Orchestra

(b. Dinant, 12 February 1899 – d. Woluwé-Saint-Pierre, 21 February 1938)

Belgium is a deeply dysfunctional country, a nation traumatized by the split between its Flemish and Walloon wings. It is also a country with many “skeletons in the closet.” One of these skeletons has recently been gradually disinterred: Albert Huybrechts, by far the most riveting figure of Belgian modernism. Huybrechts has even been honored by a website authorized by his descendents, which, if short on background information, at least contains a complete catalogue of his slender oeuvre and an overview of the commercial recordings of his music.

Opera

(b. Bologna, July 9, 1879 – d. Rome, April 18, 1936)

The now unknown, hardly played opera „Lucrezia“ is the last work by the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi, which was completed by his wife Elsa Respighi and his student Ennio Porrino after his death in 1936.

Ottorino Respighi was born into a family of artists in 1879 as the son of Ersilia Putti and Giuseppe Respighi. As a child he received fortepiano and violin lessons from his father. From the age of 12 until 1899 he studied violin, viola and composition at the Liceo Musicale di Bologna with interruptions. In October 1890 he went to another two-year study with Ginnasio Guinizelli, and during a five-month stay in St. Petersburg in 1900, where he was principal violist in the orchestra of the Russian Imperial Theatre, he learned from the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908). From 1903 to 1908 Respighi was first violinist in the Mugellini quintet. In 1908 he worked as the piano accompanist at the singing school of soprano Etelka Gerster (1855-1920), which enormously enriched his vocal compositions through the increased understanding of the handling and performance of the human voice. In 1913 Respighi became composition professor at the Liceo Musicale di Santa Cecilia. His wife, who worked tirelessly for his works even after Respighi’s death, was Elsa Olivieri-Sangiacomo (1894-1996), whom he married in 1919 and whose marriage proceeded in „human and spiritual harmony“1. Arturo Toscanini’s commitment to Respighi’s compositions made his oeuvre better known. …

Choir/Voice & Orchestra

(b. Jezyce near Poznan [Jersitz near Posen], 12 August 1853 – d. Langebrück [Dresden], 14 October 1919)

for male choir, tenor (+ optional high mezzo soprano solo, orchestra, and organ (ca. 1900)

Like August Klughardt, Philipp Scharwenka, HansKoessler or Engelbert Humperdinck, Jean Louis Nicodé was one of the most significant German composers of the generation between Johannes Brahms and Richard Strauss. His father was of French-Huguenot, his mother of Polish descent. In the third year after his birth the family moved to Berlin after the father had lost his property “by misadventure“. First he got some music lessons by his father. Then was taught privately by the organist Hartkaes. In 1869 he began studying at the ’Neue Akademie der Tonkunst’ that had been founded by Theodor Kullak (1818-82) in 1855. Director Kullak was his piano teacher, the Mendelssohn pupil Richard Wüerst (1824-81) and later on Friedrich Kiel (1821-85) were his composition teachers. …

Chamber Music

(born in Athens/Greece, 31 March 1962)

The composition Hydra – The Rock of Freedom for voice, piano and string quartet is inspired by the the Greek Revolution of 1821 and the inner flame it has ignited in all of us.

This composition is commissioned by the Municipality of Hydra to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution on Hydra in July 2021. The texts of the Hydra – The Rock of Freedom are from the German poet and philhellene Wilhelm Müller, who wrote more than fifty poems dedicated to Greece. In these three poems he gave a warm and passionate image of Hydra and its people, to whom he dedicated them. Other well known lyrics by Müllers inspired Franz Schubert to his famous “Winterreise” and “Die schöne Müllerin”. …

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