Hermann Reutter

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Hermann Reutter (born June 17, 1900 in Stuttgart , † January 1, 1985 in Heidenheim an der Brenz ) was a German composer and pianist .


Reutter, the son of a factory owner, grew up in a musical family: his mother, who also played the piano, performed as a soprano, accompanied by his father, who was also trained as a pianist. After moving to Munich in 1920, he continued the singing lessons he had started with Emma Rückbeil-Hiller in Stuttgart with Karl Erler . Until 1925 he studied at the State Academy of Music in Munich with Walter Courvoisier (composition), with Franz Dorfmüller (piano) and with Ludwig Mayer (organ). Since 1923 he was known as a concert pianist and song accompanist.

In the twenties he was represented as a composer at the contemporary music festivals in Donaueschingen and Baden-Baden (1923, 1926, 1927 and 1928), where he established close contacts with Paul Hindemith . From 1929 he was mainly active as a pianist and accompanist and performed with many important conductors and interpreters of his time. With Sigrid Onegin he went on seven tours through America between 1930 and 1936.

1932 Reutter composition teacher at the Wuerttemberg Academy of Music in Stuttgart and was 1936 to 1945 director of the Hoch Conservatory (1938-1942 "University of Music in Frankfurt - Hoch Conservatory"). Although he had been a member of the NSDAP since May 1, 1933 (membership number 3.321.546), his music was considered “ degenerate ” - especially his composition based on the text by Robert Seitz Der neue Hiob , op. 37, which was also shown at the Düsseldorf exhibition “ Degenerate Music ”was denounced. And Goebbels wrote about Reutter's music in his diary: “hideous and unbearable.” Nevertheless, his opera Odysseus premiered at the Frankfurt Opera on September 7, 1942, and other works by him were also performed.

From 1945 Reutter was again professor for composition and song design at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, in 1956 he became its director. During this time Reutter accompanied such well-known singers as Karl Erb , Hans Hotter , Elisabeth Schwarzkopf , Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Nicolai Gedda . After his retirement from 1966 to 1974 he led a master class for song interpretation at the Munich Music Academy . Reutter has held international master classes and seminars on song composition and interpretation since 1960. In 1968 he founded the Hugo Wolf Society in Stuttgart with Carl Orff and was its president until his death. Hermann Reutter, who died in Heidenheim an der Brenz, was buried in Stuttgart.

His compositions were initially influenced by Hans Pfitzner and Anton Bruckner , later by Paul Hindemith , Igor Stravinsky , Béla Bartók and Arthur Honegger ; after 1945 he moved away from contemporary music. Reutter composed operas, concerts for piano and strings, choral and chamber music works, ballets, symphonic works and over 200 songs. In 1949, Federal President Theodor Heuss commissioned Reutter to write the melody for a text by Rudolf Alexander Schröder ; so a new national anthem was to be created under the title Hymne to Deutschland . Chancellor Konrad Adenauer then had the third stanza of the Deutschlandlied declared as binding. Reutter's most successful opera was Doctor Johannes Faust , which premiered on May 26, 1936 in Frankfurt am Main. His concert variations for piano and orchestra were premiered in 1952 by the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra with the dedicatee Branka Musulin as soloist under the direction of Georg Solti .

In close cooperation with the guitarist İhsan Turnagöl , some original guitar compositions and a significant series of transcriptions of Reutter's works for guitar solo were created in Reutter's last years, which have been published by Schott-Verlag, some of which have also been released on record and CD by Wergo.

Works (selection)


  • Saul (1928, revised 1947)
  • Doctor Johannes Faust (1936)
  • Odysseus (1942)
  • The way to Freudenstadt (1948)
  • The Return of the Prodigal Son (1952)
  • The widow of Ephesus (1954, revised 1966)
  • The Death of Empedocles (1954, revised 1966)
  • The San Luis Rey Bridge (1954)
  • Hamlet (1980)


Choral works

  • The great calendar (1933, revised 1970)
  • Choir Fantasy (1939)
  • Wedding Songs (1941)
  • Great World Theater (1951)

Orchestral music

  • Concert variations for piano and orchestra (1951/52)
  • Procession - Dialogue for Violoncello and Orchestra - Approved by Gaspar Cassado (1957)

Vocal music

  • "Solo cantata based on the words of Matthias Claudius" for an alto part, viola and piano (or organ) (Opus 45, 1948)
  • "Five ancient odes" for a medium female voice, viola and piano (Opus 57, 1947)
  • " Hymne to Germany " (Land of Faith) . Text by Rudolf Alexander Schröder (1950)
  • "Small sacred concert" based on words by Christian Wagner for an alto voice and viola (1953)
  • "From the Song of Solomon" for alto, viola, piano and orchestra (1956)
  • "Little Ballad of the Three Rivers" for soprano and small orchestra (1960)
  • "Scene and monologue by Marfa from Schiller's 'Demetrius'" for soprano and orchestra (1968)
  • "I want to sing for love", Minnelieder from the time of the Hohenstaufen, for two voices soprano and baritone with orchestra or piano (1976)

Instrumental music

  • Fantasia apocalyptica for piano (Opus 7, 1926)
  • The Passion in 9 Inventions from the "Biblical Scenes" for piano (Opus 25, 1930); arranged for guitar (1984)
  • Little piano pieces (Opus 28, 1928)
  • Rhapsody for violin and piano (Opus 51, 1939)
  • Music for viola and piano (1951)
  • Pièce concertante for alto saxophone and piano (1968)
  • Cinco Capricos sobre Cervantes for viola (1968); arranged for guitar (1984)
  • Sonata Monotematica for violoncello or bassoon and piano (1972)
  • Evening Angelus and Bolero Fandango for guitar (1984)



  • Peter Cahn: The Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt am Main (1878–1978) . Kramer, Frankfurt am Main 1979.
  • Fred K. Prieberg : Handbook of German Musicians 1933-1945 . Kiel, 2004, CD-ROM Lexicon, p. 5721f.
  • Carl Dahlhaus , Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht (Ed.): Brockhaus Riemann Music Lexicon . Volume 4. Schott, Mainz 1989, p. 37f.
  • Diether de la Motte : Sometimes soft tones say more. Hermann Reutters Cervantes-Caprichos . Nova giulianiad 11/88, pp. 132 ff., ISSN  0254-9565
  • Karl Laux ; Contemporary music and musicians , 1949. Verlag Dr. W. Spiel KG, Essen

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Joseph Goebbels: Diary III . Entry from January 20, 1938, p. 408.
  2. Hans von Herwarth: From Adenauer to Brandt: Memories . Propylaea, Berlin / Frankfurt 1990, ISBN 3-549-07403-4 , p. 97