Pfitzner, Hans

Herr Oluf for baritone and grand orchestra

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Hans Pfitzner -Sir Oluf op. 12 for baritone and grand orchestra

(5 May 1869 – 22 May 1949)


With Sir Oluf op. 12, the only 22-year-old Hans Pfitzner created his first contribution to the genre of the orchestral song. This was followed over the next decades by another four compositions: Die Heinzelmännchen (The brownies) op. 14 (1902/3), Der Trompeter (The trumpeter) und Klage (Lament) (Zwei deutsche Gesänge (Two German Songs) op. 25, 1915/16) and Lethe op. 37 (1926). Pfitzner also arranged 25 of his own piano songs for orchestra. Herr Oluf, written in 1891 shortly after Pfitzner’s graduation from the Hoch’sche Conservatory in Frankfurt, is probably the most dramatic and eerie one in comparison to the other four original orchestral songs. It is dedicated to the baritone Carl Scheidemantel, who by this time was already internationally known as an opera singer. The premiere of Sir Oluf followed two years after its composition on 4 May 1893 in an orchestral and soloist concert organized by friends of Pfitzner and devoted entirely to the composer’s work. It was not only Pfitzner’s first time as a conductor in front of a professional orchestra, but also the first performance of the works given (including, among others, parts from his incidental music to Das Fest auf Solhaug WoO 18 by Henrik Ibsen, excerpts from his opera Der arme Heinrich and his Sonata for Violoncello and Piano in F-sharp minor op. 1). Pfitzner conducted the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in the Berliner Sing-Akademie building, and the soloist part in Herr Oluf was undertaken by the baritone Max Büttner, who at the time was committed to the

court theater in Coburg. The concert was a great success, the press spoke highly of the young composer, who conducted his works with the “genius of a chosen one” (“Genialität eines Auserwählten”). Regarding Sir Oluf, especially the introduction of the wedding march was described as “downright ingenious” (“geradezu genial”). …

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Score No.



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210 x 297 mm






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