Alan Krueck
Dr Alan Krueck (1939-2010)






























Rfaf in the 1850s
Raff in the 1850s

























Johann Helmmesberger
- conductor of the premiere

Symphony No.1 An das Vaterland

Part of The Alan Krueck Archive                                    (Download a PDF version)

This article formed part of Alan Krueck's projected book: "Joachim Raff: A biographical documentation and study of his works." The original is a draft and so minor changes have been made to the grammar to produce a finished piece. The text has been preserved in full, including its references to musical examples, which could not be included as they were not found in Dr Krueck's surviving papers. Other omissions have also been noted.

Most of the music Raff composed between the Symphony in E minor of 1855 and his first numbered symphony An das Vaterland went into music of small forms, primarily for the piano, although he managed two string quartets and the first pair of violin sonatas. This period also brought forth the Six morceaux pour violon et piano op.85, the third of which is the Cavatina, a charming piece of slight pretensions which - together with Die Mühle from the much later Schöne Müllerin Quartet - has tyrannized the reputation of its creator and given a totally false impression that such pieces were a specialty of Raff. Although Swiss born, Raff had become a German citizen; while as late as opp.57 and 60 (Aus der Schweiz, for violin and piano and the nine Schweizerweisen transcribed for Piano) he could still relate musically to the land of his birth, by the end of the 1850's he had become aware of political trends in his adopted homeland. Nationalism was on the rise though it had come under the wing of monarchists rather than the republican element which had fanned the revolutionary flames of 1848. Raff's first open expression of nationalist sentiment came in 1858 with a setting of Emanuel Geibel's poem Wachet auf! for male chorus, soloist and orchestra op.80; the second manifestation of allegiance followed a year later in the form of the Symphony No.1 in D major An das Vaterland!

Work on this symphony lasted two years. Never again would Raff spend so much time on a work in this form. The result was, for the time, mammoth; five movements lasting over an hour. No composer until Raff had dared to write a purely instrumental symphony of such length and its duration was from the very beginning the major point of discussion. Yet the symphony proved a durable commodity and achieved an astounding number of performances before the turn of the century; Germany of course was the country where it was most welcomed but it was practically repertoire in the United States as well, during the same period.

The inspiration for the Vaterland Symphony is reported by Raff in the published preface to the score:

"In the last years few Germans, who attest openly their heart and understanding in the matter of their national characteristics, can have been left untouched. If the composer remains distant from certain outward manifestations of the national movement, his spirit is nonetheless filled with lasting impressions which compel him to give these impressions artful exposition. Thus did the musical movements arise which are here offered."

In the same document Raff records the circumstances motivating the composition of the symphony as well as the reason for submitting the work in a competition sponsored by the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna:

"... this symphony was begun in the late summer of 1859 after the Peace of Villafranca and lay ready for the printer as early as the summer of 1861, at which time its author was made aware of the fact that the honorable Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde of the imperial Austrian state was inviting for the purpose of a prize competition the submission of symphonic works. Encouraged from many sides to send in his present work to the competition, he succumbed to the friendly advice."

Among the people who evidently encouraged Raff to enter his Symphony was Franz Liszt. There may have been a musico-politcal motive behind Liszt's urgings since Liszt himself was originally part of the committee judging the competition. As such he was the nominal representative of the avant-garde and the "new German school" since the others on the committee - Dr. Ambros, Ferdinand Hiller, Vincenz Lachner and. Robert Volkmann - were primarily conservative in outlook. Liszt eventually withdrew from the committee, ostensibly because the original time limit for announcing the winner was not held to. The reason is probably true enough but there is reason to believe that there was much behind the scene haggling and partisan representation; on this latter point Liszt himself was not free from accusation in regard to Raff. The proceedings dragged on for two years and the outcome was unexpected; instead of one award there were two. Raff received recognition for the Vaterland Symphony but shared the limelight with the young Albert Becker of Berlin. It is known that thirty-two other composers submitted symphonies to the competition. Who they were we shall probably never know since no protocol of the proceedings exist and. no mention of composers other than Raff or Becker is to be found in the published letters by Hiller, Liszt or Volkmann dating from the time, although it is fairly certain that a local Viennese composer, Carl Ellemayer, submitted a Symphony in E major. The dual award points to a compromise intended to satisfy both conservative and progressive elements.

