Author Topic: Paul von Klenau(1883-1946): a Danish Romantic  (Read 2411 times)

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Offline Dundonnell

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Paul von Klenau(1883-1946): a Danish Romantic
« on: September 20, 2011, 05:21:39 AM »
(Continuing my threads on composers who don't already have one, who very few people have ever heard of and almost certainly have little to add....... ;D)

Paul von Klenau studied initially in his native Denmark but left the country to study further in Germany under Max Bruch and Max von Schillings. He remained in Germany until 1940, only returning to Denmark for the last six years of his life. His reputation was therefore built up within the concert halls and opera houses of Germany both as a composer and conductor. He conducted Schoenberg's Gurreleider in Vienna and Delius's Mass of Life in London in 1925.

von Klenau wrote nine symphonies and a number of operas, the latter described as dodecaphonic(but still, apparently, acceptable in the Germany of the 1930s). The 8th 'Im Alten Stil'(1942) and 9th (1945) symphonies have only relatively recently been rediscovered in Vienna. Of the other seven, the 3rd (1913) is a choral symphony, the 4th is entitled 'Dante' and the 6th 'Nordische'. Nos. 1, 5 'Triptikon' and 7 'Die Sturmsymphonie' have been recorded by Dacapo. So too has a big choral work 'Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Kornetts Christoph Rilke'-

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2000/oct00/klenau.htm
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/Feb01/klenau.htm
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Feb03/klenau7.htm
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2007/Aug07/klenau_6220532.htm

I confess to rather liking von Klenau's grand Germanic romanticism with its blend of Wagner, Bruckner, Schrecker, Zemlinsky and early Schoenberg. One wonders whether his possibly too easy accommodation with the Nazi regime in Germany from 1933 has inhibited interest in his music. I hope however that Dacapo do intend to continue their exploration of this colourful, rich, post-Brucknerian romanticism. von Klenau, on the hearings so far, was not a great or particularly original composer but one worth more exploration.

pjme

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Re: Paul von Klenau(1883-1946): a Danish Romantic
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2015, 03:45:32 AM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ItC_Mv4dsFE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ItC_Mv4dsFE</a>

Here's von Klenau's massive 9th symphony.

For those interested: http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Music-in-Naziland-6586




.....


I confess to rather liking von Klenau's grand Germanic romanticism with its blend of Wagner, Bruckner, Schrecker, Zemlinsky and early Schoenberg. One wonders whether his possibly too easy accommodation with the Nazi regime in Germany from 1933 has inhibited interest in his music. I hope however that Dacapo do intend to continue their exploration of this colourful, rich, post-Brucknerian romanticism. von Klenau, on the hearings so far, was not a great or particularly original composer but one worth more exploration.

P.


Online ritter

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Re: Paul von Klenau(1883-1946): a Danish Romantic
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2015, 04:44:40 AM »
Paul von Klenau is mentioned (quite a lot and in rather disparging terms) in Soma Morgenstern's touching memoir of Alban Berg, Alban Berg und seine Idole (not translated into English, AFAIK). Klenau (who, as has been pointed out, was quite supportive of the Nazi regime) was the father-in-law of Morgenstern (an Ostjude from Galicia), so one can infer that there was no love lost between the two men.



I was prompted to explore Klenau's music after reading Morgenstern's book, and went for this:



I must say this work (based on the same Rilke poems set by Frank Martin), very much in the grand late-romantic Germanic tradition (a style that I feel increasingly distant from), didn't leave much of an impression at a  first, superficial hearing a couple of years ago. I should revisit!

Here's one of the songs from the cycle:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/-UsbLk1ugQI" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/-UsbLk1ugQI</a>
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pjme

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Re: Paul von Klenau(1883-1946): a Danish Romantic
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2015, 06:27:16 AM »
I was impressed by the Danish radio /TV recording. Denmark must be one of the last European countries to have some money left for such undertakings!

The 9th symphony didn't make a huge impression on me. Propably well made and,afaik, well performed.
Still, from a historical and documentary point of view, that performance and recording ( to be released in 2016, if I'm correct) is welcome.

P.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 10:23:49 PM by pjme »

Offline André

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Re: Paul von Klenau(1883-1946): a Danish Romantic
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2020, 07:56:23 AM »

After a 3 year hiatus, I listened again to this disc which presents a varied set of works of Klenau’s:



The grand romanticism of the last three (from the period 1916-1923) is indeed close to the idiom of Zemlinsky and Schreker, but also Diepenbrock (the songs). Von Klenau was a Schoenberg and Berg champion. An extensive correspondence between them shows how close they were. And yet, the danish composer’s use of dodecaphonism was not systematic, and it was an extremely personal form of it. The 7th symphony from 1941 does use tone rows but one would never think of this work as spiky, dissonant or gnarly. It is somber, agitated and quite dramatic, yet eminently listenable - a very impressive work indeed.

Klenau’s works are scantily recorded. Of his 9 symphonies, Dacapo recorded Nos 1, 5, 7 and 9. His song cycle on Rilke’s The Love and Death of Cornet Christopher Rilke as well as his 3 string quartets have also been recorded, but that’s pretty much all we have. Everything I’ve heard from him (all of the above) is worthy of anyone’s time.

I strongly recommend this disc.

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Re: Paul von Klenau(1883-1946): a Danish Romantic
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2020, 12:04:15 PM »
I agree, it's a very varied and quite attractive compilation of works.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 10:02:50 AM by MusicTurner »