Author Topic: David Popper [1843-1913] : virtuoso as composer  (Read 782 times)

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Offline Scion7

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David Popper [1843-1913] : virtuoso as composer
« on: June 09, 2016, 03:10:01 PM »


Bohemian Jew who was born in the Jewish ghetto of Prague June 16, 1843. His father was a cantor at two synagogues.  After the various revolutions that exploded across central Europe in 1848-49, the Hapsburg emperor conceded full rights to Jews, and Popper's lot improved. A gifted child violinist, at the age of 12 he moved over to the cello at the Prague Conservatory and became a pupil fo Julius Goltermann. Within six years he became the substitute teacher of Goltermann's classes when he was away on tour.  He continued to advance in his capacity as teacher and became the principal cellist of the Löwenberg Court Orchestra by age 19.
Bülow recruited him as solist in the Berlin Philharmonic for Volkmann’s newly composed concerto. He became the chief player in the Vienna Philharmonic.
In 1872, he married Liszt's pupil, Sophie Menter, proving that love is blind (the beautiful Menter pairing up with Popper who some described as having the features of an aardvark.)  He left his post at the VPO because he was not granted leave to tour as a soloist.
He and Menter divorced in 1886.  Later, he became a professor at the National Hungarian Royal Acadamy of Music, by appointment from Liszt.  He died in that position - also being a member of the Hubay Quartet.
While his compositions have not been held as being very sophisticated, they are usually warm and cheery and often display immense technical difficulty - making the mastery of his music one of the goals of students of the instrument.

  Chamber                                                                                                Orchestral
==========================                                               ===============================
String Quartet in c, Op.74,  1905                                                                      Concerto for Cello in d, Op.8, 1871
Three Pieces for Cello & Piano, Op.11                                                                Concerto for Cello in e, Op.24, 1880
Andante serioso, Op.27,  1880                                                                          Concerto for Cello in G, Op.59,  1880
Suite for Cello & Piano, Op.69                                                                           Concerto for Cello in b, Op.72,  1900
Suite for Two Cellos, Op.16,  1876                                                                 Requiem for 3 Cellos & Orchestra, Op.66
Im Walde, Op.50                                                                                              Im Walde, Op.50 (arr. for orchestra)
68 character- and salon pieces, mostly vc, pf, incl.:
Elfentanz, op.39 (Leipzig, 1881);
Wie einst in schöner’n Tagen, op.64 (Leipzig, 1892);
Ungarischer Rhapsodie, op.68 (Leipzig, 1894)
Etudes for solo Cello, Op.76
Etudes for solo Cello, Op.73
Serenade
Gavotte in d
Tarantelle



« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 03:17:40 PM by Scion7 »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: David Popper [1843-1913] : virtuoso as composer
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2016, 04:14:39 PM »
He must have liked the cello. ;D
“Music is, for me, like a beautiful mosaic which God has put together. He takes all the pieces in his hand, throws them into the world, and we have to recreate the picture from the pieces.” - Jean Sibelius

Offline Scion7

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Re: David Popper [1843-1913] : virtuoso as composer
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2016, 04:43:23 PM »
AND the piano!   :P

His orchestration is nothing to write home about but at least it isn't irritating in the manner of Britten's noise.
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Re: David Popper [1843-1913] : virtuoso as composer
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2016, 05:19:30 PM »
AND the piano!   :P

His orchestration is nothing to write home about but at least it isn't irritating in the manner of Britten's noise.

Hmm...I like Britten and the noise he makes, but there's only really a few Britten works that I'd call absolute favorites.
“Music is, for me, like a beautiful mosaic which God has put together. He takes all the pieces in his hand, throws them into the world, and we have to recreate the picture from the pieces.” - Jean Sibelius

Spineur

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Re: David Popper [1843-1913] : virtuoso as composer
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2016, 01:28:26 PM »
He must have liked the cello. ;D
As a cellist, he wrote books of excercise for the instrument.  They are still used today.  They are both melodic and excellent practice material.
A number of his pieces are also encore material for cellists.  I remember a "Dance of the elves" and a "villagoise" which I was quite fond of.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2016, 01:50:15 PM by Spineur »