Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56



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Weismann, Julius


(b Freiburg, 26 Dec 1879; d Singen am Hohentweil, Lake Constance, 22 Dec 1950). German composer, pianist and conductor. He was a composition pupil of Rheinberger in Munich in 1892, Herzogenberg in Berlin in 1898 and Thuille in Munich (1899–1902). From 1902 to 1906 he lived as a freelance composer in Munich, and then returned to Freiburg, where he also performed as a conductor, pianist and lieder accompanist. From 1930 he taught harmony and was director of the piano masterclass at the Freiburg Musikseminar which he founded with Doflein; he retired in 1939 to devote himself to composition.

Weismann’s large output embraces all musical genres with the exception of church music. In general he followed the late Romantic styles of Strauss, Humperdinck and Schillings, but also incorporated elements of Impressionist harmony, as well as a polyphonic severity related to Reger. Although technically accomplished, his music lacked sufficiently distinctive touches to establish a really strong identity, and with the exception of the charming Horn Concertino (1935), it is almost completely neglected nowadays. During his lifetime, however, his work enjoyed considerable currency, especially during the 1920s and 30s. He was particularly interested in setting established works of literature for the musical stage, and his three operas Schwanenweiss (1919–20), Ein Traumspiel (1922–4) and Die Gespenstersonate (1929–30), based on Strindberg’s plays, attracted much critical attention at the time of their premières. Later, Weismann became a supporter of the Third Reich, accepting a commission from Rosenberg’s National Socialist Kulturgemeinde in 1934 to compose an overture and incidental music to replace Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. During this period he received numerous awards including the Leipzig Bach Prize (1939) and the Freiburg Ehrenbürgerecht (1939) and was given the title of professor by the German government in 1936. His final opera, Die pfiffige Magd (1937–8), had an auspicious première in Leipzig in 1939, and was performed more than 150 times in German theatres over the following five years.


WORKS


(selective list)

for fuller list see Falcke (1955)


stage


Ops: Schwanenweiss (3, Weismann, after A. Strindberg), op.75, 1919–20, Duisburg, 1923; Ein Traumspiel (3, Weismann, after Strindberg), op.83, 1922–4, Duisburg, 1925; Leonce und Lena (after G. Büchner), op.89, 1924, Freiburg, 1925; Regina del lago (E. Struber, after W. Calé), op.91, 1928, Karlsruhe, 1928; Die Gespenstersonate (2, Weismann, after Strindberg), op.100, 1929–30, Munich, 1930; Die pfiffige Magd (komische Oper, 3, after L. Holberg), op.125, 1937–8, Leipzig, 1939

Ballets: Tanzphantasie, op.35a, 1910 [after pf work]; Die Landsknechte: Totentanz (T. Gvosky), op.115, 1936; Sinfonisches Spiel, op.124, 1937

orchestral


Pf Conc., B, op.33, 1909–10, rev. 1936; Vn Conc., d, op.36, 1910–11; Rhapsody, op.56, 1913–15; Musik nach der Geschichte vom Xaver Dampfkessel und der Dame Musica, op.90a, small orch, 1925 [orig. for 1v, spkr, pf, op.90 (Calé)]; Rondo, op.96, 1927, arr. 2 pf as op.96a; Suite, op.97, pf, orch, 1927; Vn Conc., op.98, 1929; Conc., op.106, fl, cl, bn, tpt, timp, str, 1930; Sinfonietta giocosa, op.110, 1932; Sinfonietta severa, op.111, 1932; Serenade, op.113, 1933; Sinfonia brevis, op.116, 1934; Ein Sommernachtstraum, ov., op.117, 1935; Hn Concertino, op.118, 1935; Alemannenmarsch, op.121, 1936; Sonatina, a, op.122a, 1936, also for 2 pf as op.122; Vc Conc., d, op.128, 1941–3; Sym., B, op.130, 1940; Sym., b, op.131, 1940; Die silberne Windfahne, ov., op.136, 1941; Sonatina concertante, op.137a, vc, chbr orch, 1941, also for vc, pf as op.137; Pf Conc., a, op.138, 1941–2; Vn Conc., E, op.140, 1942; Pf Conc., op.141, 1942–8; Theme, Variations and Fugue, op.143, trautonium, orch, 1943, arr. vn, pf as op.143a; Vn Conc., a, op.145, 1943; Music for Bn and Orch, op.153, 1947

vocal


Choral orch: Über einem Grabe (sym. poem, C.F. Meyer), op.11, chorus, orch, 1903–4; Fingerhütchen (Märchenballade, Meyer), op.12, Bar, female vv, orch, 1904; Macht hoch die Tür (Christmas cant., G. Weissel), op.34, S, chorus, orch/org, 1912; Ps xc, op.46, Bar, chorus, orch, 1912; Der Wächterruf (Weismann, after J.P. Hebel), op.151, S, Bar, chorus, orch, 1947–50

Songs with insts: 5 Lieder (Des Knaben Wunderhorn), op.41, 1v, lute, va da gamba, 1910, arr. 1v, pf as op.41a; 3 Lieder (Des Knaben Wunderhorn, F. Güll, P. Dehmel), op.54a, Mez/Bar, vn, pf, 1912–17; Triolieder (R. Tagore), op.67, Mez/Bar, pf trio, 1917; Verklärte Liebe (R.G. Binding), 5 songs, op.112, S, str orch, 1932, arr. 1v, pf as op.112a

