Ernst Krenek (born August 23, 1900 in Vienna , † December 22, 1991 in Palm Springs , California ; originally Křenek ) was an American composer of Austrian origin.
Ernst Krenek, the son of an Austro-Hungarian officer of Bohemian origin, attended the Vienna high school in Klostergasse from 1911 to 1919 and began studying composition with Franz Schreker in Vienna at the age of 16 . After his military service and two semesters studying philosophy, he followed his teacher to Berlin in 1920 , where he soon socialized with important musicians such as Ferruccio Busoni , Hermann Scherchen and Eduard Erdmann . His earliest works are written in free, very individual atonality , such as the comic opera The Jump Over the Shadow .
From 1923 Krenek stayed in Switzerland for two years and then traveled to Paris . In 1924 he married Anna Mahler , Gustav Mahler's daughter , but the couple separated that same year. Under the influence of Stravinsky and French neoclassicism , Krenek's compositional style changed to something more catchy and entertaining. In connection with his work from 1925 to 1927 as assistant to Paul Bekker , the artistic director of the Kassel Opera , this resulted in his greatest public success, the so-called "Jazz Opera" Jonny plays on February 10, 1927 at the Leipzig Opera . It was one of the most performed operas of the twenties and a great success with the public. In a review in October 1927, Hanns Eisler described it as a “boring and mindless piece”, but explicitly pointed out that he otherwise considered Krenek a very talented composer.
After divorcing his first wife, Krenek married the famous actress Berta Hermann and returned to Vienna. His compositional style changed again; After an intensive preoccupation with Schubert's music , his neo-romantic phase began, which culminated in the opera Leben des Orestes and the song cycle Reisebuch aus den Österreichischen Alpen (both 1929). But in the same year he began to deal with Arnold Schönberg's twelve-tone technique , which determined his work in the following years.
Ever since the opera Jonny plays on Krenek was a "cultural Bolshevik" for the National Socialists and after they came to power in 1933 his works were banned as "degenerate" in the German Reich . Krenek joined the Catholic Church after 1930 and had sympathies for Austrofascism , which he also expressed publicly.
Krenek composed the twelve-tone opera Karl V between 1930 and 1933 , but its premiere in Vienna in 1934 was prevented for political reasons and could only take place in Prague in 1938 .
In 1937 Krenek traveled to the USA for the first time, to which he emigrated in 1938 after Austria was " annexed " to National Socialist Germany. In the USA he began an intensive teaching activity, first from 1939 at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie , New York , from 1942 to 1947 then at the School of Fine Arts at Hamline University in Saint Paul , Minnesota . In 1945 he became an American citizen. In America he changed the spelling of his name from Křenek to Krenek for the sake of simplicity . From 1947 to 1966 he lived in Los Angeles and gave guest lectures at various universities. In 1950 he married his third wife, the composer Gladys Nordenstrom-Krenek . The most important works of these years include the choral work Lamentatio Jeremiae prophetae (1941) and the opera Pallas Athene weeping (1955).
Krenek's eagerness to experiment continued unabated. Since the 1940s he occupied himself with serial music , and in the 1950s electronic music found its way into his work, for example in the Pentecostal oratorio Spiritus intelligentiae sanctus (1955–1956, created in collaboration with the studio for electronic music of the WDR) in Cologne ). Since he came back to Germany for the first time in 1950, he has also been active in Europe as an interpreter of his works. On October 22, 1951, he conducted the European premiere of his piano concerto in Cologne.
In 1966 he moved to Palm Springs. He composed tirelessly until the last years of his life, so that his oeuvre reached opus number 242. His work encompasses almost every style of the 20th century and, like Stravinsky, he achieved mastery in every style. Krenek was also active in the field of tape music and electronic music. Two Buchla synthesizers from 1967 belonged to his studio.
In his private life, Krenek maintained a lively exchange with the leading artists and intellectuals of his time such as Rainer Maria Rilke , Theodor W. Adorno , Thomas Mann , Arnold Schönberg and Igor Stravinsky . Krenek is buried in the Vienna Central Cemetery (Group 33 G, Number 1) in a grave of honor . In 2011, Ernst-Krenek-Gasse in Vienna- Liesing (23rd district) was named after him. A park in Vienna- Hietzing was called Ernst-Krenek-Park until 2001, but has been called Franz Schmidts since then .
- 1951: Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- 1955: Prize of the City of Vienna for Music
- 1960: Large silver medal for services to the Republic of Austria
- 1960: Gold Medal of the City of Vienna
- 1960: Elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
- 1963: Grand Austrian State Prize for Music
- 1965: Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- 1966: Bach Prize of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
- 1970: Ludwig Spohr Prize of the City of Braunschweig
- 1970: Ring of Honor of the City of Vienna
- 1975: Austrian Decoration of Honor for Science and Art
- 1978: Goethe badge of the state of Hesse
- 1981: Honorary citizenship of the City of Vienna
- 1984: Honorary Citizenship of the City of New Orleans
- 1986: Honorary member of the International Society for Contemporary Music ISCM
- 1990: Great Decoration of Honor from the State of Salzburg
On the occasion of his 85th birthday, the City of Vienna donated the Ernst Krenek Prize in his memory .
