Rezniček, Emil Nikolaus von


Rezniček, Emil Nikolaus von

Thema und Variationen nach dem Gedicht „Tragische Geschichte“ von Adalbert von Chamisso for grand orchestra and bass (-baritone) Solo

Art.-Nr.: 1767 Kategorien: ,



Emil Nikolaus von Rezniček

Thema und Variationen nach dem Gedicht

„Tragische Geschichte“ von Adalbert von Chamisso
for grand orchestra and bass (-baritone) Solo (1921)

(b. Vienna, 4. May 1860 – d. Berlin, 2. August 1945)

Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek is represented in the orchestral repertoire by a single work, the overture to his 1894 comic opera Donna Diana. Not only does this fail to represent Reznicek’s large output (including five symphonies and a dozen operas) but it also misrepresents the Austrian composer’s peculiar gifts. Chief among these was a sense of humor that expressed itself in musical irony, satire, and parody. These traits were apt to be turned even upon Reznicek’s friends – particularly when the friendship was rather ambivalent. This was the case with the relationship between Reznicek and Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949). The two were close contemporaries with only four years separating both their birth and death. Yet they were less close personally. Strauss took at least one occasion to reject a work of Reznicek’s for performance, chiding him condescendingly for writing music that was not in the “charming” mode of Donna Diana – “You’re now becoming so terribly modern.”

Rather than respond in kind to the man who had made an early career out of shocking his audiences with Salome and Elektra, Reznicek took his bitterness into music. Three compositions in his large oeuvre reflect this mood quite explicitly – the tone poems Schlemihl (1911-12), Der Sieger (1913), and the Theme and Variations after the Poem “Tragische Geschichte” of Adalbert von Chamisso (1921).

All three works deal with a particular character – the forever unlucky man of Jewish folklore, a hyper-heroic “victor” who dances around a golden calf, and the tragicomic subject of Chamisso’s poem – and each mocks Strauss’ pretentions. Reznicek achieves this through stylistic allusion and almost-quotation taken to a high level of absurdity. Interspersed between these moments are biting dissonances and interruptions of the musical narrative that have the effect of ironic commentaries by the composer….

Read full preface / Komplettes Vorwort lesen > HERE

Score Data

Partitur Nr.



Repertoire Explorer




210 x 297 mm





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