Numerous songs and duets with pf

chamber


Str qts: F, op.14, 1905; c, op.24, 1907; d, op.42, 1910; Fantastischer Reigen, op.50, 1913; E, op.66, 1914; op.84, 1922; a, op.85, 1918–22; e, op.102, 1929; Fugue, b, 1931; 1932; a, op.133, 1940; G, op.147, 1943–5; a, op.154, 1947

Other works for 3–4 insts: Pf Qt, op.8, 1902; Pf Trio, op.26, 1908–9; Divertimento, op.38, cl, bn, hn, pf, 1910–11; Triolett, op.49, pf trio, 1913; Pf Trio, e, op.61, 1916; Pf Trio, op.77, 1921; Kammermusik, op.86, fl, va, pf/hp, 1922; Variations, op.120, 4 hn, 1936; Trio, op.139, fl, cl, bn, 1942; Kleine Hausmusik, op.144, fl, vn, va, pf 4 hands, 1943; Str Trio, op.157a, 1950, also for pf as op.157

Works for 1–2 insts: Sonata, F, op.28, vn, pf, 1909; Sonata, d, op.30, vn, 1909–10; Variationen und Fuge über ein altes Ave Maria, op.37, vn, pf, 1911; Variationen über ein eigenes Thema, op.39, vn/ob, pf, 1911; Sonata, a, op.69, vn, pf, 1917; Sonata, d, op.72a, vn, pf, 1917, arr. cl, pf as op.72, 1941; Sonata, c, op.73, vc, pf, 1918; Sonata, C, op.79, vn, pf, 1921; Kammermusik, op.88, va, pf, 1922–36; Sonata, g, op.135, fl, pf, 1941; Sonatina concertante, op.137, vc, pf, 1941, arr. vc, chbr orch as op.137a; Theme, Variations and Fugue, op.143a, vn, pf, 1943; Theme, Variations and Gigue, op.146, va, pf, 1943; 12 Inventions, op.148, vn, pf, 1945; Sonata, d, op.149, va, 1945; Theme, Variations and Fugue, op.156, fl, cl, 1948

keyboard


Pf: 4 Impromptus, op.17, 1905; 9 Variationen über ein eigenes Thema, op.21, 1907; Passacaglia and Fugue, op.25, 1908; Ein Spaziergang durch alle Tonarten, op.27, 1909; Tanzphantasie, op.35, 1910, orchd as op.35a; Kleine Sonate, A, op.51, 1913; 4 Preludes and Fugues, op.58, 1914–16; Sonatine, G, op.68, 1917; 4 Traumspiele, op.76, 1920; Sonata, a, op.87, 1923; 3 Gavottes, 1925; Suite, A, op.92, 1926; 4 kleine Klavierstücke im polyphonen Stil, op.94, 1926–7; Suite, C, op.95, 1927; 20 Bagatelles, op.99, 1923–8; 18 Inventions, op.101, 1929; 20 New Inventions, op.105, 1930–34; 14 Etüden, op.109, 1931; Silberstiftzeichnungen, op.119, 1935–6; Musikalischer Wochenspiel, op.123, 1936; Partita primaverile, op.132, 1940; 28 Handstücke, op.134, 1940; Polyrhythmische Studie, 1942; Der Fugenbaum, op.150, 1943–6; Liliput-Variationen über ein alemannisches Kinderlied, op.152, 1947; Vom König Petersilie und der Prinzessin Elzelina, 1948; Kammermusik, op.157, 1950

Pf 4 hands: Sonatina, g, op.142, 1943

2 pf: 9 Variationen über ein eigenes Thema, A, op.64, 1916; Rondo, op.96a, 1927–8; Partita, op.107, 1931; Sonatina, a, op.122, 1936

Org: Fugue, c, 1942

Principal publishers: Breitkopf & Härtel, Forberg, Gerig, Leuckart, Lienau, W. Müller Suddeutscher Musikverlag, Peters, Rahter, Schott, Schwann, Simrock, Tonger, Verlag der NS-Kulturgemeinde

BIBLIOGRAPHY


E. Doflein, ed.: Julius Weismann: gesammelte Beiträge über Persönlichkeit und Werk (Freiburg, 1925)

F.W. Herzog: ‘Julius Weismann als Opernkomponist’, Neue Musik-Zeitung, xlvii (1926), 6–12

G. von Gravenitz: ‘Julius Weismann’, ZfM, Jg.98 (1931), 9–14

J. Müller-Blattau: ‘Leben und Werk’, Julius Weismann zum 60. Geburtstag (Freiburg, 1939), 3–11

W. Falcke: Verzeichnis sämtliche Werke von Julius Weismann, nebst Verzeichnis des Schriftums und der Ansprachen über Julius Weismann und seine Werke (Duisburg, 1955)

H.J. Moser: ‘Julius Weismann’, Musica, ix (1955), 266–9

F. Herzfeld: Julius Weismann und seine Generation (Duisburg, 1965)

O.C.A. zur Nedden: ‘Das Werk Weismanns in unserer Zeit’, Mitteilungen der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für rheinische Musikgeschichte, no.69 (1985), 165–171

H.-C. Siegert: ‘Das Violinwerk Julius Weismanns in heutiger Sicht’, ibid., 171–7

ERIK LEVI




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