GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Maciek on June 01, 2007, 01:06:16 PM

Title: Jozef Koffler (1896-1944?)
Post by: Maciek on June 01, 2007, 01:06:16 PM

A notable figure in Polish 20th century music. Józef Koffler was Poland's only 12-tone composer in the strict sense of the term, and an exceptionally good one too! In the early 1920s he met Alban Berg, in 1929 began his steady correspondence with Schoenberg.

During the communist era Koffler was practically completely forgotten, as dodecaphony was considered a sick fancy bourgeois concept. Only since the early 90s is he being slowly reintroduced into the Polish repertoire.

He is definitely one of those 12-tone composers whose music is very pleasant to the ear and doesn't "sound 12-tone". It's not over-intellectualized. It's highly emotional and enjoyable. What is most important - it is very original, Koffler was never completely bound by the "rules" of the 12-tone composing technique. About 10 years ago I heard his Piano Concerto (still unrecorded) and was really impressed - this music was certainly fun! I can say the same for everything else I've heard - truly a first rate composer.

His death date is not known for sure. In 1941 he was arrested by the Nazis in Lviv and taken to the Wieliczka ghetto. He is known to have been hiding in the area of Krosno after the liquidation of the Wieliczka ghetto. It is supposed that he perished somewhere in that area, shot to death together with his family.

Not many of his works have been released on CD. Acte Préalable recorded his complete piano works on 2 volumes, and there's a volume of the Agnieszka Duczmal edition containing his string orchestra transcription of the Goldberg Variations:

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Many of his works did not survive the war - his entire catalogue consists of only a few more than 20 pieces. :(

Any fans lurking about?

Title: Re: Jozef Koffler (1896-1944?)
Post by: Maciek on August 31, 2007, 04:01:04 AM
Due to this composer's immense popularity ::), I've posted his 2nd Symphony in the Broadcast Corner (,42.msg75836.html#msg75836). ;D 8)
Title: Re: Jozef Koffler (1896-1944?)
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on September 17, 2007, 05:28:51 AM
Hello, Maciek!

I had an immense backlog of GMG pages to look through, so I'm a bit late in seeing this. I'll have a listen to Koffler's Second. The fragment from the Finale sounds very appealing (the work is written for 'small' orchestra, but the music doesn't sound small...)

All the best!

Title: Re: Jozef Koffler (1896-1944?)
Post by: Maciek on September 18, 2007, 11:38:57 AM
Hi Johan! :D

Remember to post your impressions about the piece! $:) 0:) ;)

All the best from Vilnius, where I'm currently staying! 8)

Title: Re: Jozef Koffler (1896-1944?)
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on September 18, 2007, 12:06:58 PM
I'll certainly 'report my findings', Maciek!

Greetings from Delft, as ever!