Ludwig Thuille

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Ludwig Thuille, 1899
Thuille's birthplace, Mustergasse 6 in Bozen
Memorial plaque on Thuille's birthplace

Ludwig Wilhelm Andreas Maria Thuille [ˈtui̯lə] (born November 30, 1861 in Bozen , Austrian Empire , † February 5, 1907 in Munich ) was an Austrian composer , music teacher and music theorist .


Thuille was the son of a Bolzano art, books and music dealer. After he lost his mother at the age of five and his father at the age of eleven, an uncle took care of the education of the musically gifted boy in the grammar school of the Kremsmünster Abbey . From 1876 Thuille lived with his half-sister's family in Innsbruck . There, his musical education was supported by the composer's widow Pauline Nagiller, who in 1877 Thuille completed extensive composition studies with Joseph Pembaur senior. mediated. In 1879 Thuille moved to Munich to continue his studies at the Royal Music School with Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger (composition) and Karl Baermann (piano playing). He successfully completed his exam in 1882 with a performance of a piano concerto he had composed.

As early as 1883 Thuille was employed as a teacher for piano and harmony at the music school and in 1888 was appointed professor. After Rheinberger's death (November 25, 1901), Thuille was his successor as Professor of Composition in 1903. His numerous students included Hermann Abendroth , Ernest Bloch , Walter Braunfels , Fritz Cortolezis , Walter Courvoisier , Mabel W. Daniels, Rudolf von Ficker , Clemens von Franckenstein , Edgar Istel , Lily Klee , Paul von Klenau , Franz Mikorey , Josef Pembaur jun., Felix vom Rath , August Reuss , Heinrich Kaspar Schmid , Rudi Stephan , Joseph Suder , Hermann Wolfgang von Waltershausen , Julius Weismann and Richard Wetz .

Thuille's work as a theory and composition teacher was reflected in a theory of harmony written together with the music writer Rudolf Louis , which was widely used and was regarded as a standard work in music theory training. It was important because it combined the older type of chord designation with the new ideas of the functional theory of Hugo Riemann . After 1945 the "Louis-Thuille" was not reissued despite its qualities. Thuille did not live to see the publication of the work: In February 1907, at the age of only 45, he died of sudden heart failure. He left his wife Emma nee Dietl (1865–1946) and the children Eduard Eugen (1888–1909) and Hedwig (1890–1964). The latter later married Thuille's pupil Walter Courvoisier .

Thuille had been friends with the composer Richard Strauss since 1877 . A correspondence that was very informative for the artistic development of both has been partially preserved.

Audio language

The focus of Ludwig Thuille's work is on chamber music and stage works. His compositions are stylistically part of the German late romantic period . Thuille showed less interest in revolutionizing music than in combining traditional elements with more modern ones to create a personal style. His differentiated treatment of the harmonic means clearly shows the influences of the New German School , whose music was brought closer to him especially by the composer Alexander Ritter , a friend of Richard Wagner . In contrast to the New Germans' conception of art, Thuille remained more firmly attached to the classical traditions in the formal design of his works, which he handled flexibly and diversely, but did not try to break them. He also stayed away from program music.


Around 1900, Thuille was one of the dominant figures in Munich's musical life. His compositional style exerted an influence on many of his students and friends that should not be underestimated. That is why in music history one speaks of a Munich school . In addition to Thuille as the central figure, Friedrich Klose , Richard Strauss , Max von Schillings and Hans Pfitzner are also counted among their main representatives.

Although in demand as a composition teacher and relatively successful with his operas , Thuille's works gradually disappeared from the repertoire after the First World War . His early death certainly contributed to this.

Thuille's first biographer was Friedrich Münter.

For a long time the composer was only represented in the concert halls by the Sextet Op. 6. Since the 1990s, however, his work has again received increased attention. Two CD recordings of the classic label Classic production osnabrück , released shortly after each other in 2005, drew the attention of the professional public to Thuille. A reviewer for the magazine Fono Forum wrote: “Amazingly mature works by a still young composer who does not deny his Schumann roots and yet finds his own notes. Oliver Triendl devotes himself to the demanding solo part, and the well-arranged orchestra from South Tyrol more than does justice to the excavations with a compact, yet fresh sound. " wrote: “The G minor quartet from Thuille's student years testifies to the great talent of the young composer. It sounds astonishingly little epigonal , but decidedly headstrong - a Sturm und Drang work whose themes are scarce Being able to develop twenty minutes and three movements optimally thanks to a concentrated dramaturgy. "

Works (selection)