There are two ironies concerning the competition. The first is that the prize offered was of an honorary nature and involved only the performance of the winning symphony; in regard to having his works performed Raff was certainly not without means, for the orchestras in Weimar and Wiesbaden had been at his disposal since the 1850s and he had already established himself as a composer of reputation - after all, the Vaterland Symphony bears the opus number 96! The second irony is that the second of the prize winners - Albert Becker - never again wrote a symphony (almost his entire output - forty years of effort thereafter - is comprised almost exclusively of vocal music) and never published the Symphony in G minor for which he received the award; it is possible that Becker's Symphony was never again performed.

When one opens the published score to Raff's First Symphony the eye assumes from the page that there is a large orchestra involved. The impression disappears after scrutiny since Raff has chosen to list his woodwinds and brass separately, that is, a stave for each instrument instead, of a stave for each pair of instruments. Raff's orchestra is normal for the time: woodwinds in pairs, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani and the usual strings. Except for the occasional introduction of the triangle (in Symphonies Nos.3, 5, 7, 9 and 11) and single appearance of cymbals and snare drum (No.5 Lenore), this is the basic contingent utilized by Raff in all of his symphonies except No.4, which calls for a smaller orchestra.
Despite the fact that the Vaterland Symphony is repeatedly referred to as a program symphony, it is no more of that category of composition than is Mendelssohn's Italian or Scotch Symphonies. It belongs to the category of symphonie caracteristique, the German element of association coming in the form of the introduction of a popular (and therefore easily recognizable) national air in the fourth movement. The reason for the continued reference to it as a program symphony is perhaps traceable to Raff's wish that wherever the symphony be performed his own impressions regarding German national characteristics and the specific ones inspiring the individual movements be related in the concert programs.

Of the opening movement of the Vaterland Symphony Raff has this to say:

"In the first (movement) the composer has sought to portray in terms of sound free aspiration, depth of thought, refinement, and gentleness and ability to endure until vindicated as significant features among the natural tendencies of the German which define him, prevail by him and find constant renewal within him."

It will be noted that Raff indicates four characteristics in this movemental superscription. The associative factors with the musical representation are established during the movement's exposition and, of course, Raff works with four themes which supposedly represent the characteristics indicated. Whether Raff arrived at his selection of characteristics before the composition of the music or whether the remarks were subsequently is not known.

The first movement (Allegro, D major, 4/4) of the Symphony An das Vaterland opens with a two measure introductory-gesture for horns over a pedal D of the timpani whereupon the first subject enters immediately in the first violins: Ex.1 [not extant]. If this theme represents the first element of the German character - free aspiration - it does so by the free play, almost prelude like formation of the first three measures while the final measure is indeed an Aufschwung with its climactic second beat accentuation. The very first measure (Ex.1a [not extant] also contains a nucleus of considerable importance, not only for the first movement but for other movements in the symphony as well. This passage is repeated with slightly fuller orchestration. At letter A only Ex.3a [not extant] is used, and in the background there is a curious oboe counterpoint which is absorbed into another presentation of Ex.1b [not extant]. Modulatory sequences and changes in orchestral coloration preserve the interest to a climax involving Ex.1 just before letter B at which point the music seems to move into A minor, though the harmonic support is so weak as to make the tonality open to question, a question not fully resolved when the passage is repeated some measures later. The new theme used in the passage from letter B is, one supposes, representative of "depth of thought", the symbolism fairly obvious by the unison statement of the theme, itself comprised of three descending (depth) phrases utilizing chromatic alteration (thought): Ex.2 [not extant], throughout all this the oboe continues its plaintive counterpoint, though its phrases are now clearly derived, from Ex.1b. Ex.2 is extended through canonic imitation - perhaps another musical symbol for "thought" which leads, at letter C, to an interplay of the Kopf motive of Ex.2(a) with an augmented form of the Kopfmotiv of Ex.1(a) in the bassoons Ex.3 with most interesting harmonic coloration as background. This interplay develops throughout most of the orchestra with harmonic unrest prevailing until five loud diminished seventh chords in syncopation with a pedal A minor in horns, trumpets and timpani introduce a transitional passage, leading to the establishment of B minor at letter D. The solo bassoon intones this melancholy phrase: Ex.4 [not extant] which is answered by Ex.5 [not extant].

