Philipp Jarnach

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Philipp Raphael Jarnach , also Phillippe Jarnach (born July 26, 1892 in Noisy-le-Sec ; † December 17, 1982 in Börnsen ) was a German composer and music teacher . In the 1920s he was, alongside Hindemith, a leading exponent of what was then modern German music. As a "legacy of his Romance origins", he demonstrated "secure formative power in an independent continuation" that of his teacher and friend Busonistrived for "classicism". Since he soon taught himself and took this task very seriously, his work, mainly instrumental music, remained rather narrow. As early as 1950, parts of the criticism complained that the composer Jarnach was wrongly at risk of being "forgotten". Jarnach's students included Kurt Weill and Wilhelm Maler , who stood in opposing ideological camps.


Philipp Jarnach was born on July 26, 1892 as the son of a Catalan and a Flemin in Noisy-le-Sec near Paris . Encouraged by Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy , he performed as a “pianistic child prodigy” at the age of 11. After four years of piano studies in Paris with Édouard Risler and theory lessons with Albert Lavignac , he worked as a lied accompanist and répétiteur at the Paris singing school.

Due to the German declaration of war on France, he moved to Zurich with his German wife in 1914 . There he befriended Ferruccio Busoni a year later, who provided him with opportunities to earn money and who had a lasting impact on Jarnach with his intellectual attitude towards being an artist. So Jarnach managed to gain a foothold in Zurich, he worked first as a répétiteur and conductor at the Zurich city theater and later as a theory teacher at the city conservatory.

In 1921 he decided to follow Busoni to Berlin . There he made his final breakthrough as a composer of new music. From 1922 his works were published by Schott and at the Donaueschinger Musiktage he was the most played composer at the time. In Berlin, Jarnach earned his living through performances, private composition lessons and music criticism and was also active as a pianist, organizer and occasionally as a conductor. In addition, he was a member of the so-called November group and the music committee of the ADMV , board member and juror of the IGNM and artistic director of the melos concerts organized by Herbert Graf .

Gravestone of Philipp Jarnach

In 1925 Jarnach completed the opera Doctor Faust by Busoni, who had recently died, which was recognized as one of his most important achievements. Despite a more recent version by Antony Beaumont from 1984, which cites Busoni's sketches that have since appeared, his version has not yet been suppressed.

In the period from 1927 to 1949 Jarnach worked as the head of the master class for composition at the Cologne University of Music . There he earned his reputation as an excellent teacher, while his artistic output declined. In 1950 Jarnach, who had meanwhile taken on German citizenship, moved to Hamburg. There he worked as director of the newly founded music academy until 1959 , and then as a composition teacher for 11 years.

Jarnach died in 1982 at the age of 90 in Börnsen near Hamburg, his grave is in the Ohlsdorf cemetery in Hamburg, grid square Bl 64 (east of Chapel 12).

Jarnach's son Franz (1943–2017) was a pianist and actor who was best known for the Dittsche program . His granddaughter Lucy Jarnach (* 1987 in Hamburg) followed in his footsteps as a pianist. The student of Alfred Brendel and Gerhard Oppitz is considered a specialist in the works of her grandfather.



Stage work

Vocal works

  • Three early songs . Texts: Albert Samain (1858–1900), S. Noisemont
1.  Ville morte (Samain) - 2.  Arpège (Samain) - 3.  La Forêt Antique (Noisemont)
1.  Path of life (Münchhausen) - 2.  To a rose (Hölderlin) - 3.  Jasmin (Münchhausen) - 4.  The compassionate girl (Falke)
1.  Song of the Sea (Rilke) - 2. From Des Knaben Wunderhorn - 3.  Return (George) - 4.  The sore knight (Heine) - 5.  From a stormy night (Rilke)

Orchestral works

  • Prometheus . foreplay
  • Winter Pictures (1915). suite
  • The Quiet Song (1915)
  • Ballad (1916)
  • Prologue to a jousting game (1917)
  • Sinfonia brevis (op.14) for large orchestra
  • Morning chime. Romancero II (op. 19; 1925) for large orchestra
  • Prelude I (op. 22; 1930) for large orchestra
  • Music with Mozart (op.25; 1935). Symphonic variations on the piano trio in E major KV 542 and the string quintet in D major KV 593
  • Concertino in E minor (op. 31; 1935) for 2 violins, cello and string orchestra (based on models by Giovanni Platti )
  • Music for the memory of the lonely (1952) for string quartet or string orchestra

Piano, organ and chamber music

  • Ballade (1911) for violin and piano
  • Sonata (op.8; 1913) for solo violin
  • Sonata in E major (op. 9; 1913) for violin and piano
  • String Quartet (1916)
  • String quintet (op.10; 1918)
  • Sonatina (1918) for violoncello and piano
  • Sonatina (op.12; 1919) for flute and piano
  • Sonata (op.13; 1922) for solo violin
  • String Quartet (op. 16; 1923)
  • Three piano pieces (op.17; 1924)
  • Romancero I (op.18; 1925). Sonatina for piano
  • Three rhapsodies (op.20; 1927). Chamber duets for violin and piano
  • Romancero III (op.21; 1928) for organ
  • Piano Sonata No. 1 (1925)
  • Amrum diary (op. 30; 1942). 3 pieces for piano
  • Three piano pieces (op. 32; 1948)
  • Sonatina on an old folk tune (op. 33; 1945?) For piano (on "Gott bhüte dich" by Leonhard Lechner )
  • Piano Sonata No. 2 (1952)
  • Kavatine (1960) for clarinet and piano

Student of Philipp Jarnach


  • Friedrich Blume (Hrsg.): The music in past and present (MGG). General encyclopedia of music in 17 volumes , Kassel / Stuttgart 1949–1986
  • Stefan Weiss: The music of Philipp Jarnach , Cologne 1996, ISBN 3-925366-53-9

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Raeburn / Alan Kendall (eds.): History of Music , Volume IV, Munich / Mainz 1993
  2. Brockhaus Riemann Music Lexicon 1995
  3. ^ Die Zeit, July 24, 1952 , accessed November 1, 2011
  4. Celebrity Graves
  5. Pianist Lucy Jarnach will play tomorrow at the Schumann Festival: Family history in tones , General-Anzeiger , May 17, 2015
  6. ^ Kulturkurier , accessed on November 1, 2011