Stage works

  • Theuerdank , Opera (Libretto: Alexander Ritter ; Premiere Munich 1897)
  • Lobetanz op.10 , opera (Libretto: Otto Julius Bierbaum ; WP Karlsruhe 1898)
  • Gugeline op.18, opera (Libretto: OJ Bierbaum; WP Bremen 1901)
  • Die Tanzhexe , dance melodrama (Libretto: OJ Bierbaum; 1900, WP Stuttgart 1909)
  • The halo , opera (libretto: Elsa Laura von Wolzüge ; 1905, unfinished, premiere Munich 1910 of the fragment (only 1st act) in a version orchestrated by Walter Courvoisier)
  • Allegorical festival , incidental music for the laying of the foundation stone of the Deutsches Museum (text: Joseph von Schmaedel ; premier Munich 1906)
  • Epilogue , incidental music for the allegorical festival after the last performance in the old Weimar court theater (Text: Richard Voß; WP Weimar 1907)

Vocal music

  • Children's choir, women's choir, mixed a cappella choir
    • Russian Vespers song based on a melody by Demetrius Bortniansky set for six-part mixed choir (1893)
    • Abendlied (Otto Julius Bierbaum) for three-part female choir (1900)
    • Easter song (Adolf Boettcher) for four-part boys or women choir (1904)
  • Male choir a cappella
    • Four chants for four-part male choir, op. 8: 1. The Near Spring (Karl Stieler), 2. The Water Rose (Emanuel Geibel), 3. On the Watch (Karl Stieler), 4. Curious Story (R. Reinick) (1891)
    • Three poems by Peter Cornelius for four-part male choir, op.9: 1. Out, 2. In the distance, 3. Christmas carol (1895)
    • Two male choirs. Poems by Joseph von Eichendorff, op. 11 (1898): 1. The minstrels, 2. Nightingales (1898)
    • Two male choirs op.13: 1. New Spring (Otto Roquette), 2. Scent the Linden Blossom '(Klaus Groth) (1899)
    • Christmas in the forest op.14 for five-part male choir based on a poem by Frieda Schanz (1899)
    • Three male choirs op.17: 1. An hour before day (Eduard Mörike), 2. Youth (Franz Evers), 3. Landsknechtlied (Heinrich von Reder) (1900)
    • Three songs for male choir based on poems by Joseph von Eichendorff, op. 21: 1. Song of the Pilgrims, 2. The Sad Hunter, 3. Hunting Song (1901)
    • Three songs for four-part male choir op.23: 1. Lacrimae Christi (Rudolf Baumbach), Vom Scheiden (Arno Holz), 3. The Kitten (Karl Busse) (1902)
    • Three chants for four-part male choir op. 28: 1. In the spring (Theodor Körner), 2. Waldesnacht (Karl Zettel), 3. Lander des Verliebten (Otto Julius Bierbaum) (1903)
    • Love wish o.op. (Des Knaben Wunderhorn) (1906)
    • Three Soldiers' Songs, Op. 35: 1st Soldier's Luck (Des Knaben Wunderhorn), 2nd Rewelge (Des Knaben Wunderhorn), 3rd Hussar Faith (Des Knaben Wunderhorn) (1906)
    • Eleven folk song arrangements for the "Kaiserliederbuch" (1907)
  • Choir with instrumental accompaniment
    • Fridolin (Robert Kathan), cantata for solos, male choir and orchestra ("freely based on Friedrich Schiller ", 1893)
    • Dream Summer Night (Otto Julius Bierbaum) op.25 for four-part female choir, violin and harp (or piano) (1902)
    • Rosenlied (Anna Ritter) op.29 for three-part female choir with piano accompaniment (1903)
    • Three chants based on poems by Joseph von Eichendorff for three female voices (solo or choir) with piano accompaniment op.31 (1904)
  • Singing voice and piano
    • Five songs for high voice op. 4: 1. Greeting (Otto Gensichen), 2. The Forsaken (Hermann Lingg), 3. In May (Wilhelm Osterwald), 4. All Souls' Day (Hermann Gilm), 5. Ganymed (Robert Hamerling) (1878/80)
    • Three women's songs op. 5: 1. Lament (Karl Stieler), 2. Summer morning (Karl Stieler), 3. The noise of the world sounds (Karl Stieler) (1889)
    • Von Lieb 'und Leid op.7: 1st walk through the woods (Karl Stieler), 2nd July night (Karl Stieler), 3rd night song (Karl Stieler), 4th message (Karl Stieler), 5th nocturnal paths (Karl Stieler), 6. Not at home (Karl Stieler), 7. On the way home (Karl Stieler), 8. Seasons (Karl Stieler) (1888/89)
    • Three songs for medium voice op. 12: 1. Forest loneliness (Heinrich Leuthold), 2. The night (Hermann Gilm), 3. The silent city (Richard Dehmel) (1898)
    • Three songs for high voice op.15: 1st girl's song (Otto Julius Bierbaum), 2nd longing (Otto Julius Bierbaum), 3rd song of the young witch (Otto Julius Bierbaum) (1899)
    • Five songs for high voice op.19: 1. The Little One (Joseph von Eichendorff), 2. Summer Noon (Theodor Storm), 3. The Fool's Rain Song (Otto Julius Bierbaum), 4. Frau Nachtigall (Des Knaben Wunderhorn), 5. Spinnerlied (Des Knaben Wunderhorn) (1900/01)
    • New Year's Song o.op. (Otto Julius Bierbaum) (1901)
    • Three songs op. 24: 1. When the sun has gone away (Clemens Brentano), 2. Der Spinnerin Lied (Clemens Brentano), 3. I want to tie a bouquet (Clemens Brentano) (1902)
    • Three songs for medium voice op.26: 1. The Magic Glance (Joseph von Eichendorff), 2. The Sad Hunter (Joseph von Eichendorff), 3. Blessed Forgetting (Joseph von Eichendorff) (1902)
    • Four songs for medium voice op. 27: 1. Devotionale (Joseph von Eichendorff), 2. In my dreams home (Carl Hauptmann), 3. In golden abundance (Paul Remer), 4. The island of oblivion (Anna Ritter) ( 1901/02)
    • Three songs for low voice op. 32: 1. Death crowns innocence (Otto Julius Bierbaum) 2. The old man (Gustav Falke), 3. Evening song (Gottfried Keller) (1904)
    • Three girls' songs op.36: 1. My angel guard yours (Wilhelm Hertz), 2. Last wish (Wilhelm Hertz), 3. Come, sweet sleep (Wilhelm Hertz) (1906)
    • Youth songs: your eye, girl song, mountain song, night song
    • Songs from the estate: On the death bed (Ernst Scherenberg), you are like a flower (Heinrich Heine), serenade (Ludwig Uhland), reticence (Karl Stieler), for music (Emanuel Geibel), silent thoughts (Heinrich Heine), notturno (Titus Ulrich), From old love songs (Des Knaben Wunderhorn), Urschlamm-Idyll: "An Ichtyosaurus wallowed" (Theodor Vischer)