The accompaniment contains a typical figuration that eventually assumes the status of a developmental motive. This new material is no doubt intended as refinement and gentleness and at letter E is presented in the violins and cellos, dolce, cantando con espressione with an even more mellow counterpoint in the woodwinds than before; the end of the passage, given to solo cello and violins both ascending to their highest registers is a marvelous touch of orchestration at the climax of which 'the clarinets and horns hint at a new motive. The motive is given in its full guise for the first time by the bassoons at letter F: Ex.6 [not extant] with the curious 16th note motive of the accompanying violas lending a peculiar coloration to the to the proceedings. Ex.6 is the fourth and final theme of the exposition and, as such, one assumes, it the incorporation the idea of enduring until vindicated, its ostinato like character certainly well suited to the idea of Endurance. As far as vindication goes, that element may have been in Raff's mind for the extraordinary passage that ensues at letter G in which elements of Exs.1 and 2 are combined with Ex.6 in an exciting orchestral tutti at the conclusion of which (letter H) Ex.6 emerges triumphant in woodwinds and brass ff signaling at once the end of the movement's exposition and the beginning of the development section, with the actual transition introducing subsidiary material, remarkable for its orchestral presentation: Ex.7 [not extant].

The development section itself lasts until letter L and is an incredible complex of fragments of Exs.1, 2 and 6 involving augmentation and diminution, canonic and fugal extensions; peculiarly enough much of the combination is given added richness by the inclusions of accompanimental material associated with the themes, such as that in Ex.6, more often than not adding considerable color. J.S. Shedlock in his analysis of the movement for the Monthly Musical Record could not resist quoting the canone a tre in augmentation which begins 26 mm after letter J: Ex.8 [not extant] and which certainly is a marvel of simplicity and effect, especially when it is repeated with chromatic alterations through to letter K. At this point Ex.6 is allowed to dominate as a sort of transition to a part in which Ex.3 enters the scene (in combination with a form of Ex.1). The introduction of Ex.3 is accompanied by a piano passage standing in complete contrast to the orchestral fullness in the preceding statement of Ex.6; it is not only the contrast in dynamics that is affecting, it is the sudden chamber music elegance as well: the 16th note figure mentioned in regard to Ex.5 returns. The first desk of the first violins and the second desk of the second violins hold a tritone on a simple anapest rhythm which stands in answer to the 16th note figure of the remaining first violins (seconds are not indicated) while the first desk of the celli play Ex.3: Ex.9 [not extant].

Gradually Ex.3 is passed around among other instruments and always the chamber music feeling is present; this intimate atmosphere does not disappear when, in flutes and oboes, Ex.6 reappears at letter L and leads to the recapitulatory section of the movement. The recapitulation itself is for the most part a repeat of the exposition, but with some very important orchestrational differences which create the necessary variety.

