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Orchestra

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

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. After finishing his academic training Nicodé first became well-known as a pianist, and in 1878 he was appointed piano teacher at the Royel Conservatory in Dresden one year after Franz Wüllner (1832-1902) had been appointed the institute’s director. In 1884 Wüllner became director of the Cologne Conservatory, and Nicodé followed him there after the Dresden directorate had prevented him from programming a four-hands arrangement of Franz Liszt’s ’Faust Symphony’. But then he was offered the direction of the Philharmonic Concerts in Dresden. He strongly supported the cause of the ’Neudeutsche’ (New-German school), met with massive hostility, and vacated his position in 1888 …


(b. Vienna, 6 July 1865 – d. Geneva, 1 July 1950)

«La Suisse est belle.» »Freut euch des Lebens.« (1895/rev. 1898) [„Life Let Us Cherish.”]

The French-Swiss composer, violinist, pianist, songwriter, pedagogue and theorist Émile Jaques-Dalcroze became known during his lifetime primarily for the development and dissemination of his ‘Méthode Jaques-Dalcroze’ (MJD), a comprehensive training path in rhythmic gymnastics, the propagation of which sensibly led the music conservatories – largely based on Jaques-Dalcroze’s findings – to finally pay more attention to the subject of ‘rhythmics’ and establishing it as an independent aspect of training from 1925 onwards. (This partial success almost 100 years ago should not blind us to the fact that, even today, rhythmic awareness and feeling is still surprisingly underdeveloped on average among classically trained musicians compared to other musical directions). The parallel with two other great contemporaries is so striking that it must be mentioned here: with Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) and George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1866-1949). Of these three, Steiner was the one who achieved the greatest lasting success with his method of rhythmic movement, which he called ‘eurythmy’ and which is still part of the general curriculum at the Waldorf schools he founded. Gurdjieff’s ‘Movements’, developed from the authentic experience of ancient Central Asian dance forms of high complexity, to which Thomas de Hartmann (1885-1956) put the music on paper, are by far the most demanding and advanced of these methods, but they always remained reserved, even after his death, for a rather small circle – within the groups that continue Gurdjieff’s ‘Work’ – especially in the USA, to this day – who were allowed to make these valuable experiences in intensive work. …


Choir/Voice & Orchestra

(b. Schwarzenbach am Wald, 17. December 1854 – d. Samedan/Upper Engadine, 17. December 1854 – 8. May 1919)

after words from the Bible and plays of the people
for soli, choir and orchestra

Preface
Philipp Wolfrum is remembered today primarily as the founder and choirmaster of the Heidelberg Bachverein, an interpreter of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, and a musicologist. However, it is usually overlooked that Wolfrum was also active as a composer and enjoyed an extensive musical education. Born in Schwarzenbach am Wald in Franconia in 1854, Wolfrum learned to play the organ as a child from his father, a cantor. He attended the teachers’ seminary and worked as a teacher for a few years before taking a two-year leave of absence in 1876 to study at the Royal Academy of Music in Munich on a scholarship. Wolfrum received extensive study in organ playing with Josef Gabriel Rheinberger, choral singing and conducting with Franz Wüllner, and piano with Karl Bärmann. He also received composition lessons from the former, from which he graduated with top marks. After two years of study, Wolfrum again devoted himself to his work as a teacher in Bamberg. During this time he wrote his first composition, a sonata for organ, which was printed in 1879 as op. 1. In 1884 Wolfrum became an assistant music teacher at the theological seminary of the university in Heidelberg as well as organist and music director at the university church. A year later – by then he had also become head of the young Akademischer Gesangverein – he founded the Heidelberg Bachverein. In 1888 he was appointed associate professor of musicology, and in 1891 he submitted his dissertation to the University of Leipzig. By then Wolfrum was composing songs, choral works, organ works, and chamber music. This was followed in 1886 by Wolfrum’s first choral-symphonic work, Das große Halleluja (The great Halleluja) op. 22 for mixed choir and orchestra. In 1898 he turned to an even larger form: the oratorio. …

Vocal Score available as well > HERE

Ballet pantomime

(b. Kamenice nad Lipou, near Pelhřimov [Vysočina Highlands Region of Southern Bohemia], 5 December 1870 – d. Skuteč, near Chrudim [Pardubice Region, Eastern Bohemia])

Prologue p.1
1. Dim, poorly lit office p. 11
2. The street p. 35
3. Inside the costume shop p. 92
4. Masked ball p. 150
5. A small salon with palms p. 233
6. The ballroom p. 289
7. The street p. 345

Influence
Michael Beckerman, one of the leading English-language writers on Czech orchestral music, places composer Vítězslav Novák in the “all-purpose pantheon of Smetana, Dvořák, Fibich, Janáček, Suk, Foerster and Martinů.” Author and music critic Max Brod called his music “authentically spiritual”, and each of his life anniversaries were publicly celebrated. Antonín Dvořák, his master class professor at the Prague Conservatory from 1891-1892, encouraged him to explore Slovakia and its Wallachian (Moravian) border region. Novák had entered the conservatory in 1889, studying piano with Josef Jiránek (from 1889-96) and counterpoint with Karel Stecker, who outlasted Dvořák at the Conservatory. Novák‘s early work attracted the attention of Brahms, who scouted new talent (including Dvořák) for his publisher, Simrock. Most of Novák’s orchestral scores were published by Universal Edition (Vienna). …

Piano reduction available as well > HERE

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