Krenek, Ernst


Krenek, Ernst

Suite from ‘Der Triumph der Empfindsamkeit’ Op. 43a for small orchestra (from the music to Goethe‘s „dramatic whimsy“ of the same name)

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Ernst Krenek – Suite from Der Triumph der Empfindsamkeit op. 43a for small orchestra

(b. Vienna, 23 August 1900, – d. Palm Springs, 22 December 1991)

Der Triumph der Empfindsamkeit op. 43a for small orchestra
(The Triumph of Sensibility)
from the music to Goethe‘s „dramatic whimsy“ of the same name

Ernst Krenek‘s oeuvre reflects the disruption of the cultural currents of the first half of the 20th century. As a pupil of Franz Schreker, he stepped into in the musical world, absorbing the sounds of late Romanticism and Impressionism. Krenek quickly found his way into the music of a radical youth, cultivated linear free tonality and was instrumental in some of the masterpieces of this current, which today is often dismissed as marginal. Or he wrote them himself. His musical journey continued through a neo-Romantic phase and an intensive preoccupation with jazz until the Nazis forced him to emigrate. In America, Krenek joined the disciples of dodecaphony, later he also experimented with serial elements and tried his hand at electronic music. In short, Krenek was a child of his time, went with the flow, shaped some flows himself and in this way became one of the most successful composers of the 20th century.

In view of the versatility of his musical output and his places of activity, any attempt at a biographical account would inevitably get out of hand. For this reason, let us concentrate on the period of the composition Der Triumph der Empfindsamkeit op. 43 presented in this edition, which dates from 1925 (the Suite op. 43a from it presented here dates from 1926-27). The foundations of Krenek‘s tonal language of the 1920s can be traced back to his turning away from the music of his teacher Franz Schreker. At the age of twenty, he had followed him from Vienna to Berlin to continue his studies, but there he discovered a completely different style. He entered the orbit of a radically modern generation of composers who were in the process of leaving tonality behind and breaking new ground. Alongside Hermann Scherchen and Artur Schnabel, it was above all the composer and pianist Eduard Erdmann who had a lasting influence on Krenek‘s style. At their first meeting in 1920, Erdmann played from his 1st Symphony op. 10, about which Krenek reports in his later autobiography Im Atem der Zeit: „The symphony he had played for us that evening possessed the same verve and vitality as his playing; at the same time it was characterised by healthy sobriety and a clear structure, and was pleasantly free of any cloying and sentimental post-impressionist mannerisms. […] This was to say that the score pages looked empty when compared to what Schreker liked to have in a score: a lot of pseudo-contrapuntal runs in semiquavers and demisemiquavers that covered the basic structure like a cloud of perfumed smoke, whereas Erdmann did not hesitate to let the instruments play in whole and half notes when the structure demanded it, without the blinding snow of sounding confetti that swirled over every empty space. I knew immediately that this was the style I was aiming for, without it having been entirely clear to me until then. …



Full preface / Komplettes Vorwort > HERE

Score No.



Repertoire Explorer




210 x 297 mm





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