If the recapitulation is relatively normal, the coda isn't, for it has remarkable breadth and one of the finest moments in any of Raff's first movements. At letter S, after a full orchestra passage involving Exs.1, 2 and 6, a diminuendo occurs on an octave B flat in horns and trumpets (pp) against which the cellos enter with a pedal A flat, creating great tension and setting the scene for the spacious coda which ensues. The gesture is remarkably Brucknerian but the music takes on an extraordinary Mahlerian coloration (a la the 1st movement of the First Symphony - Introduction) between letter T and letter U and then, with the introduction of the syncopation associated with Ex.3 (heard very high in the strings), one is reminded of the beginning of the coda to the Finale in the Brahms' First Symphony, particularly when Raff brings in the counterpoint of Ex.4 to extend Ex.3. After this gesture Ex.2 is brought in and from letter V to letter W there is a repetition with extension of the passage which formed the transition from exposition to development (Ex. 7), here performing a similar duty within the coda. From the ethereal heights accorded Ex.3 the music expands throughout the orchestra as extra weight is added and Exs.1, 2 and 6 are combined for a last time. The increase in momentum and volume is irresistible as the movement sweeps to its conclusion.

Concerning the second movement Raff has supplied the following commentary:

"The second movement is supposed to lead the listener around the German forest where huntsmen are at work to the powerful sound of horn calls - and as well to the blissful meadows where he may accompany the lively train of boys and girls in fresh folkmelos."

Forest, hunt and folk melody are favorites with the German Romantics and certainly no exclusive property of Raff (although he is enamored of these features of German life throughout his career). The elements are of general character and demonstrate once again that the Vaterland Symphony is not a program symphony.

This second movement is the first of two, though dissimilar, scherzi. Compared to the intricacies of the preceding Allegro this movement is simplicity itself, though not without a few remarkable musical maneuvers. It is parenthetically labeled Scherzo with the indication Allegro molto vivace (D minor) and the double meter sign 6/8, 2/4 (= 2 count). It is not at all distant from the Scherzo of the E minor Symphony (= C major Suite) in its general tone, and exhibits the same interplay of triple and duple meter ideas, with the basic count of 2, and A minor key tonality for the overall proceedings. Even the tarantella-like material of the earlier Scherzo may be observed in the new Scherzo when Ex.1 [not extant] is immediately presented by the first violins, with the ascending fifth in the third measure an important interval for the development of the material. At letter A there appears some very piquant counterpoint just at the dal segno in which our old friend the 16th note pattern from the first movement appears again, within a not so different context; Ex.2 [not extant]. Exs.1 and 2 provide the motion in the music from this point on and it is a matter of harmonic and orchestral coloration rather than thematic development which holds the listener through letter B to the first major climax of the movement at letter C, at which Raff lets go with his horn quartet in a gesture most proleptic of the Rondo allegretto of Mahler's Fifth Symphony: Ex.3 [not extant], to which flutes and clarinets add a sequential bit of counterpoint based on the triplet eighths of Ex.1: Ex.4 [not extant].

The horn play dominates the music through to the full orchestra climax at letter D, at which point Ex.1 is brought into play against it and there is a general melee up to letter E at which an elfin-like grace comes to the music and a Mendelssohnian tone dominates. At letter F the opening of the movement is repeated with an important change from the minor mode to the major nine measures later and the material is worked up to a general climax which is suspended at the double bar four measures after the coda sign where a sudden cutoff leaves the horns (with trumpets) ringing in echo. This gesture is suspiciously reminiscent of the orchestral cutoff in the first movement at letter?? A bit of transitional material (later to be incorporated in what is the trio portion of the movement) appears: Ex.5 [not extant], which is answered with some pizzicato coloration also reminiscent of some measures in the first movement (from the notes, not from the color): Ex. 6 [not extant], after which the main theme of the trio, the "Volkslied" appears in the woodwinds (Ex.7 [not extant]), their exclusive property from this point through letters G, H, I & J, some seventy measures. The interplay of winds and pizzicato strings is strongly reminiscent of the Scherzo in the Tchaikosvky Fourth Symphony. At letter H the strings attempt to bring back Ex.1 from the first movement but it fails to assert itself, falling victim to Ex.5 and the dominating woodwind coloration. At letter J the strings give out Ex.7 answered by a new woodwind counterpoint: EX.8 [not extant], which, in its unison utterance, stands in distinction to the four part harmony of Ex.7 in the strings. This dialog continues through to letter L at which point the transitional material of Ex.5 returns and attempt to reinstate Ex.1 of the Scherzo proper ensues, a gesture which is fully honored one measure after letter M when the Scherzo proper is repeated. The coda is a most exciting affair, combining as it does both major elements of the Scherzo proper with the trio (Exs.1 and 7). The sonorities of the horns are recalled when Ex.7 is given out gloriously by the quartet (supported by trumpets) against the tempestuous pulsations of Ex.1 and the strange octave wailing in the woodwinds which echo the entry of the horns themselves (Ex.3). After this climax the music gradually subsides: Ex.7 is returned to the woodwinds against the flickering outlines of Ex.1. With a brief reference to Ex.5 in the woodwinds and an echo of Ex.3 (horn call) in the low register of the solo clarinet, the movement ends in a dialog of sustained D major triad (flute, clarinet) alternating with the triplet pulsation of Ex.1. The movement ends on two pizzicato notes for the violas, pp.

