Keussler, Gerhard von


Keussler, Gerhard von

Zebaoth, biblical Oratorio for mixed choir, two single voices, large boys’ choir, orchestra and organ

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Gerhard von Keußler – Zebaoth
Biblical Oratorio for mixed choir, two single voices, large boys’ choir, orchestra and organ (1908/23)

(b. 23 June 1874, Schwanenburg [Gulbene, Latvia] – d. 21 August 1949, Niederwartha near Dresden)

Erster Teil: ‚Vor der hohen Stadt‘
Tranquillo (p. 3) – ‚Die Nacht ist um‘ (p. 7) – ‚Führe uns nicht in Versuchung!‘ (p. 36) – Nicht bin ich der, von dem ihr redet‘ (p. 77) – ‚Herr, wer im Geist festhält Deinen Bund‘ (p. 113)
Zweiter Teil: ‚In den Gefilden des Herrn‘
Mosso leggiero (p. 127) – ‚Wie ein Hirte seine Schafe suchet‘ (p. 135) – ‚Ich hebe meine Augen auf‘ (p. 145) – ‚Habt ihr nicht gesehn‘ (p. 157) – ‚Der Herr ist dein Hirte‘ (p. 176) – ‚In der Zeit meiner Not suche ich den Herrn‘ (p. 190) – Mosso risoluto (p. 203) – ‚Gott ist unsre Burg‘ (p. 216) – ‚Seid friedlich‘ (p. 227)

Gerhard von Keußler is a special case in music history: he was one of the greatest composers of his generation, and at the same time the last performances of his major works took place during his lifetime, and to this day not a single recording of even one of Keußler‘s works was done. As a sacred composer, he is one of the greatest masters of the first half of the 20th century and is a worthy successor to Bruckner, Brahms and Draeseke in his contrapuntal mastery, poignant harmonies and unorthodox, broad, compelling forms. His three symphonies and other orchestral works, which, with one early exception, have so far only been available in manuscript, are, if competent contemporary witnesses are to be believed, presumably not of lesser quality. Keußler also contributed significantly as a theorist and essayist until he refused to join the national-socialist Reichsschrifttumkammer in 1935 and therefore was no longer allowed to publish any literary works. The rapid forgetting of his musical work probably has to do with the fact that he almost always conducted his music, which was not easy to perform, himself and thus at the time of his death no other conductor had it in his repertoire.

Gerhard von Keußler grew up in a Baltic-German pastoral family in Latvia, which moved to St. Petersburg in 1885. At his father‘s insistence, he first studied botany from 1894 in Dorpat (Tartu) in today’s Estonia, but at that time his vocation became clear. From 1900-02 he studied composition with Carl Reinecke at the Leipzig Conservatory, as well as counterpoint with Salomon Jadassohn and cello with Julius Klengel. Klengel also promoted him as a composer and through his recommendation Keußler’s symphonic fresco ‚Resurrection and Last Judgement‘ was published by Breitkopf & Härtel. Reinecke was also well-disposed towards the young Keußler, but generally the lessons were so unsatisfactory for him artistically that he broke off his studies without a degree and moved to Dresden. From 1906-18 he worked as choir director of the Deutscher Singverein (German Singing Society) in Prague, from 1918-22 as director of the Deutsche Sing-Akademie and initially also of the Philharmonic concerts in Hamburg. …


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Score Data


Repertoire Explorer


Choir/Voice & Orchestra


210 x 297 mm





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