(b Lipto St Miklos, Moravia, 6 May 1855; d Vienna, 8 Nov 1928). Austrian music publisher. On 1 November 1885 he founded a music publishing firm in Vienna in partnership with Carl Hofbauer. In 1890 Weinberger started to publish on his own. His earliest significant work was the lavish Album der Wiener Meister, issued for the International Music and Theatre Exhibition in Vienna in 1892 and including pieces by Brahms, Bruckner, Goldmark, Johann Strauss (ii), Suppé and others. In 1897 Weinberger was a founder-member of the Gesellschaft der Autoren, Komponisten und Musikverleger (AKM), one of the earliest societies of its kind; for the rest of his life he was either its chairman or its honorary president. Also in 1897 Weinberger began to publish works by Mahler, starting with the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen; this was followed by the First Symphony (1899), Des Knaben Wunderhorn (1900), Third Symphony (1902) and Das klagende Lied (1902). Weinberger was a co-founder of Universal Edition (1901), which he allowed to use his premises until it moved into the Musikvereinsgebäude in 1914. He published operas by various composers of the Austrian Empire, such as Kienzl, Goldmark and Brüll, and later issued Franz Schmidt’s Fredigundis and Korngold’s Die Kathrin and The Silent Serenade (in German translation as Die stumme Serenade). He acquired the stage rights for operettas by Suppé, Millöcker, Zeller, Genée and, most importantly, J. Strauss (ii), meanwhile publishing operettas by Eysler, Fall, Straus, Kálmán, Lehár, Robert Stolz and many others. Foreign composers in the catalogue included Smareglia and Wolf-Ferrari (eight operas).
After Weinberger’s death the firm was run by Otto Blau (1893–1980). In 1938 it was taken over by the Berlin firm of Sikorski and Weinberger’s name was erased from the German trade register for the duration of World War II. After the war it was successfully re-established in Vienna. In the mid-1950s several of Franz Schmidt’s works were acquired, including the three quintets written for Paul Wittgenstein and two organ works. The firm remains active and has branches in London (where Malcolm Williamson and Paul Patterson are among the composers represented) and Frankfurt.
MGG1 (A. Weinmann)
100 Years Remembered: a History of the Theatre and Music Publishers Josef Weinberger, Vienna, Frankfurt am Main, London 1885–1985 (London, 1985)
ALEXANDER WEINMANN/NIGEL SIMEONE
(b Kiev, 24 Oct 1897; d New York, 10 Jan 1982). American composer, pianist and conductor of Ukrainian birth, father of Yehudi Wyner. In 1914 he emigrated to the USA, where he became an accompanist and coach to prominent singers in New York, while studying composition with Frederick Jacobi, Robert Russell Bennett and Joseph Schillinger. He also conducted several choruses, among them the Workmen’s Circle Chorus (1930–67). From 1930 to 1975 he was music director of the Central Synagogue, and in that capacity was responsible for first performances of compositions by Ernest Bloch, Darius Milhaud and Joseph Achron, as well as of his own works.
A leading exponent of Jewish music in the USA and an expert on Yiddish art song, Weiner taught seminars at Hebrew Union College, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the 92nd Street Y. He served as music director of the WABC weekly radio programme ‘The Message of Israel’ for 35 years (from 1934), and composed musical comedies for the Second Avenue Theater, long a centre for Yiddish productions, as well as numerous Yiddish art songs. His opera The Golem was produced at the 92nd Street Y in 1981. Weiner’s interest in Jewish life and teachings is reflected in his music, through which he sought to convey and preserve the richness and beauty of Yiddish culture.