The third movement (Larghetto, B flat major, 3/4) is almost as long (ca. 16-18 minutes) as the first movement but as sustained in inspiration as well. The shadow of Schumann enters the music frequently, but it is in the spirit of Schumann's best and Raff certainly equals the earlier master in the matter of harmonic richness and melodic design. The declaration of descriptive intent supplied by Raff is the following:

"In the third movement the composer would like to invite the listener to pause at the household hearth, which he has imagined to himself as being transfigured by the muses of good breeding among his fellow countrymen and by the faithful love of wife and children."

The movement opens with the following theme: Ex.1 [not extant] which is then extended thus: Ex.2 [not extant], with Ex.1 returning an octave higher in the first violins, accompanied by woodwinds. A lovely bit of transitional material, passed from solo cello to solo clarinet, bassoon, oboe and back is this: Ex.3 [not extant], which leads to letter B and the entry of: Ex.4 [not extant] on solo horn accompanied by a syncopated figure in the strings. Both the theme and its coloration are reminiscent of the third movement of Brahms' Third Symphony (Poco allegretto). These are the only themes in the movement and the movement itself lasts almost 15 minutes yet it qualifies as one of the most beautiful, spontaneous and sustained slow movements in all Raff. The miracle of the music is in the richness of invention involving accompanimental figures; each repetition (or combination) of Exs.1 and 4 brings with it a variation in the background figuration. This progression of ever-changing accompanimental patterns, plus the modulatory scheme and the variety in orchestration holds the listener throughout. It is of no use to give these patterns because they are far too numerous. The movement has three distinct sections each marked by a general orchestral climax, of which the passage from letter D through F may be accorded the appellation central. After this (letter F, ff) Raff does repeat the passage preceding letter B but this almost immediately subsides into another quasi-crescendo passage; "quasi" is the right term, for what precedes letter H is, despite a generally busy look on paper, a pianissimo passage involving a great deal of florid counterpoint. Of particular effectiveness in the general dénouement from this point on is the coloration of the low register of the clarinet with mid register bassoon against Ex.1 in the strings which continues almost to letter L and another (very brief) climax. The movement ends on the contour of Ex.1.

Mention should also be made of melodic extension through the use of chromatics in this movement. In all Raff there is perhaps no other movement to be found which, in the melodic development, relies so heavily on this maneuver. In this Raff came as close to Wagner as he would ever come and of course the common ideal is that of "unendliche Melodie". With Raff however the parallel with Wagner is with works, primarily Lohengrin, of Wagner's early maturity rather than with Tristan und Isolde completed not long before Raff began the Vaterland Symphony. Indeed, Ex.4 has an intrinsic twist which, in the aforementioned central section, when wedded to certain chromatic elements brings a reminiscence of the climactic moment in the great Eva-Ortrud duet in the second act of Lohengrin. The similarities with Wagner may or may not have been apparent to the critics of the time, but even the most anti-futurist of them who heard the Vaterland Symphony seem not to have taken notice of any influence. Of all the movements this Larghetto received unanimous approval from conservative and radical alike.

