Klose, Friedrich


Klose, Friedrich

Prelude and Fugue for organ, 4 trumpets, and 4 trombones

SKU: 1744 Category:


Friedrich Klose

Prelude and Fugue (1907) for organ, 4 trumpets, and 4 trombones

(b. Karlsruhe, 29 November 1862 – d. Ruvigliana, 24 December 1942)

Præludium. Andante (p. 3) – Doppelfuge. Allegro moderato (p. 11) – Andante (p. 15) – Allegro moderato (p. 20) – Tutti. Allegro (p. 31)

Friedrich Klose is a prime example of those composers whose names crop up again and again but practically none of whose music is ever heard. He is invariably mentioned whenever the question of Bruckner’s important pupils arises. This was not the case during his productive years. But one reason why he had already been largely forgotten during his lifetime was undoubtedly his premature silence. After completing his Five Songs after Giordano Bruno, published by Universal in 1918, Klose regarded his musical output as finished. At least some information on his complete oeuvre can be obtained from the slender volume Friedrich Klose (Munich, 1921), written by the Munich conductor and professor of composition Heinrich Knappe and published by Dreimasken Verlag in its series Zeitgenössische Komponisten, edited by Klose’s acclaimed younger colleague Hermann Wolfgang von Waltershausen (1882-1954). This volume, written with Klose’s assistance, gives no indication that his creative work had come to an end. To the present day it remains the standard work for Klose scholarship.

Knappe reports that “Klose himself determined that three elements must interact in his music in order to produce a work of art: an inner experience, its translation into artistic form, and musical inspiration.” In the afterword he notes:

“Whereas Pfitzner points to the Romantic composers Weber and Schumann, and Reger is remote from typical Romanticism owing to his close ties to the music of Bach, Klose and Richard Strauss number among the New Romantics. In the music of this school’s primary figure, Wagner, we find traces of Mozart and others of late Beethoven. Strauss’s muse is related to these Mozartean traits; Klose’s art, in contrast, proceeds from Wagner’s Beethovenian aspect.


“Klose’s music is typified by the principle of unity. He devoted a single work to each genre, thereby pronouncing, as it were, his final word on it. This is surely the deepest foundation for this strange and, to date, unique and solitary figure. Klose would probably be able to gambol in every field of musical creativity, for his powers of invention and his technical mastery are both irreproachable. But his artistic conscience prevents him from showing the public the stages of his evolution in these various fields. His struggles, which only come to an end when the work in question has given a clear account of his view on the nature of its genre, take place solely in his mind. Closely related to this fact is his utterly scrupulous and remorseless

self-criticism – the same quality that distinguishes him as a teacher, forcing him to look for perfect expression after precisely weighing every option in conjunction with his students. In his lessons, he also reveals his excitement and open-mindedness toward everything of value that has been created in music throughout the ages, including the present day by his peers. This fact is the mark of a figure who, without regarding his own music as the one true path, views himself as a comrade-in-arms in mounting the highest pinnacles, and who honors art for its own sake rather than treating it as a vehicle with which to indulge his own vanity.”

Here is how Knappe opens the biographical section of his book: “Friedrich Klose has only appeared before the public in the capacity of a composer. Apart from a few appearances on the conductor’s platform, including one at the Swiss Musicians Festival to conduct his Mass or Vidi aquam, he has stood aloof from the goings-on of the performer’s profession.” The son of a captain in the Austrian military, Klose lost his mother at an early age. Her piano playing and singing were his earliest lasting musical impressions. Knappe reports that music, for Klose, was something that “transports us to a better world and opens up the heaven of better times,” and that he always had “mental pictures” when listening to it. He often heard the funeral march from Beethoven’s Eroica performed by military wind bands at burial services. At the age of seven he began to take violin lessons, but “considered the monodic character of the violin to be a shortcoming.” Deeply impressed by Wagner’s Lohengrin and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, he started writing his first compositions before receiving any instruction: “Over the next few years he completed symphonic poems, scenes and even entire acts of operas whose words he wrote himself. They manifest the results of his study of the piano-vocal scores to Lohengrin and the St. Matthew Passion and the impressions he received in the concert hall from Berlioz’s Queen Mab and Liszt’s Les Préludes.” Vinzenz Lachner (1811-1893), the younger brother of Franz Lachner and a backward-looking professor at the Grand Ducal Conservatory in Karlsruhe, became his first teacher in theory and composition. Klose loved Wagner and Liszt, and Knappe has this to say of his studies: …

Christoph Schlüren, Oktober 2015



Read full preface / Komplettes Vorwort lesen > HERE

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