Stage: Hirsch Lekert (ballet), 1943; The Golem (op, R. Smolover), 1956; 4 other ballets, incl. Pantomine
Cants.: Man in the World (A. Nissenson), 1939; To Thee, America (A. Leyeles), 1943; The Legend of Toil (I. Goichberg), 1945; The Last Judgement (S. Rosenbaum, after I.L. Peretz), 1966; Amos (Bible), 1970; 2 others
6 collections of Jewish art songs: 1948, 1961, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1980
MSS in US-NYp
Principal publishers: Belwin-Mills, C. Fischer, J. Fischer, Mercury, Transcontinental, Workmen’s Circle
(bBudapest, 16 April 1885; d Budapest, 13 Sept 1960). Hungarian composer and teacher. In 1901 he entered the Buda Music Academy, where until 1906 he was a pupil of Koessler. He won the Liszt stipend (1906), the Volkmann and Erkel prizes for the Serenade op.3, the Haynald Prize for his chorus Agnus Dei, and the Schunda Prize for the Magyar ábránd (‘Hungarian Fantasy’) for tárogató and cimbalom. Weiner worked as répétiteur at the Pest People’s Theatre (1907–8), and then the Franz Josef Coronation Prize enabled him to visit Vienna, Munich, Berlin and Paris. In 1908 he was appointed to teach theory at the Buda Academy, serving as professor of composition (1912–22) and of chamber music (1920–57). His work in the latter faculty attracted international notice and helped to establish high standards in Hungarian ensemble playing; his legacy as a teacher left its mark on a generation of musicians that included Dorati and Solti. At the academy he established a conductorless orchestra of advanced students (1928). Among awards made to Weiner later in his career were the Coolidge Prize (1922) for the Second Quartet, the State Prize (1933) for the Suite op.18, and two Kossuth Prizes (1950, 1960). A memorial room has been established at his former home in Budapest.
A composer of highly accomplished technique, Weiner was essentially a Romantic, and he remained opposed to the innovations of Stravinsky and Bartók, while sharing to some extent the nationalist concerns of Bartók and Kodály. Never a folk music collector himself, he was introduced to folksongs by Lajtha; the first compositional fruit was the Suite op.18. But the more fundamental influences on his music were Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bizet and, occasionally, Brahms; under their influence he developed a style of clarity and balance, with a command of the orchestra that is most evident in the transcriptions. It is possible to distinguish four periods in his output: a pre-World War I phase (1905–13), then a neo-classical phase (1918–24), a period in which Hungarian folk material becomes the main feature of his style (1931–51), and a final period (1952–60) of which the symphonic poem Toldi op.43 is the most characteristic example. Notable also are his orchestral transcriptions of Bach, Liszt and Schubert, and of Bartók’s Two Romanian Dances; many of his transcriptions were made popular internationally by the conductor Fritz Reiner. In the final years of his life Weiner published a complete edition of Beethoven’s piano sonatas.
stage and orchestral
A gondolás [The Gondolier] (op, 3, G. Szini, I. Balla), collab. A. Szirmai, unperf., lost; Csongor és Tünde (incid music, M. Vörösmarty), op.10, 1913, Budapest, 6 Dec 1916; Csongor és Tünde (ballet, 1, L. Màrkus, after Vörösmarty), 1927, Budapest, 8 Nov 1930
Scherzo, op.1, 1905, destroyed; Serenade, op.3, small orch, 1906; Farsang [Carnival], op.5, small orch, 1907; Csongor és az ördögfiak [Csongor and the Devil’s Sons], op.10, orch, 1913 [from ballet]; Csongor és Tünde, ballet suite, op.10b (1937); Pf Concertino, op.15, 1923; Katonásdi [Toy Soldiers], op.16a, 1924; Magyar népi táncok [Hungarian Folk Dances], suite, op.18, 1931; Divertimento no.1, op.20, str, 1923; Pastorale, phantaisie et fugue, op.23, str, 1938; Divertimento no.2 (Magyar népi dallamok), op.24, str, 1938 [arr. op.24a]; Divertimento no.3 (Impressioni ungheresi), op.25, 1950
