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Classical Connections: Within the Shadows

August Klughardt (by August Weger)

Some weeks in the past, I used to be writing about how just a few musical devices of yesteryear have just about change into extinct. An identical factor typically befalls composers, or slightly the music of composers. Strive for instance, an Web seek for “nineteenth century composers” and if you find yourself on a Wikipedia web page, you may discover actually tons of of names lots of which I can assure you’ve gotten by no means earlier than encountered. It’s possible you’ll marvel what occurred to all these composers and why we by no means hear their music any extra.

Properly, I am inclined to assume that it is one other instance of the survival of the fittest, to borrow as soon as once more that helpful, however barely misunderstood cliché. The explanation that many composers are forgotten is barely much like why sure species grew to become extinct. On the danger of over-simplification, firstly there have been too lots of them. Secondly, many had been unable to adapt to altering creative environments. The names that survived did so largely as a result of they solid forward musically and stylistically slightly than merely standing nonetheless. It may appear curious, however audiences within the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries wished new music, not one thing old school and outdated. Composers whose music was not thought-about “new” sufficient had been at an obstacle. However not too “new” after all. These too far forward of their viewers had been additionally, no less than briefly at an obstacle.

However what about at the moment? The audiences that fill our live performance halls need one thing acquainted, or no less than one thing that they’ll have an affordable probability of understanding and having fun with. Live performance promoters know this solely too effectively and usually be certain that their applications will draw an viewers to cowl their prices. A program consisting of works by obscure, long-dead composers is unlikely to draw anybody however essentially the most curious. Moreover, there are merely not sufficient live performance alternatives for obscure composers to get a look-in. The unhappy truth is that almost all of these forgotten names are prone to stay within the shadows, even if they could have written fantastic music.

Certainly one of them is the grandly-named August Friedrich Martin Klughardt who was a German composer and conductor. He started composing at an early age and in 1866 moved to Dresden the place his music was carried out publicly for the primary time. He additionally took up conducting and ultimately labored his approach as much as the courtroom theater in Weimar. He grew to become associates with Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner and in 1892 and 1893 he carried out Wagner’s huge opera cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen. Though Klughardt composed six operas, 5 symphonies and different orchestral works in addition to a handful of chamber works, his music has largely been forgotten.

It is the same old cause. His music from him was too conservative and didn’t mirror the shifting developments of the time. Though he was influenced by Wagner and Liszt, Klughardt by no means wrote modern-style tone poems and as an alternative targeting symphonies and chamber music.

August Klughardt (1847-1902): Schilflieder, Op 28. Tom Owen (ob), Öykü Canpolat (vla), Nicholas Rimmer (pno). (Size: 18:03; Video: 1080 HD)

The title is variously translated as Reed Songs or Music of the Reeds and the work consists of 5 Fantasiestücke or “fantasy items” derived from a poem of the identical title by the nineteenth century Austrian poet Nikolaus Lenau. He was an fascinating character. The title Lenau is a pseudonym, for he was born Nikolaus Franz Niembsch Edler von Strehlenau. At some stage he should have determined that it was an excessive amount of of a mouthful and as a younger grownup, he started research in legislation, medication, and philosophy. He did not full any of them and appeared unable to settle all the way down to any critical work. As an alternative, he turned to writing romantic verse, imbued with sentimental melancholy most likely inherited from his mom. A household legacy enabled him to dedicate himself wholly to poetry, although a lot of it was gloomy stuff and mirrored his dissatisfaction with life basically. The poet suffered lifetime despair and sadly ended his days in a Viennese lunatic asylum.

Nonetheless, his poetry was influential on the time and impressed works by Richard Strauss and Franz Liszt. August Klughardt composed this pleasant and lyrical suite in 1872 primarily based on a Lenau poem which described a wanderer roaming the countryside at completely different instances of the day. By the way, the phrase fantasy (and its a number of variants) is commonly utilized by composers to indicate music that has a free flight of expression and an improvisational character.

Devoted to Franz Liszt, the Schilflieder had been fairly well-known throughout Klughhardt’s lifetime and the work remained within the repertoire effectively into the twentieth century. Nevertheless, few works by Klughardt are carried out nowadays, however there is a uncommon probability to listen to a stay efficiency of his Wind Quintet Op 79, to be given at Ben’s Theater Jomtien on Saturday 1st October by the Mahidol Wind Quintet. You could find particulars on-line. In case you loved Schilflieder you are certain to take pleasure in this charming work for wind devices which dates from 1898 and completely captures the composer’s engaging if slightly conservative musical type.


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