"If thus far gratifying aspects have been allowed prime consideration, such is not the case when the composer turns his eye to another side of German common life. One becomes aware in the fourth movement of repeated attempts at unification of the Fatherland being frustrated by an enemy state. The composer thought he might be permitted to introduce here a musical motive not devised by himself, the Reichardt melody to the poem of Arndt Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland? - a melody which is known wherever a German breathes."

Of all the movements of the Vaterland Symphony the fourth is the most curious and perhaps most original in design. It is nominally the second Scherzo of the symphony and is marked Allegro dramatico (12/8, G minor) and begins with the following scherzo-like theme: Ex.1 [not extant], which is worked over up to letter A. In the background there emerge certain rhythmic and melodic fragments which may (considering what follows in this movement) be subtle reminders of themes from the first movement. At letter A the continual triplet motion disappears and as the music modulates to B flat major a certain stateliness comes in via a Kopfmotiv of duplet basis which ultimately is recognized as the Kopfmotiv to the Reichardt melody Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland: Ex.2  [not extant], given out by the full orchestra up to letter B, and from that point on given varied orchestration until letter C when D minor intrudes and Ex.1 reasserts itself, obviously now recognizable as the enemy power frustrating attempts at unification. That symbolic idea is given further credence as the music progresses: a strange octave motive vies for precedence with Ex.1: Ex.3 [not extant], although basically transitional it figures prominently as the movement progresses.

At letter D the unification symbol becomes apparent: Ex.1 of the first movement returns in new guise (aspiration): Ex.4 [not extant], to an accompaniment derived from Ex.1. This material forms the basis for what follows to letter E where E minor is the prevailing tonality. A development ensues in which Ex.1 gains in intensity; Ex.4 gradually disappears in the combat between Ex.1 and Ex.2 (aspiration, enemy might, Fatherland). At letter G the brass contingent enters mightily with Ex.3 and the motive assumes a sort of destiny idea: thrice this gesture is repeated until finally the triplets of Ex.1 are driven from the scene. At letter H duplet motion takes over and we are given another transformation of Ex.1 of the first movement (aspiration) which is actually preceded in the violas with a reminiscence of its forbear Ex.4: Ex.5 [not extant], which is later supplied with an interesting counterpoint: Ex.6 [not extant]. The Kopfmotiv of Ex.4 (almost identical with the Kopfmotiv of Ex.2) can be heard in the background as we find ourselves in a second development section. Martial strains are heard in the brass and the music becomes more agitated until at letter I Ex.3 (aspitation) is roared from the brass in unison and answered by the second half of the Volksmelodie Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland?, the words of which are important as a symbol of the struggle for unity. A strange and sudden quiet enters and fragments of the Reichardt melody are strewn throughout the orchestra. At letter J this melody and the octave motive are joined and at letter K Ex.1 returns to cast its ominous shadow which it does with increasing intensity until a full orchestra outburst on the diminished seventh brings back the call of the octave motive which is thrice repeated. Through this gesture (irresolution) Ex.1 (enemy might) is dispelled. Letter L brings a short coda which is all poise and quiet. With a last presentation of Ex.4 (aspiration) the music sighs to a peaceful conclusion.

From a formal standpoint it may be concluded that the movement is a rondo with character of a scherzo not unlike that of the third movement of the Mahler Fifth. Critics of the time - like Shedlock for the Monthly Musical Record - didn't quite know what to make of the actual form of the movement and it was the one movement which conservative critics found most suspect. On the other hand, because of the folk tune, it was the most frequently excerpted section and it was certainly capable of being heard on its own. It is also the extraneous movement as far as usual symphonic design may be considered and it adds to the overall -length considerably, being about 10 minutes. It is however utterly spontaneous and contains some of Raff's most original (and prophetic) writing such as the quasi-Brucknerian unison brass statement at letter I. That Raff decides in this fourth movement to bring back a motive from the first movement is of great significance, especially because of what follows in the Finale.