Ballata, op.28, cl, orch, 1949 [arr. op.8]; Romanze, op.29, vc, hp, str, 1949 [arr. op.14]; Változatok egy magyar népdal fölött [Variations on a Hungarian folksong], op.30, 1949; Preludio, notturno e scherzo diabolico, op.31, 1950 [arr. op.7]; Divertimento no.4, op.38, 1951; Divertimento no.5, op.39, 1951; 3 magyar népi tánc [3 Hungarian Folkdances], salon orch (1951); Ünnepi hangok [Festal Sounds], 1951; Toldi, op.43, sym. poem, after J. Arany, 1952; Passacaglia, op.44, 1955 [arr. op.17]; Magyar gyermek- és népdalok [Hungarian Children’s Songs and Folksongs], small orch, 1955; Vn Conc. no.2, f, op.45 [arr. Vn Sonata no.2], 1957; Vn Conc. no.1, D, op.41, 1958 [arr. op.9]
Pf: Caprice, 1908; Passacaglia, op.2, 1904, lost; Farsang [Carnival], pf [arr. op.5]; Präludium, Nocturne und Scherzo, op.7 (1911); Miniatür-Bilder, op.12, 1917; Passacaglia, op.17, 1936; 6 magyar parasztdal [6 Hungarian Peasant Songs], op.19, 1932; Magyar parasztdalok, op.19a, 1934; Lakodalmas [Wedding Dance], op.21, 1936; Magyar parasztdalok, op.22, 1937; 3 magyar népi tánc [3 Hungarian Folkdances] (1941); 20 könnyű kis darab a zongorázó ifjúság számára [20 easy little pieces for piano-playing young people], op.27 (1949); Változatok egy magyar népdal fölött [Variations on a Hungarian Folksong], op.32, 2 pf, 1950; Magyar parasztdalok, opp.33–4 (1950); Suite, op.35, 2 pf, 1950, lost [arr. op.18]; 3 kis négykezes zongoradarab [3 little pieces for pf duet], op.36, 1950; Farsang [Carnival], op.37, 2 pf, 1950, lost [arr. op.5]; Magyar népi muzsika [Hungarian Folk Music], op.42 (1953)
Arrs. etc.: many orch arrs. of works by Bach, Bartók, Berlioz, Liszt, Schubert and Tchaikovsky; cadenzas to Beethoven: Pf Concs. nos.1–4 (Milan, 1950)
Összhangzattanra előkészítő jegyzetek [Notes in preparation for a harmony treatise] (Budapest, 1910, 2/1911) [later edns as Az összhangzattan előkészítő iskolája [Preparatory school in harmony] (Budapest, 3/1917, 6/1955)]
Elemző összhangzattan [Analytic harmony] (Budapest, 1944, 2/1994)
A hangszeres zene formái [The forms of instrumental music] (Budapest, 1955)
S.Kovács: ‘Weiner Leó’, Hátrahagyott írásai, ed. A. Molnár (Budapest, 1926)
G.S.Gál: Weiner Leó életműve [Weiner’s life-work] (Budapest, 1959)
B.Bartók: ‘Della musica moderna in Ungheria’, ‘Az új magyar zenéről’ [On new Hungarian music], Összegyűjtött írásai, ed. A. Szőllősy, i (Budapest, 1966), 745–9
G.Csáth: Éjszakai esztetizálás: 1906–1912 zenei évadjai [Nocturnal aesthetics: the musical seasons of 1906–12], ed. J. Demény (Budapest, 1971)
M.Berlász: ‘Néhány dokumentum weiner Leó tanári pályájának utolsó idoszakából [‘A few documents from the last period of the pedagogical career of Leó Weiner], A Liszt Ferenc zeneművészeti főiskola 100 éve [100 years of the Liszt Academy of Music], ed. J. Ujfalussy (Budapest, 1977), 222–39
M.Berlász: ‘Csongor und Tünde: Tanzspiel von Leo Weiner’, Oper heute, i (1978), 247–58
M.Berlász: ‘Egy emlékezésgyűjtemény tanulságai’ [Notes on a collection of memories], Magyar zene, xxvi (1985), 249–54
M.Berlász, ed.: Emlékeink Weiner Leóról [42 memories of Leó Weiner] (Budapest, 1985)
J.Ujfalussy: ‘Weiner Leó jubileumára’ [Homage to Weiner], Magyar zene, xxvi (1985), 347–58
A.Batta and L.Tari: Weiner-tanulmányok [Wiener studies] (Budapest, 1989) [incl. A. Batta: ‘Az ifjú Weiner Leó zeneszerzői stílusa’ [Weiner’s style as a young composer], 7–58; L. Tari: ‘Weiner Leó művészete a népzenei források tükrében’ [Weiner’s art in relation to folk music sources], 59–227]
M.Berlász: ‘Weiner Leó és Varró Margit közös zenei munkásságáról’ [About Leó Weiner’s and Margit Varró’s common musical activity], Két világrész tanára: Varró Margit, ed. M. Ábrahám (Budapest, 1991), 541–75
M.Berlász: ‘Weiner Leó tanári pályája’ [Weiner’s teaching career], Fejezetek a zeneakadémia történetéből, ed. J. Kárpáti (Budapest, 1992), 279–99