 / Mannheim String Quartet
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777004 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    CD: $34.99
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  • 9.
    Idyll Und Refugium / Patrizio Mazzola
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1422 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Joachim Raff,  Theodor Kirchner  ... 
    Performer:  Patrizio Mazzola
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  • 10.
    Joachim Raff: Piano Sonatas And Character Pieces
    Label: Cameo Classics   Catalog: 9024 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    Performer:  Valentina Seferinova
    CD: $18.99
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  • 11.
    Solo And Concerto Recordings
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 7401 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Vincenzo Gambaro,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur De Greef
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald
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    CD: $38.99
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  • 12.
    Joachim Raff: Piano Works, Vol. 4
    Label: Grand Piano   Catalog: 653 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    Performer:  Tra Nguyen
    CD: $17.99
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  • 13.
    Raff: Symphony No 5
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5135 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Musique et Nature / Adalberto Maria Riva
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1406 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Fanny Hünerwadel,  Paul Hahnemann,  Hans Huber  ... 
    Performer:  Adalberto Maria Riva
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  • 15.
    Sarasate: Transcriptions for Violin & Piano / Tianwa Yang
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572709 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Moritz Moszkowski,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Jean-Pierre Guignon  ... 
    Performer:  Tianwa Yang,  Markus Hadulla
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    CD: $12.99
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  • 16.
    Opera Breve / Philippe Quint, Lily Maisky
    Label: Avanti Classic   Catalog: 1040 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Lily Maisky,  Philippe Quint
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  • 17.
    Raff: Symphony No 2, Four Shakespeare Preludes / Jarvi, Suisse Romande
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5117 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Raff: Piano Works Vol 3 / Tra Nguyen
    Label: Grand Piano   Catalog: 634 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    Performer:  Tra Nguyen
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  • 19.
    Raff: Piano Works Vol 2 / Tra Nguyen
    Label: Grand Piano   Catalog: 612 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    Performer:  Tra Nguyen
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  • 20.
    Raff: Piano Works Vol 1 / Tra Nguyen
    Label: Grand Piano   Catalog: 602 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    Performer:  Tra Nguyen
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  • 21.
    Raff: Piano Suite, Grande Sonata  / Ruiz
    Label: Genesis Records   Catalog: 118 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    Performer:  Adrian Ruiz
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    On sale! $16.98
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  • 22.
    The Maiden's Prayer And Other Gems / Philip Martin
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55410 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christian Sinding,  Antonín Dvorák,  Selim Palmgren,  Tekla Badarzewska-Baranowska  ... 
    Performer:  Philip Martin
    CD: $12.99
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  • 23.
    The Complete Vladimir De Pachmann
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 54003 Release Date: 03/12/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Leopold Godowsky,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir de Pachmann
    CD: $55.49
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  • 24.
    Raff: Piano Quartets / Ensemble Il Trittico
    Label: Divox   Catalog: 20905 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joachim Raff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Il Trittico
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  • 25.
    Swiss Piano Quintets / Ensemble Il Trittico
    Label: Divox   Catalog: 20506 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hermann Goetz,  Joachim Raff
    Performer:  Dariusz Mizera,  David Greenlees,  Anahit Kurtikyan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Il Trittico
    CD: $17.99
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