Wilhelm Kienzl

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Wilhelm Kienzl

Wilhelm Kienzl (born January 17, 1857 in Waizenkirchen , Upper Austria , † October 3, 1941 in Vienna ) was an Austrian composer .


Signature and sheet music sample by Wilhelm Kienzl
His birthplace in Waizenkirchen
Memorial plaque on his home in Vienna, Schreygasse 6
Andre Roder : Grave of honor in the Vienna Central Cemetery

Wilhelm Kienzl moved with his family to Graz in 1860 , where he received violin lessons from Ignaz Uhl and piano lessons from Johann Buwa and, from 1872, from Chopin's pupil Louis Stanislaus Mortier de Fontaine . From 1874 he studied composition with WA Rémy , musical aesthetics with Eduard Hanslick and music history with Friedrich von Hausegger in Vienna . He continued his studies in Prague in 1876 with Josef Krejčí , then in Leipzig in 1877 and briefly with Franz Liszt in Weimar . It was during these years that his visits to the Bayreuth Festival began , and he remained an admirer of Richard Wagner's music throughout his life . In 1873, Kienzl and Dr. Friedrich von Hausegger and Friedrich Hofmann founded the "Grazer Richard Wagner Society" (today: "Austrian Richard Wagner Society, Graz headquarters").

After receiving his doctorate, he traveled all over Europe as a pianist and conductor from 1879 . In 1883 he became director of the Deutsche Oper in Amsterdam , but soon returned to Graz, where in 1886 he took over the management of the Styrian Music Association and duties at the Conservatory. For the season 1890-91 he was hired by Bernhard Pollini as Kapellmeister at the Stadt-Theater in Hamburg , but he was dismissed in January 1891 because the reviews about him were very bad (his successor was Gustav Mahler), and soon afterwards too in Munich . In 1894 he wrote his third and most famous opera The Evangelimann , the success of which he could not repeat with Don Quixote (1897). Only Der Kuhreigen - premiered on November 23, 1911 in the Vienna Volksoper - was reenacted relatively often.

In 1917 Kienzl moved to Vienna. His first wife, the Wagner singer Lili Hoke, died in Bad Aussee in 1919 and was buried in the local cemetery. In 1921 he married Henny Bauer , the librettist of his last three operas.

In 1920 he composed the melody for one of Dr. Karl Renner wrote the poem “ German Austria, you marvelous land ”, which was the unofficial national anthem of the First Austrian Republic until 1929 .

Under the influence of modern music trends, he no longer wrote any major works from 1926 on and gave up composing entirely due to illness in 1936. In 1937 he received the Ring of Honor of the City of Vienna .

He published his autobiography “Meine Lebenswanderung” in 1926 in Stuttgart.

Alongside Engelbert Humperdinck and Siegfried Wagner , the composers of fairy tale operas, Wilhelm Kienzl is the most important opera creator of the romantic Wagnerian successor. Although the Evangelimann , known for the aria Blessed are those who suffer persecution , already contains elements of the emerging verism , Kienzl's strengths lie more in popular scenes. In the last few years his extensive songwriting has also received attention again.

He rests in a grave of honor in the Vienna Central Cemetery (group 32 C, number 20). Named after him are u. a. the Wilhelm-Kienzl-Park in Vienna-Leopoldstadt, the Wilhelm Kienzl Gassen in Graz, Seiersberg and Leibnitz, the Dr. Wilhelm-Kienzl-Strasse in Vöcklabruck. Wilhelm Kienzl museums are located in Paudorf and in the Kienzl birthplace in Waizenkirchen. The Austrian Post issued special postage stamps on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his death (1951) and his 150th birthday (2007).

Wilhelm Kienzl was a member of the Academic Singing Society Graz (today Academic Singing Society "Gothia" zu Graz).



  • Urvasi op.20 (1884; WP 1886)
  • Heilmar the Fool Op. 40 (1891; WP 1892)
  • The Evangelimann op.45 (1894; WP 1895)
  • Don Quixote op.50 (1897; WP 1898)
  • In Knecht Ruprecht's workshop . Christmas fairy tale op.75 (1907)
  • Der Kuhreigen op.85 (1911)
  • The Testament op.90 (1916)
  • Hassan the enthusiast op.100 (1921; premier 1925)
  • Sanctissimum . Melodramatic Allegory op.102 (1922: WP 1925)
  • Hans Kipfel . Singspiel op.110 (1926)


  • The Brautfahrt Op. 9
  • 2 melodramas op.97
  • The Virgin and the Nun op.98
  • A Marian ballad by François Villon op.119

Orchestral works:

