Klughardt, August


Klughardt, August

Die Zerstörung von Jerusalem Op. 75, oratorio

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August Friedrich Martin Klughardt – Die Zerstörung Jerusalems. oratorio, op. 95 (Destruction of Jerusalem)

(b. Köthen / Anhalt, November 30, 1847 – d. Roßlau (today Dessau-Roßlau), August 3, 1902)

“One has to go back to Mendelssohn, and unless you are completely mistaken, even to Handel himself, in order to be able to name masterpieces that are completely equal. Klughardt shows himself in this work (the “Destruction of Jerusalem”, 18 GE) as a master of the first rank who completely masters old and new art. The artist is now at the zenith of his life, in the full power of his great artistry. May he become what he has fully demonstrated in this work: the new creator of the highest and most venerable genre, the new creator of the German oratorio!”1

Klughardt`s late oratorio “The Destruction of Jerusalem”, op. 952 was very often performed around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, as was his oratorio “Judith”, op. 95, and was considered a classic. His late oratorios are regarded to be works with “real artistic fulfillment” and “equal to the classical oratorial tradition.”3

The almost forgotten composer and conductor August Friedrich Klughardt learned piano and music theory from the age of ten, although his first attempts at composition fell into his high school years. In 1864, at the age of 17, he made his debut as a pianist and two years later, in 1866, began his professional training in piano playing with Adolf Blassmann and counterpoint with Adolf Reichel in Dresden. He became a member of the Dresden Tonkünstlerverein.4 Klughardt began his conducting career in 1867/68 at the Poznan City Theatre at the age von 19, followed by engagements at the Neutrelitzer City Theatre (1868/69), then in Lübeck and at the Weimar Court Theatre (1869-1874), where he became Grand Ducal Music Director. His acquaintance with Franz Liszt in Weimar was important for his compositional development. In 1871 Klughardt married his former classmate Helene Fähser, with whom he had the daughter Margarete in 1872, who later married the son of his librettist Richard Gerlach. After the first wife`s suicide, Klughardt married the teacher Emilie Gast in 1883, with whom he had son August in 1887. From 1873 Klughardt was the sole conductor and from 1880 director in Neustrelitz. Just as important as his meeting with Franz Liszt was his visit to the first Bayreuth Festival in 1876, which made him a “glowing, if not uncritical Wagner admirer”5, and for which Richard Wagner had hired some musicians from Klughardts Neustrelitzer orchestra. The last station of his musical career was again Dessau – he had grown up there – where he became Hofkapellmeister from 1882 until his death. It is important to mention his conducting of Wagner`s complete ring cycle in 1892 and 1893, which brought the interest in Wagner to bloom in Dessau. Klughardt`s curriculum vitae is typical of the German conductor generation in the second half of the 19th century. …


Read full English and German preface > HERE

Score Data


Repertoire Explorer


Choir/Voice & Orchestra


210 x 297 mm





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