Rott sets in at Deutsche Grammophon

Rott sets in at Deutsche Grammophon


norman lebrecht

July 26, 2022

The yellow label has agreed to release a Bamberg performance of the only symphony by Hans Rott, a work bearing uncanny premonitions of the second symphony by Rott’s friend Gustav Mahler.

Rott was committed to a mental hospital in 1881 with violent delusions. He died of tuberculosis in 1884, aged 25. Mahler attended his Vienna funeral.


  • Gustavo says:

    At last! Their performance in Linz last year was excellent.

    Best recording currently on the market is Paavo with the Frankfurters.

    Hope VPO invite Nelsons or Paavo or Hrusa to do Rott one day.

    There is also an excellent radio recording with BPO and Neeme Järvi.

  • Edoardo Saccenti says:

    I remember similarities with Mahler’s First, not Second…but I may be confused

    • Gustavo says:

      Rott’s symphony anticipates Mahler’s complete cycle while, at the same time, tells Brahms to bugger off.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    If this DG release was a dish, we in gastronomic Sweden would call it “pyttipanna”.
    🙂 Pff

    • Gustavo says:

      OK, better stick to your Berwald and Stenhammar then.

      Bröd och smör.

      • Pianofortissimo says:

        Dear Gustavo,

        It seems that you did not rightly get the point. Rests from two great steaks, and a sausage, are good ingredients to begin with in a “pyttipanna”. The result can be delicious, as is the music in the reviewed disc.

        If you come around in Sweden next month then it is “surströmming” season. I’m sure you would love it.

        🙂 Pff

    • Jean says:

      In Finland we would call it: pyttipannu.

      Or: sillisalaatti (sillsallad)

  • Patrick says:

    That Scherzo! He and Mahler wouldn’t be friends for long…

  • Eugene Tzigane says:

    Mahler even owned the manuscript of Rott’s symphony! Hans was like a missing link of sorts between Anton and Gustav. Also, Gus and Hans both studied with Bruckner, at the same time if I’m not mistaken. Someone will need to corroborate that.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      It might be more accurate to say they both befriended Bruckner around the same time period (perhaps a bit earlier for Rott). Mahler didn’t formally study with Bruckner. Mahler did pay for the first printing of the complete Bruckner symphonies, by forgoing royalties on his own fifth symphony until the Bruckner project paid for itself. Today, of course, the versions/editions they used back then would be considered ‘spurious’ by many in the know.

    • SW says:

      He did not own the manuscript, he borrowed it a couple of times.

  • J Barcelo says:

    I’m all for neglected repertoire getting the royal treatment and exposure. But another Rott? It’s interesting, but it is not a first-rate masterpiece. There’s a lot of other music that could benefit from Hrusa and DG support, such as the orchestral works of Joseph Marx.

  • Rob says:

    Maybe Brahms did plant dynamite on that train and that’s why he grew a beard and hid out at Lake Wörthersee.

  • Paul Johnson says:

    It’s about time that this great symphony had wider recognition.

  • Greg Hlatky says:

    Rott composed another symphony, in A flat, for string orchestra.

  • Wise Guy says:

    Its long overdue to bring this work in to mainstream repertory. The quality of Rott’s work was superb.

  • Frank Teunissen says:

    Rott was an incredible talent and imagine what this guy could have done if… He wrote this symphony with +/- 19-21 years and never got ány chance to re-look at it critically. Mahler, out of admiration?, ‘shopped’ around in this symphony: e.g. Mahler’s 1st, 2nd and 5th symphonies have all moments/links/references of Rott’s symphony in them. By the way Mahler ánd Bruckner assisted to Rott’s funeral (can you imagine…). Bruckner was sort of Rott’s godfather and announced Rott to be the next step in music (maybe also to bother Brahms, who knows…)

  • Richard L. Bennett says:

    The story of Hans Rott and his relationship with Mahler is comprehensively covered in Volume 1 of Henry-Louis de La Grange’s biography: ‘Mahler: the Arduous Road to Vienna’, edited by his long-term colleague, Sybille Werner. An indispensable account of the composer’s first three decades. Rather surprisingly, I have yet to see a review of Volume 1 on this website.