Ignaz Brüll – Ouvertüre to Macbeth, op. 46
(b. Moravia, 7 November 1846 – d. Vienna, 17 September 1907)
For the better part of the twentieth century, the legacy and works of Moravian-born composer Ignaz Brüll have been woefully forgotten. Ignaz Brüll lived and worked in Vienna for most of his life and was a professor at Vienna’s Horak Institute. He composed operas, orchestral works, and chamber works in a lively, conservative style similar to those of composers Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn. Perhaps Brüll’s best known composition was the opera Das goldene Kreuz (or The Golden Cross), which was first premiered in December of 1875 and was a staple in operatic repertoire for decades.
Brüll was also a highly regarded concert pianist. In fact, he was so highly esteemed that Johannes Brahms regularly asked Brüll to be his duet partner for private auditions of Brahms’ four-handed piano compositions before these works were even published. Brüll was furthermore a prominent member of Johannes Brahms’ circle of musical friends, which included composers such as Gustav Mahler and Robert Fuchs, and Brüll often hosted members of this circle at his holiday home in Unterach am Attersee.
Despite Brüll’s established reputation as a composer and pianist, however, his compositions went into obscurity once the Nazi regime overtook Europe. The reason for this obscurity was because Brüll was Jewish, and during this time, Adolf Hitler only allowed compositions by composers such as Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner to be performed in concert halls. He ordered scores by Jewish composers, meanwhile, to be burned….
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