Paul Dessau : Agitprop? No; Abstract music? Yes.

Paul Dessau (19 December 1894 – 28 June 1979) was a German-Jewish composer and conductor.  He was born in Hamburg into a musical family. His grandfather, Moses Berend Dessau, was a cantor, his uncle, Professor Bernhard Dessau, concertmaster at the Royal Opera House, His cousin Max Winterfeld became generally known under the name Jean Gilbert as a composer … Continue reading Paul Dessau : Agitprop? No; Abstract music? Yes.

Alexander von Zemlinsky : combining the divergent tendencies of Brahms and Wagner.

Alexander Zemlinsky (October 14, 1871 – March 15, 1942) was one of the most powerful musical voices of his time.  A remarkably influential musician, he had connections with both the more traditional and the Second Viennese School.  Although his work was nearly forgotten after the war, he has recently been recognized as one of the … Continue reading Alexander von Zemlinsky : combining the divergent tendencies of Brahms and Wagner.

At last, Lukas Foss : Complete Symphonies

Released last month by the  Boston Modern Orchestra Project, this 2 disc recording collects all of the symphonies by Lukas Foss.  Even if these were not good performances - they  are - this would be a valuable recording since Foss's symphonies have been unjustly neglected. Mr. Foss was, from the start of his composing career, considered an … Continue reading At last, Lukas Foss : Complete Symphonies

Ödön Pártos : Israeli composer, string player and teacher of Hungarian origin

Ödön Pártos (also Oedoen Partos) was born in Budapest on 1 Oct 1907 and died in Tel-Aviv, 6 July 1977. He was an Israeli composer, string player and teacher of Hungarian origin. Born to an assimilated Jewish upper middle class family, he was a child prodigy and studied the violin with Ormandy. Hubay heard him play the violin at the … Continue reading Ödön Pártos : Israeli composer, string player and teacher of Hungarian origin

Morton Feldman January 12, 1926 – September 3, 1987

Morton Feldman was born in New York in 1926 and died there in 1987. Just like Cage, a close friend, he was an American composer – an American artist – an American in the true sense of the word. He identified himself by differentiating his views on composition from those of his colleagues in Europe. … Continue reading Morton Feldman January 12, 1926 – September 3, 1987

Ernst Krenek : August 23, 1900 – December 22, 1991

Ernst Krenek (August 23, 1900 – December 22, 1991) was an Austrian, later American, composer of Czech origin. He explored atonality and other modern styles and wrote a number of books, including Music Here and Now (1939), a study of Johannes Ockeghem (1953), and Horizons Circled: Reflections on my Music (1974). Krenek's music encompassed a variety … Continue reading Ernst Krenek : August 23, 1900 – December 22, 1991

Karl Weigl : Jewish composer, died Aug 11, 1949

Karl Weigl, born Vienna, 6 Feb 1881; died New York, 11 Aug 1949. Austrian composer, naturalized American. After graduating from the Vienna Music Academy in 1902, he studied composition with Alexander Zemlinsky and musicology with Guido Adler at the University of Vienna (PhD 1904). He served as a rehearsal conductor for Gustav Mahler at the Vienna Hofoper … Continue reading Karl Weigl : Jewish composer, died Aug 11, 1949