Reznicek, Emil Nikolaus von


Reznicek, Emil Nikolaus von

Suite No.1 in E-minor for orchestra

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Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek – Suite No.1 in E-mino

(b. Vienna, 4 May 1860 – d. Berlin, 2 August 1945)

Written in his studies


Emil Reznicek was born in Vienna in the year 1860, and grew up in a household without financial worries, but his memories of childhood were not particularly happy ones. He was encouraged to study law. On the side he took composition and piano lessons with Wilhelm Mayer (also known as W.A. Remy) in Graz who had also studied law before choosing music as a profession. After a few years of studying law Reznicek also took the same path, turning to the Leipzig conservatory where he studied primarily with Carl Reineke and Salomon Jadasssohn. There, the students from Graz formed a clique that were somewhat the underdogs in Leipzig. At the end of his studies Reznicek wrote what is now his Suite No.1 in E-minor. It was first performed as part of a final examination concert on May 20, 1882 with Reznicek conducting, and with a reviewer of Signale present, who wrote a less than favorable review. This version is no longer available for perusal, however it is clear from programs and reviews that this work was greatly modified before it received publication later that year by E.W. Fritzsch. One can somewhat disregard these negative reviews, since Reznicek passed this examination and indeed finished his musical education with great success and soon went on to compose the ever popular overture to his opera Donna Diana, as well as many other works to which more attention should be given by performers.

He composed tirelessly throughout his life including through deep depression and during the sickness of his wife Bertha. He travelled but his home from 1902 on was in in Berlin. In the rise of fascism he was politically stuck between his son, a Nazi sympathizer, his Jewish wife, and his M16 informant daughter. His last years were defined by turmoil and struggle, evacuated to Baden near Vienna, and suffering a stroke, hunger, depression and dementia. He was moved back to his home in Berlin where he died in 1945 and his daughter Felicitas’ account of his funeral is heartbreaking. Felicitas’ biography of her Father, “Gegen den Strom,” was written in part from her memories of repeated stories several from long before she was born, and on many details of his life is extraordinarily inaccurate. These inaccuracies are perennially repeated and often reprinted despite the availability of correct information, but a transcription of Reznicek’s personal memoirs will be published shortly by Michael Whittmann.


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Score No.





210 x 297 mm