Max Bruch Essentials

Max Bruch Essentials

Though a late-19th-century composer, Max Bruch was no ultra-Romantic but wrote music that, while expressive, is dignified and relatively restrained. In this respect he was perhaps closest to Brahms and Saint-Saëns—certainly his Violin Concerto No. 1 suggests something of their formal discipline while giving the soloist scope to play passionately and ardently. That work has rather overshadowed his other compositions. Bruch had a more than passing interest in folksong, and wrote several folk-inspired works, often including songs he’d heard on his travels (and so perhaps also inspiring his pupil Vaughan Williams)—notably the Scottish Fantasy, and his soulful masterpiece for cello and orchestra Kol Nidrei. The second of his operas, Die Loreley, is a real rarity worth discovering—try the rapt atmosphere of its “Ave Maria!”

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada