Carl Reinecke

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Alfred Naumann : Carl Reinecke, 1893

Karl Reinecke (also: Carl Reinecke ; full name Carl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke ; born June 23, 1824 in Altona , today Hamburg ; † March 10, 1910 in Leipzig ) was a German composer , pianist and conductor .
Under the pseudonym Heinrich Carsten (part of his first name) he wrote texts for his works. Another pseudonym was, after the mother's name, W. te Grove .

Live and act


Carl Reinecke (approx. 1860)
Carl Reinecke (around 1890)

Karl Reinecke was the brother of the music school founder and teacher " Miss Marie Reinecke " and son of the music teacher Rudolf Reinecke and his wife Johanna Henriette Dorothea Wetegrove († December 20, 1828 in Bad Segeberg ). He received his first music lessons at the age of six from his father, who made high demands. He made his debut as a pianist in Altona in 1835, went on concert tours through Europe and was hailed as a “graceful Mozart player”. Clara Wieck and Franz Liszt were his role models; due to his restraint and modesty, however, he was unsuitable for the role of a celebrated virtuoso.

With a grant from his sovereign, the Danish King and Holstein Duke Christian VIII , Carl Reinecke was able to finance a stay in Leipzig from 1843 to 1846. He pursued his studies here, got to know many musicians and the Leipzig salons and made his debut on November 16, 1843 in the Gewandhaus as an interpreter of Mendelssohn's Serenade and Allegro giocoso op. 43 for piano and orchestra. The then Gewandhaus bandmaster Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy helped him to make public appearances. During this time, Reinecke also got to know and appreciate Robert Schumann . He was enthusiastic about the works of both composers and inspired his work: "I would not oppose me being called an epigone ", was the charming answer to his dependence on these role models.

In 1847 Reinecke became a Danish court pianist. Due to the Prussian-Danish war in 1848 he had to return to Leipzig. Since he could not find a job there, he went to Bremen in 1849 , where he worked as a conductor and composed orchestral works.

At the suggestion of Franz Liszt, Reinecke received an invitation from Hector Berlioz to Paris, where he performed as a pianist and saw Ferdinand Hiller again, an acquaintance from his time in Leipzig, who had meanwhile become director of the Conservatory in Cologne , at Reinecke from 1851 onwards Lecturer for piano was active. There he had a friendly relationship with Robert Schumann in nearby Düsseldorf and met the young Johannes Brahms .

From 1854 to 1859 Reinecke was Kapellmeister in Barmen . In 1859 he became music director in Breslau , where he first organized subscription concerts. In the same year the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig offered him the direction. Reinecke took over this office in 1860 and held it until 1895. He also worked as an influential piano and composition teacher at the Leipzig Conservatory : in 1885 he was appointed Royal Saxon Professor , from 1897 to 1902 he was its director. Also in 1885 he took part in the vocal tone conference in Vienna , at which a uniform concert pitch was established.


Carl Reinecke (around 1905)
Carl Reinecke's grave at the Südfriedhof in Leipzig

In 1859, shortly before taking office in Leipzig, Reinecke lost his first wife, Betty Hansen, whom he had married in 1852. In 1860 his half-sister Mathilde took care of the three children.

On October 7, 1860, during his second subscription concert as Gewandhauskapellmeister, a young singer from Berlin, Charlotte Scharnke, made her debut at the Gewandhaus. In August 1861 she became Reinecke's second wife. From this marriage two daughters and two sons were born. The brothers Franz and Carl later ran the Reinecke brothers publishing house in Leipzig. Charlotte also died in 1868, probably during the birth of Franz.

In 1872 Reinecke married Margarethe Schifflin from Krefeld. From this marriage two daughters were born; Carl Reinecke was the father of nine children.

After the surprising and hurtful dismissal as Gewandhauskapellmeister in 1895 ( Arthur Nikisch was his successor ), Reinecke found time for extensive concert tours as a pianist. Successful appearances in the Gewandhaus, which he had initially avoided, are still known from 1904, 1906 and 1909.

Two years later, in 1906, Reinecke appeared with his student Fritz von Bose and played Mozart's Concerto for two pianos in E flat major (KV 365).

Stylistic position

Reinecke took a conservative position in terms of music aesthetics. The Viennese classics, above all Mozart , were immovable role models for him, with whose interpretation he occupied himself to the end. The Larghetto from Mozart's Coronation Concerto played the 80-year-old Reinecke in 1905 as the first pianist ever on a Welte-Mignon - Reproduction piano one. His familiarity with the finesse of the piano was widely appreciated. When Robert Schumann was once asked to make a version for two pianos of his symphonies , he replied: “I can't do that, you have to ask Reinecke, he can do it better”.

The music researcher and singer Hans Joachim Moser (1889–1967) wrote about Reinecke that he was “part of the Schumanian circle” - one of the musicians who identified with Robert Schumann's artistic goals in the sense of romantic classicism. As a piano composer, Reinecke is indeed very close to Schumann, but in his later works - for example in the Piano Concerto in C major (op. 144) - compositional influences from Chopin and Brahms can also be seen. Reinecke's Symphony No. 3 in G minor (op. 227) is one of the most important works of the Romantic period . The harp concerto in E minor (op. 182) is part of the standard repertoire at competitions. His children's songs and his compositions for flute are also well-known : the romantic Undine Sonata (op.167; 1885) and the Ballad (op.288) for flute and piano as well as the Flute Concerto in D major (op.283; 1908).

In 1888 Reinecke published his piano cycle Von der Wiege bis zur Bahre (op. 202), which quickly became popular, in Julius Heinrich Zimmermann's publishing house . Reinecke's arrangement for flute and piano is lost; the flautist Ernesto Köhler reconstructed eight of the 16 pieces. Collections for symphony orchestras and harmony music have also appeared .

Honors, memberships

Student of Carl Reinecke


Stage works

  • The four-year post (op. 45). Operetta in one act. Libretto: Theodor Körner . Premiere 1855 Barmen
  • King Manfred (op. 93). Opera in 5 acts. Libretto: Friedrich Roeber (1819–1901). Premiere July 26th, 1867 Wiesbaden (Court Theater)
  • Drama music (op. 102; 1871) for Wilhelm Tell by Friedrich Schiller
  • Kathleen and Charlie . Song game. Libretto: H. Grams. Premiere November 12, 1870 Leipzig
    • New version: An Adventure of Handel or The Power of the Song (op. 104). Singspiel in one act. Libretto: Carl Reinecke (under the pseudonym W. te Grove). Premiere March 18, 1874 Schwerin
  • Lucky child and unlucky fellow (op.177; 1883). Fairy tale opera for children in 2 acts. Libretto: Carl Reinecke (under the pseudonym Heinrich Carsten) and Richard von Volkmann (under the pseudonym Richard Leander)
  • At high orders (op.184). Comic opera in 3 acts. Libretto: based on Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl's story, Ovid bei Hofe (1855). Premiere 1886 Hamburg
  • The governor of Tours . Opera in 3 acts. Libretto:?. Premiere 1891 Schwerin,

Vocal compositions

Orchestral works


  • Symphony in G major (composed before 1850, documented by performance reports in 1850, 1854 and 1858, is considered lost)
  • Symphony No. 1 in A major (op.79; 1858, revised 1863). WP (1st version) December 2, 1858 Leipzig; (2nd version) October 22, 1863 Leipzig
  • Symphony No. 2 in C minor (" Håkon Jarl ") (op. 134; 1874)
1.  Allegro - 2.  Andante - 3.  Intermezzo. Allegretto moderato - 4th  final. Allegro / Allegro molto
  • Symphony No. 3 in G minor (op.227; 1894)
  • Children's Symphony (op. 239)
From the 2nd movement of the Piano Concerto in C major op.144

Concerts and other orchestral works

  • Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor (op.72)
  • Cello Concerto (op.82; 1866)
  • Romance (op. 93) for violin and orchestra
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in E minor (op.120; 1872)
  • Violin Concerto (op.141; 1876; dedicated to Joseph Joachim )
  • Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major (op.144; 1877)
  • Romance (op. 155) for violin and orchestra
  • Harp Concerto in E minor (op.182)
  • Biblical Images (op.220)
  • Serenade in G minor (op.242; 1898) for string orchestra
  • Piano Concerto No. 4 in B minor (op.254; 1900)
  • Romanzero in the form of a concert piece (op.263; ~ 1900) for cello and orchestra with harp (ad libitum)
  • Flute Concerto in D major (op.283; 1908)

Piano and chamber music

  • Andante and Variations (op. 6) for 2 pianos
  • Fantasiestücke (Op. 22) for clarinet and piano
  • Piano quartet (op.23)
  • Piano quartet (op. 34; 1853)
  • Piano trio (op.38; dedicated to Robert Schumann )
  • Cello Sonata No. 1 in A minor (op. 42; 1855; dedicated to Andreas Grabau [1808-1884])
    • Versions also for violin or viola and piano
  • Three Fantasy Pieces (op. 43) for viola and piano
  • Impromptu (op. 66) for 2 pianos
  • Piano quintet in A major (op.83; 1866)
  • Cello Sonata No. 2 in D major (op.89; 1866)
  • La belle Griseldis (op.94) for 2 pianos
  • Three Sonatinas (op. 108) for flute and piano
  • Three pieces (op.146) for violoncello and piano
  • Undine (op. 167). Sonata in E minor for flute and piano
  • From the cradle to the grave (op. 202; 1888). 16 pieces for piano
    • Original arrangement for flute and piano (lost); partial reconstruction (1902) by Ernesto Köhler
    • Arrangements for symphony orchestra and for harmony music (wind orchestra)
  • Octet in B flat major (op.216; 1892) for flute, oboe, 2 clarinets, 2 horns and 2 bassoons
  • Cello Sonata No. 3 in G major (op.238; 1898; Dedication: Den Manen Johannes Brahms' )
  • String Trio in C minor (op.249; 1898)
  • Sextet in B flat major (op.271; 1905) for flute, oboe, clarinet, 2 horns and bassoon
  • Piano quartet in D major (op.272; 1905)
  • Trio (op. 264) for clarinet, viola and piano
  • Trio (op. 274) for clarinet, horn and piano
  • Organ Sonata in G minor (Op. 284)
  • Ballade (op. 288) for flute and piano


"The Nightingales", poem by Joseph von Eichendorff , illustration by Rudolph Jordan


  • For the revival of Mozart's Piano Concerts - a word of inspiration to the world of piano playing . Reinecke, Leipzig 1891
  • "And some dear shadows rise" - memorial sheets to famous musicians " . Reinecke, Leipzig 1900
  • Master of the Tonkunst , Berlin and Stuttgart: Spemann 1903 ( digitized version )
  • The Beethoven piano sonatas - letters to a friend . 1st edition. Reinecke, Leipzig 1895, 3rd greatly increased edition. 1900
  • From the realm of sounds - words of the masters , 1907 ( digitized version ), a collection of aphorisms
  • Doris Mundus (Ed.): Experiences and Confessions - Autobiography of a Gewandhaus Kapellmeister . Lehmstedt, Leipzig 2005, ISBN 3-937146-27-X (autobiography; written 1902–1909, incomplete transmission ).


  • Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski: Carl Reinecke - His life, work and work . Zimmermann undated, Leipzig [1892] . Reprint: Zimmermann, Frankfurt 1997, ISBN 3-921729-68-8
  • Max Steinitzer: The Leipzig Gewandhaus in the new home under Carl Reinecke. In: Contributions to the history of the city. Leipzig 1924.
  • Nikolai Topusov: Carl Reinecke - a contribution to his life and his symphony . Dissertation, Berlin 1943
  • Matthias Wiegandt: Forgotten symphonies? Studies on Joachim Raff, Carl Reinecke and the problem of epigonality . Berlin 1997
  • Katrin Schmidinger (née Seidel): Carl Reinecke and the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Von Bockel, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-928770-84-5 .
  • Matthias Wiegandt:  Reinecke, Carl Heinrich Carsten. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 21, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-428-11202-4 , p. 347 f. ( Digitized version ).

Web links

Commons : Carl Reinecke  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Christian Friedrich Kahnt (Red.): Personalnachrichten in ders .: New magazine for music . Organ of the Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein and the Beethoven Foundation (NZfM), issue 36 of August 29, 1884, volume 51 (volume 80), CF Kahnt, Leipzig 1884, p. 386f .; here: p. 387; Digitized via
  2. NZfM , number 25 of June 13, 1884, p. 284; Digitized via
  3. ^ Gerhard Hahne: Reinecke, Rudolf . In: Schleswig-Holstein Biographical Lexicon . Volume 2. Karl Wachholtz Verlag, Neumünster 1971, p. 206.