Damajanti Op. 78 for soprano, chorus and orchestra
Max Christian Friedrich Bruch
Damajanti, op. 78 (1903)
(b. Cologne, 6 January 1838 – d. Berlin, 2 October 1920 )
Prelude for Orchestra p.4
No. 1: Scene p.9
No. 2: Chorus p.32
No. 3: Scene p.43
Instrumentation: soprano, chorus, two violins, viola, cello, double bass
Duration: ca. 30 mins.
Born in 1838, Max Bruch was the son of a police commissioner, August Karl Friedrich Bruch, and his wife Wilhelmine, a soprano, and received his first piano lessons from his mother’s equally musical sister. The boy’s musical abilities soon become apparent and were always zealously cultivated. In addition to a talent for music, he also displayed a gift for painting roughly between the years seven and ten. By nine he had already written his first piece: a song for his mother’s birthday. From then on music became his grand passion. His first theory lessons came from Heinrich Breidenstein, a friend of his father’s living in Bonn.
Young Max was raised at home by his parents and educated by private teachers from the Friedrich Wilhelm Grammar School in Cologne. Thus it happened that he never received an official school leaving certificate – a circumstance that caused him problems later, despite his extremely high-quality work, when he tried to enroll in Bonn University. Thanks to a strong letter of recommendation from Professor Hoss, an untarnished character reference and the benevolence of the university’s rector, he ultimately matriculated at the university in 1859, by which time he was already twenty-one years old. In addition to his lessons with Breidenstein, he now began to study with Ferdinand Hiller (1853-57), who would become a lifelong influence. He also received piano instruction from Carl Reinecke and Ferdinand Breunung.
After completing his studies, Bruch worked as a music teacher in Cologne. But in the years that followed he made many artistic tours of France, Belgium, Germany and Austria (1861-65). He then became a music teacher, music director and court conductor in various cities (Koblenz, Thüringen, Bonn, Berlin, Breslau). He received an honorary doctorate from Cambridge University in 1894 and another from the University of Berlin in 1918. In 1910 he resigned from the Academy and thereafter devoted himself solely to composition. His works, including various operas, symphonies, choral compositions and lieder, were acclaimed throughout the world of music. He died in Berlin on 2 October 1920 at the age of eighty-two…
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