  • Evening moods for string orchestra and harp op.53 (originally for piano 4hd.)
  • Symphonic variations on the Strasbourg member from the opera Der Kuhreigen op.109a (piano version as op.109b)

Chamber music:

  • 3 fantasy pieces for violin and piano op.7
  • Piano trio in F minor op.13
  • String Quartet No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 22
  • String Quartet No. 2 in C minor, Op. 99
  • String Quartet No. 3 in E major, Op. 113
  • Forest moods for 4 horns op.108

Piano works:

  • Sketches op.3
  • Kahn scene Op. 5
  • Colorful Dances op.10
  • From old fairy tales op.12
  • From my diary op.15
  • 30 dance tunes op.21 (1881)
  • Scherzo in A minor op.29
  • Children love and life , Op. 30
  • Romantic leaves op.34
  • Dance images op. 41
  • Home! op.43
  • Dense travel op. 46
  • Carneval op.51
  • Pictures from the life of the people , Op. 52
  • New piano pieces op.62
  • O beautiful youth days! op. 80
  • 20 pieces in country form op.95


  • 2 songs op.1
  • 4 songs op.2
  • 2 poems (A. Grün) op.4
  • 9 songs in folk tone op.6
  • 8 songs of love op.8 (1877)
  • Love spring . Cycle (F. Rückert) op.11
  • Sweet renouncement . Cycle op.16
  • Loved-forget . Cycle op.18
  • 3 album leaves op.24
  • 3 songs op.25
  • Farewell op.27
  • Curious story , Op. 28
  • 3 folk songs op.31
  • 3 songs op.32
  • Spring songs op.33
  • 2 songs from the east op.35
  • 2 songs each op.37, op.38, op.39, op.42
  • 4 songs op.44 (1894)
  • 4 Japanese songs op.47
  • Bonaparte's Homecoming, op.48 (1896)
  • Woodruff op.49
  • 6 songs op.55
  • Wilted roses op. 56
  • 4 popular chants op.57
  • 4 songs op.61
  • Pamphilic Shepherd Songs, 3 songs, op.66
  • 3 songs op.69a
  • Modern poetry op.71
  • From Uncle's folder of songs op.73 (1906)
  • Christmas op.74
  • 5 songs op.81
  • 5 songs op.82
  • A Christmas carol op.83
  • 3 duets op.84
  • Nachsommerblüten op. 87
  • The Song of World War op.91
  • 7 songs op.94
  • From the people's Wunderhorn op. 96 (1919)
  • 7 songs op.106 (1926)
  • 6 songs of happiness op.111
  • 6 songs op.114 (1930)
  • 7 songs op.120
  • 3 songs op.121
  • 4 songs op.123

Choral works:

  • 2 songs op.14
  • 3 pieces for male choir op.17
  • 3 songs for female choir op.19
  • 5 dance tunes for women's choir op. 21b
  • Landsknechtlied for male choir and orchestra op.23
  • For the wedding op.26
  • 3 songs for male choir op.36
  • 3 pieces for male choir op.54
  • Five popular songs for female choir op.58
  • 6 popular songs op.59
  • 6 popular male choirs op.60
  • 5 songs for female voices and harp or piano op.63
  • Wake up, my people! for male choir and orchestra op.64
  • The folk song for male choir op.65
  • Carnival for tenor, baritone, bass, male choir and orchestra op.67
  • 4 songs for male choir op.68
  • 6 songs for male choir op.72
  • 8 songs for women's choir op.76
  • 3 pieces for male choir op.78
  • 2 historical pictures for male choir and orchestra op.79
  • Deutsche Ritterlieder for male choir and orchestra op.86
  • Das Lied vom Kaiser Arnulf for male choir and orchestra op.88
  • 3 pieces for male choir op.89
  • In the thunder of battle for male choir op.92
  • Ostara for male choir and orchestra op. 93
  • German Austria . National Anthem op.101 (1918)
  • 5 pieces for male choir op.103
  • Workers' song for male choir op.104
  • 4 songs for male choir op.105
  • 2 pieces for male choir op.107
  • 5 songs for male choir op.112
  • Saving hymn for mixed choir and orchestra op.115
  • Chor der Toten for mixed choir and orchestra op.118


Web links

Commons : Wilhelm Kienzl  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Entry on the 10th anniversary of Dr. Wilhelm Kienzl in the Austria Forum  (as postage stamp depiction)
  2. Entry on the 150th birthday of Wilhelm Kienzl in the Austria Forum  (as a stamp illustration)
  3. Catholic color students in Austria 1933-1983, Ed. Wiener Stadtverband des MKV. P. 12