- Fortress . Scenic cantata op.14 (1922; WP 1924)
- The jump over the shadow op.17 (1923; premier 1924)
- Orpheus and Eurydice op. 21 (1923; WP 1926)
- Bluff, Operetta op.36 (1924/1925; Ms)
- Jonny plays on op. 45 (1925–1926; premier 1927)
- The dictator op. 49 (1926; premiere 1928)
- The Secret Kingdom op. 50 (1926–1927; WP 1928)
- Heavyweight or The Honor of the Nation op. 55 (1926–1927; WP 1928)
- Life of Orestes op. 60 (1928–1929; WP 1930)
- Kehraus um St. Stephan op.66 (1930, Bärenreiter; premiered 1990)
- Charles V op. 73 (1930–1933; WP 1938)
- Cefalo e Procri op. 77 (1933–1934; WP 1934)
- Tarquin op.90 (1940; premiere 1950)
- What Price Confidence? (A matter of trust) op. 111 (1945–1946; premiere 1960)
- Dark Waters (Dark Waters) op. 125 (1950; WP 1950)
- Pallas Athene weeps op.144 (1952–1955; WP 1955)
- The Bell Tower (The Bell Tower) op. 153 (1955-1956; UA 1957)
- Calculated and playful op.179 (1961; premier 1962)
- The golden goat (Chrysomallos) op.186 (1963; premiere 1964)
- The magic mirror . TV opera op.192 (1966)
- That comes from it or When Sardakai goes traveling op. 206 (1967–1969; premiered 1970)
- Message in a bottle from Paradise , TV piece with electronic music (1973, ORF Vienna)
- Mammon op.37 (1925)
- The swapped Cupid op.38 (1925)
- Eight Column Line op.85 (1939)
- Symphony No. 1 , op.7 (1921)
- Symphony No. 2, op.12 (1922)
- Symphony No. 3, op.16 (1922)
- Concerto for violin and orchestra, op.29 (1924)
- Symphonie pour instruments à vent et batterie op.34 (1924–1925)
- Little Symphony op.58 (1928)
- Symphony No. 4, op.113 (1947)
- Symphony No. 5, op.119 (1949)
- Symphony "Pallas Athene". op. 137 (1954)
- Static and ecstatic op. 214 (1971–1972)
- Lamento della Ninfa (after Monteverdi)
- Three mixed a cappella choirs, op.22
- The Seasons , op.35 (1925)
- Cantata on the transience of the earthly , op.72 (1932)
- Two Choruses on Jacobean Poems , op.87
- Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae , op. 93 (1942)
- Five Prayers , op.97
- Good Morning America , op.158 (1956)
- Six motets after words by Franz Kafka , op.169
- O Holy Ghost , op.186A (1964)
Works for wind instrumentation
- Serenade for clarinet and string trio op.4 (1919)
- Three funny marches (first performance 1926 in Donaueschingen)
- Suite 1955
- Flute piece nine phases (flute and piano)
- Songs op. 19 based on texts by Otfried Krzyzanowski and Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
- Travel book from the Austrian Alps , op.62 (1929)
- Suite for guitar alone op. 164, composed at the suggestion of Theodore Norman and dedicated to him.
- Fibonacci Mobile op.187 for string quartet, piano four hands and coordinator (1964)
- "Craft" of the composer. In: Frankfurter Zeitung. Reich edition of October 7, 1934, number 510-511, p. 13.
- About new music. Six lectures to introduce the theoretical basics. Ringbuchhandlung, Vienna 1937. (Reprint: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1977.)
- In the breath of time. Memories of the modern. Autobiography, translated by Friedrich Saathen. Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-455-11170-X ; Reprint: Braunmüller, Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3-99200-048-7 (In cooperation with the Ernst Krenek Institute. Rev. translation by Sabine Schulte).
- Thoughts on the move. Documents of a trip. Edited by Friedrich Saathen. Albert Langen / Georg Müller, Munich 1959.
- Prose, dramas, verses (texts from 1925–1963). Albert Langen - Georg Müller, Munich / Vienna 1965.
- Claudia Maurer-Zenck: Ernst Krenek - a composer in exile. Lafite, Vienna 1980, ISBN 3-85151-033-X .
- Claudia Maurer-Zenck (Ed.): The hopeless radicalism of the middle: Correspondence Ernst Krenek - Friedrich T. Gubler; 1928-1939. Böhlau, Vienna et al. 1989, ISBN 3-205-05248-X .
- Claudia Maurer-Zenck (Ed.): The American Diaries: 1937–1942; Documents from exile. Böhlau, Vienna et al. 1992, ISBN 3-205-05467-9 .