In Albert Schäfer's Werkverzeichnis for Raff there is a note that a pause should be made after the first and third movements in the Vaterland Symphony. The result of this would be the feeling of a tripartite design. As such we are confronted already in Raff's first numbered, symphony with a three-section outlook in which there are more than three movements. This tripartite design is further emphasized by the fact that movements 4 and 5 of the D major Symphony are related and form a sort of symphony between themselves: when one considers the Allegro drammatico as a first movement the second, third and fourth movements of a traditional symphony can be seen in the Larghetto, the Quasi andante moderato and the Allegro trionfale sections of the fifth movement in the Vaterland Symphony, the type of formal gesture noticeable in the last quartets of Beethoven and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (Finale), The two movements also share materials, or one should say, metamorphosis of materials from the first movement and in the coda of the Finale, Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland? makes its (inevitable) return.

Concerning this Finale Raff supplied the following remarks:

"In the fifth movement the composer does not suppress the melancholy which the disunity of his Fatherland fills him. Consolingly at hope arises in him; led and directed by its hand, he glimpses longingly and with presentiment a new attempt of his people which, crowned by victory, brings unity and majesty."

Little did Raff know that this unification would take place within the decade. When that happened the Vaterland Symphony took on a new and, in retrospect, unfortunate symbolism with the prophecy in Raff's statement showing crystallized interpretation via the Franco-Prussian War, an interpretation perhaps too eagerly enjoyed by the public of the time. There is little doubt that Raff's generalizations and the subsequent historical coincidence contributed more than a little to the popularity of the Symphony; that these are not musical reasons is unfortunate but they should not, in even further historical retrospect, blind one to the musical qualities, not only of this Finale, but of the entire symphony.

The movement opens Larghetto sostenuto (D minor, 4/4) in the low strings and woodwinds over a timpani ostinato with the following lugubrious idea: Ex.1 [not extant] the chromatic harmonies used in the close part-writing adding a particularly rich and dark coloring to general melancholy - and also evoking Liszt. At letter A, after Ex.1 has been repeated in a higher register, a new color (B flat major) is introduced by the clarinet arpeggios against this upward striving theme, perhaps a symbol of hope and aspiration: Ex. 2 [not extant], the oboe eventually answering this with a close relative of Ex.? [unknown] of the third movement: Ex.3 [not extant], and Ex.2 is repeated. At letter C (introduced by what appears to be a recall of Ex.? [unknown] of the first movement in the celli (the rhythmic outline corresponds at any rate) Ex.1 is worked up to a climax which leads into the second section of the Finale: Un poco meno lento, quasi Andante moderato (B flat major, 4/4). Horns accompanied by bassoons, present the following theme: Ex.4 [not extant], which, after repetition in clarinets and oboes is passed back to the horns with an accompanimental figure obviously derived from the second half of Ex.1 in the first movement. At letter D a dotted rhythm in transitional material begins a march-like crescendo to a full orchestra outburst with Ex.4. For Shedlock this was remindful of Mendelssohn's "T'is thus decreed" from Elijah. After this climax we move on, midway between letters E and F, to a new cresecendo in which the Kopfmotiv of Ex.1 of the first movement is most prominent and eventually, this becomes the main theme of the third and major section of the Finale, Allegro trionfale, (D major, 4/4): Ex.5 [not extant]. This theme seems capable of inexhaustible treatment inasmuch as it has figured prominently already in three of the symphony's five movements. At letter G it manifests itself as a counterpoint to Ex.5 in the following manner (not unlike Ex.? [unknown] of the Scherzo): Ex.6 [not extant].

Throughout the entire exposition of the Allegro trionfale we are constantly reminded in the most subtle manner of previous themes, primarily from the first movement such as Ex.? [unknown] which is prominent in the brass as an accompaniment to Ex.5 but which emerges on its own as a transitional motive linking the previous material with the new lyrical and contrasting subject, delectably treated by woodwind quintet alone: Ex.8 [not extant] at letter I and this is further developed through to letter K from which emerges a tiny figure: Ex.9 [not extant], not unrelated in its phrasing to the opening motive of the Im Walde Symphony: [not extant].

