A Negro Rhapsody for orchestra
Rubin Goldmark – A Negro Rhapsody for orchestra (1922)
(b. New York City, 15 August 1872 – d. New York City, 6 March 1936)
Moderato (p. 3) – Allegro moderato (p. 13) – Andante non troppo (p. 31) – Più lento (p. 35) – Allegro moderato (p. 45) – Feroce (p. 58) – Con spirito (p. 59) – Tempo primo, molto ritmico (p. 65)
Preface (by Christoph Schlüren)
Rubin Goldmark was the outstanding personality among Antonín Dvorák’s American students. Today he is mainly remembered as the mentor of such significant composers as George Gershwin (1898-1937), the Italo-American genius Vittorio Giannini (1903-66), Aaron Copland (1900-90), Frederick Jacobi (1891-1952), or Alexei Haieff (1914-94). Stylistically a thoroughly conservative late-romantic composer, so to speak a ’brazen romantic” off the beaten track of the progressive tendencies of his time, after his death Rubin Goldmark’s name quickly fell into total oblivion in a climate of modernistic aesthetics. But his music strikes, beyond its obvious melodic charme and vitality, with rich invention, harmonical substance and complete mastery of large forms and orchestration. It is definitely worth to be rediscovered.
He was the nephew of the famous Jewish-Austrian composer Carl Goldmark. His father Leo Goldmark (1843-1927), born in Deutschkreutz in Burgenland and living in New York as a lawyer and cantor, was a keyfigure in New York music life being one of the founders and a singer of the Oratorio Society of New York as well as a co-founder and at times director of the New York Symphony Society. The young Rubin Goldmark grew up in a milieu where the most significant musicians who worked in New York permanently or as guest artists were regular guests at the Goldmark’s house.
In the beginning Rubin Goldmark studied piano privately with the German emigree Alfred von Livonius (1846-1916; Amrican citizen since 1892) and spent one year at the College of the City of New York. In 1889 the seventeen-year-old went to his uncle in Vienna where he studied at the Conservatory composition with Robert Fuchs and Johann Nepomuk Fuchs and piano with Anton Door. After his return to New York in 1891 he continued his studies at the National Conservatory for two years; his teachers were the Hungarian piano virtuoso Rafael Joseffy (1852-1915) an ex-pupil of Moscheles, Tausig and Liszt, and Antonín Dvorák in composition. On 8 May 1893, Rubin Goldmark’s Piano Trio in D minor Op. 1 written in 1892 was premièred at the conservatory by violinist Michael Banner (1868-1941), cellist Victor Herbert (1859-1924), and the young composer himself at the piano. Afterwards Dvorák is reported to have said: ”Now there are two Goldmarks!”, and the work was printed by the famous Leipsic publishing house Breitkopf & Härtel in 1896. After Dvorák’s departure Goldmark taught piano and theory at the National Conservatory in 1893-94. But due to health reasons he had to leave New York City, and his patrons founded for him the Colorado College in Colorado Springs where he served as director until 1902. As a composer he became widely recognized after the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s première of his tone poem ’Hiawatha’ after Longfellow on 13 January 1900. ..
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