- Claudia Maurer-Zenck (Ed.): Ernst Krenek - Correspondence with the Universal Edition (1921–1941). Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar et al. 2010; 2 volumes, ISBN 978-3-412-20570-6
- Ernst Hilmar (Ed.): Thanks to Ernst Krenek. Universal Edition, Vienna 1982, ISBN 3-7024-0151-2 .
- Heinz-Klaus Metzger (Ed.): Ernst Krenek. Edition Text and Criticism, München 1984, ISBN 3-88377-185-6 .
- Garrett H. Bowles: Ernst Krenek. A bio-bibliography. Greenwood, New York 1989, ISBN 0-313-25250-5 .
- John L. Stewart: Ernst Krenek. A critical biography. Schneider, Tutzing 1990, ISBN 3-7952-0646-4 .
- Matthias Schmidt: Ernst Krenek. Contemporary of the 20th century. Vienna City and State Library, Vienna 2000, ISBN 3-902053-02-X .
- Matthias Schmidt: Krenek, Ernst. In: Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon . Online edition, Vienna 2002 ff., ISBN 3-7001-3077-5 ; Print edition: Volume 3, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-7001-3045-7 ..
- Jürg Stenzl (Ed.): Ernst Krenek, Oskar Kokoschka and the story of Orpheus and Eurydice (= Ernst Krenek Studies , Volume 1). Edition Argus, Schliengen 2005, ISBN 978-3-931264-30-7 .
- Matthias Schmidt: Echoes from Austria: Music as Home: Ernst Krenek and the Austrian Folk Song in the 20th Century (= Ernst Krenek Studies , Volume 3), Edition Argus, Schliengen [o. J.], ISBN 978-3-931264-32-1 .
- Christoph Taggatz: Gesang des Greises: Ernst Krenek and the historical necessity of serialism (= Ernst Krenek Studies , Volume 4), Edition Argus, Schliengen 2008, ISBN 978-3-931264-33-8 (Dissertation University of Münster 2006, 357 Pages).
- Philipp Weber: Between avant-garde and tradition. Ernst Krenek's neoclassical works (= Ernst Krenek Studies , Volume 6). Edition Argus, Schliengen 2015, ISBN 3-931264-35-1 (dissertation Universität Hamburg 2013/2014, 265 pages, sheet music examples).
- Entry on Ernst Krenek in the Austria Forum (in the Austrian Personal Lexicon of the First and Second Republic )
- Entry on Ernst Krenek in the Austria Forum (in the AEIOU Austria Lexicon )
- Entry on Ernst Krenek in the Austria Forum (in the music lexicon)
- Works by and about Ernst Krenek in the catalog of the German National Library
- Works by and about Ernst Krenek in the German Digital Library
- Ernst Krenek Institute private foundation
- Ernst Krenek in the Lexicon of Persecuted Musicians from the Nazi Era (LexM)
- Ernst Krenek at Bärenreiter-Verlag
- Ernst Krenek Collection in the Archive of the Academy of Arts, Berlin
- Song portal
- Archive recordings by, with and about Ernst Krenek in the online archive of the Austrian Media Library
- Rebecca Unterberger: Portrait module on Ernst Krenek at litkult1920er.aau.at , a project of the University of Klagenfurt
- ^ Hanns Eisler: Music and Politics. Writings 1924–1928 . In: Günther Mayer (ed.): Eisler, Hanns: Collected works . Series 3. 1st edition. tape 1 . Deutscher Verlag für Musik, Leipzig 1973, DNB 770387918 , p. 34 ff . (534 p., Full text in Google Book Search [accessed October 9, 2019]).
- ↑ Italy today. After the Florentine Music Congress. In: The Dawning. Monthly magazine for modern music . (Ed. Universal Edition ), XV. Vol. 6/7, June / July 1933, pp. 73-76.
- ↑ The Buchla Synthesizer by Ernst Krenek (Part 2). In: GreatSynthesizers. September 17, 2015, accessed August 6, 2020 .
- ↑ a b c Andreas Grün: Ernst Krenek: Suite for guitar alone op. 164. An analytical consideration. In: Guitar & Laute 6, 1984, Heft 2, pp. 35, 38, 34-43.
- ↑ The Buchla Synthesizer by Ernst Krenek (Part 1). In: GreatSynthesizers. September 15, 2015, accessed on August 6, 2020 (German).
- ↑ Members: Ernst Krenek. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed April 7, 2019 .
- ^ ISCM Honorary Members
- ↑ 1st Ensemble Concert Kaiserslautern 2017/2018, October 22, 2017, broadcast on December 7, 2017 from 8:05 p.m. on SR2
- ↑ Ernst Krenek: Dear Mr. Gruen […]. (Letter from Ernst Krenek to Andreas Grün from December 29, 1983) In: Guitar & Laute 6, 1984, Heft 3, p. 4.
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Křenek, Ernst (real name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Austrian-American composer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||23rd August 1900|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Vienna|
|DATE OF DEATH||December 22, 1991|
|Place of death||Palm Springs|