Orchestral music

  • Spring Overture in A major for orchestra (1880)
  • Piano concerto in D major (1882), premier: Munich 1882
  • Symphony in F major for large orchestra (1886), premier: Meiningen 1886
  • Romantic Overture op.16 (composed as an overture to Theuerdank) (1896), premiere: Munich 1897
  • Symphonic Festival March op.38 (composed as part of the Allegorical Festival )

Chamber music

  • Trois nocturnes for piano (1877)
  • Variations for piano (1878)
  • String Quartet No. 1 in A major (1878)
  • Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 1 (1880)
  • Organ Sonata in A minor, Op. 2 (1880)
  • Piano Quintet No. 1 in G minor (1880)
  • String Quartet No. 2 in G major (1881, unfinished)
  • Trio for piano, violin and viola in E flat major (1885)
  • Three piano pieces, op. 3 (1883): serenade, humoresque, capriccio
  • Sextet for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano in B flat major op.6 (1888)
  • 13 fugues for string quartet (1897)
  • Fugue for organ (1897)
  • Piano Quintet No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 20 (1901)
  • Violoncello Sonata in D minor, Op. 22 (1902)
  • Violin Sonata No. 2 in E minor, Op. 30 (1904)
  • Three piano pieces op. 33 (1905): Vorfrühling, Reigen, Capriccio
  • Three piano pieces op. 34 (1905): Gavotte, Auf dem See, Waltz
  • Two piano pieces op.37 (1906): Threnodie, Burla
  • Allegro giusto for violin and piano, op.39

Adaptations of other works

  • Versions for piano four hands
    • Richard Strauss: Don Juan, tone poem after Nicolaus Lenau op.20 (1889)
    • Richard Strauss: Macbeth, tone poem based on Shakespeare's drama op.23 (1891)
    • Peter Cornelius: The Cid, Overture (1891)
  • Vocal score
    • Peter Cornelius: The Cid, lyric drama in three acts (includes: overture for piano for two hands) (1891)


  • Friedrich Munter : Ludwig Thuille: a first attempt. In: Contemporary Composers , Volume 8. Drei Masken Verlag, 1923,
  • Alexander L. Suder (Ed.): Ludwig Thuille . Tutzing 1993 (= composers in Bavaria 16).
  • Franz Trenner (Ed.): Richard Strauss - Ludwig Thuille. An exchange of letters . Tutzing 1980 (= publications of the Richard Strauss Society 4).
  • Eckhardt van den Hoogen: Portrait of the composer as a young man . In: Supplement to cpo-CD LC 8492 (symphony and piano concerto), published 2005.

Web links

Commons : Ludwig Thuille  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Usual pronunciation in the composer's homeland, as it is cultivated in Munich, Ludwig Thuille's place of work.
  2. M. Daniels reports on her studies with Ludwig Thuille in her notes. Mabel W. Daniels: An American Girl in Munich . Boston 1905
  3. Ludwig Thuille: a first attempt. In: Contemporary Composers , Volume 8. Drei Masken Verlag, 1923, 122 pages,
  4. Michael Kube. In: FonoForum , 04/2006
  5., 11/2006
  6. General information about the work