A long crescendo ensues which culminates at letter M in this outburst: Ex.10 [not extant], which is clearly predicated on Ex.? [unknown] of the first movement. Now ensues the technically most interesting maneuver of the movement: there is no development section. At letter N there is a recall of the very opening of the Finale (Ex.1); of the second section there is no apparent repeat and what follows from letter onward is not a direct recapitulation of the preceding expository section but rather a truncated development involving much of the material already indicated which also shows characteristics of a recapitulation particularly at the return of Ex.8. At letter U begins the coda, perhaps the longest in all Raff; already the timpani in the transition heralding the re-entry (once again) of Ex.5 announce a rhythm heard before: the opening of the Reichardt melody. Gradually the orchestration fills out and Ex.11 [not extant] makes its presence felt until at letter V it is presented in all its glory combined with elements from preceding examples. The stretto which begins at letter W and which brings the symphony to its conclusion is one of the most glorious moments in all Raff; in it are combined in jubilant tones Ex.5 and Ex.11.

The first performance of the Vaterland Symphony was not exactly auspicious. The lengthy debate concerning the actual award had become a topic of gossip among the musical elite of Vienna and the two year period of waiting had already cast a shadow over the proceedings. The idea of political intrigue - especially after Liszt's withdrawal from the prize committee -was given confirmation when two prizes were awarded. Perhaps because of the long period of debate the idea of novelty had worn off for the concert dedicated to the performance of the two symphonies is reported as poorly attended, despite good weather. Johann Herbeck, the conductor of the orchestra, had to withdraw at the last moment because of a sudden family crisis and Johann Helmmesberger took over. The critics were not permitted to attend the rehearsals, nor were they given scores for perusal either before or during the concert, two facts which did not rest well with critics and which certainly didn't put either Becker or Raff in the best position for assessment - a single hearing was all that was given before the judgments appeared in print. Considering all this Raff didn't fare badly; Becker came out the worst and although it wasn't unanimous that his symphony was the lesser of the two, the fact that he never published his work points to a certain discouragement engendered by the first performance. Partisanship also played a role among the critics and Raff was a marked man among the anti-Liszt -Wagner faction as may be seen in the review of the Wiener Recensionen...

[Dr Krueck's translation of parts of the review in the Wiener Recensionen is not extant]

The critic Eduard Hanslick, at the time not quite so feared as he was when Bruckner and Brahms vied for preeminence among symphonists, was also present. This is his review in part:

[Dr Krueck's translation of parts of Hanslick's review is not extant]

The length of the symphony was the major point of reaction by all the critics. Both Hanslick and his anonymous compatriot for the Recensionen were disturbed by "bizarre", "artificial" and "exaggerated" orchestral effects - these are exactly the things which can hold the attention of a present day listener for Raff's orchestration, in the series of symphonies to follow, is always one of the major attractions.

When the score appeared (J. Schuberth, Leipzig) in 1865 the critic for Allgemeine Musikzeitung singled out the second movement of the symphony as the best and found the orchestration extraordinarily large (he was one of those fooled by the instrumental distribution on the page), stating "... Berlioz could have been the judge of the prize." However the symphony had already started on its road to success and aside from the usual misgivings concerning length and program was given a positive review. It is in this review that the Suite in C major op.101 is taken into consideration with the remark that it is a five  movement symphony just like the Vaterland; perhaps this is the basis for Schäfer's remark that the suite is mistakenly called a symphony; be that as it may the origins of the Scherzo and March were felt.

After symphonies Nos.3, 4 and 5 the Symphony No.1 in D major An das Vaterland was to prove the most durable of Raff's symphonies though it has totally disappeared from the concert scene since the First World War; one assumes this is primarily due to the radical change in sentiment vis-a-vis the symphony's patriotic sentiment.