GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Dundonnell on February 19, 2009, 06:32:43 AM

Title: Gottfried von Einem(1918-96)
Post by: Dundonnell on February 19, 2009, 06:32:43 AM
The Austrian composer Gottfried von Einem is completely unknown to me; I have not, to my knowledge, heard a note of his music.
While researching the 'Gaps in the recorded concerto repertoire of the 20th century" thread I discovered the von Einem Music Foundation site-

I knew that von Einem had composed a number of operas-the most famous(?) of which is 'Danton's Tod"-but he appears to have composed two piano concertos, an organ concerto and a violin concerto(the violin concerto was on a Marco Polo disc which I have discovered on the web), a number of named symphonies-the 'Philadelphia'(1961), the 'Vienna'(1977), the 'Munich'(1985) and a Fourth Symphony(1988).

The music guides indicate that von Einem was a pupil of Blacher, was influenced by Hindemith, Stravinsky and Prokofiev and wrote in a 'romantic' style(at least in his concertos).

Strange that he should seem to have slipped off the radar! Even CPO seems to have ignored von Einem to date. Anybody know any of the music?
Title: Re: Gottfried von Einem(1918-96)
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on February 19, 2009, 07:43:14 AM
Von Einem is only a name to me. He cropped up once, though, on the Mystery Scores thread. I presume Luke must have heard something by him....
Title: Re: Gottfried von Einem(1918-96)
Post by: snyprrr on February 22, 2009, 06:57:12 PM
i have his string quartet No.1 from the 80s-90s by the alban berg qrt on EMI. there is now a cd on orfeo of three qrts including No.1, and seems like von einem started a cycle late in life.

i was very excited to hear this qrt. the only other unknown abq piece was by erich urbanner, so i was expecting sooome kind of modernist wot not. but it starts very dramatic and very shortly we see that we have a very turbulent, very vienna affair- beethoven/brahms to mahler/berg, very romantic, always changing. it's fairly short at a qrt hour, and i didn't like it at first, but lately the whole vienna thing has been creepin up on me and i like a little more tradition in my modern composers sometimes.

so, i might recommend the orfeo disc for three mature pieces in the august testing field of the string quartet.
Title: Re: Gottfried von Einem(1918-96)
Post by: Sean on February 22, 2009, 11:30:02 PM
I've explored- Bruckner dialog, Concertino carintico, Philadelphia symphony Serenade for double string orchestra & Steinbeis serenade (octet) & Kammergesange (Voice and orch).

So-so; the music leans a bit toward post-expressionist Hartman-like gloom. I like the Bruckner dialogue, where he muses on the sketches for the Ninth symph finale.

Title: Re: Gottfried von Einem(1918-96)
Post by: Dundonnell on February 23, 2009, 07:30:51 AM
von Einem's Violin Concerto(Marco Polo) which I have recently acquired is a decent enough piece, generally romantic but with a strange third movement which opens with violin and bongos ;D
Title: Re: Gottfried von Einem(1918-96)
Post by: jdoggtn on August 19, 2015, 04:41:23 PM
Early Von Einem music is charming. Von Einem had studied with Boris Blacher, and although he remained in Germany, was secretly opposed to the Nazis. To avoid combat, his brother arranged for him to enter the Intelligence Services, or Abwehr, where his duties involved monitoring Allied radio stations, which exposed him to much big band jazz. He later wrote that the sounds of American jazz cheered him during those dark days, and thus those sounds play a large role in the early Concerto for Orchestra, Op. 4 (1943) and the 4 Klavierstucke, Op. 3 (1942). His situation was not helped by the blatant inclusion of jazz in the Concerto for Orchestra, and in due time, his Allied sympathies were suspected and he was imprisoned. He was released under circumstances that were not entirely clear, appointed by the Americans as a police official during the Occupation, which position he resigned from when it became clear that he was expected to denounce his friends and neighbors who had joined the Nazi Party. Jazz remained an occasional feature in von Einem's music up to the Philadelphia Symphony of 1959. Thereafter, his music took a more serious turn.
Title: Re: Gottfried von Einem(1918-96)
Post by: Scion7 on August 20, 2015, 06:17:39 AM
He apparently arranged some pieces by Schubert and Musorgsky?

Title: Re: Gottfried von Einem(1918-96)
Post by: Scion7 on August 22, 2015, 06:17:52 AM
Much of his orchestral work is out there, but the chamber music, except for the string quartets, seems to be ignored.

I'd like to hear the Violin Sonata, the Wind Quintet, the Cello Sonata and the String Trio some day.
Title: Re: Gottfried von Einem(1918-96)
Post by: Christo on August 22, 2015, 11:03:50 AM
A coincidence of music history - given the huge difference between these two personalities - is the fact that Von Einem took care of Arvo Pärt when he had been forced to leave the Soviet Union with his 'Jewish' wife Nora and was supposed to travel to Israël, but found themselves at the Vienna airport not knowing where to go, in 1980.

It was Von Einem who helped them further and a grateful Pärt dedicated his De Profundis (setting of Psalm 130 from 1980) to him.  :)