Fragments Psychologiques the amazingly vivid intensity of which, to my
mind, is unsurpassed by any contemporary piano music. . . . The work, ultramodern tho it be, surely expresses
the elemental forces of our nature with
more real truth than many of the milk
and water abstractions of the old-time
classic writers."What is the nature of Berners' unique
and unorthodox style? A. Eaglefield
Hull writes: "His style is sometimes
subtly complex, at others, daringly outspoken. He has chosen unusual paths
in music. He ranges from caustic cynicism to witty musical parody, from
mocking lyricism to amazing caricature,
from pleasant fooling to biting sarcasm." Berners' best works include his Valses
Bourgeoises for piano, performed at the Salzburg Festival of 1923; his Fantaisie
Espagnol for orchestra; and his one-act
opera, Le Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement,
on the comedy by Prosper Mérimée."The whole work," was the criticism
of G. Jean-Aubry concerning Le Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement upon its first
performance in Paris in 1924, "is included between the rise and fall of the
curtain, and it is carefully carried on
without any emphasis or any unnecessary complaisance towards the audience.
The musical style of the work adapts
with true harmony and perfect ease to
each of the characters who are all so
different to their nature spirits. . . . It
partakes in turn of vivacity, cunning,
compunction and nobility, but these
moods are arranged in such manner as
to suggest congruous feelings, and the
composer very cleverly avoided producing a work consisting of an assemblage
of tiny twinkling bits."In 1918, the composer succeeded to
the barony of Berners, which dates from 1455.Principal works by Lord Berners:
|STAGE Music: Le Carrosse du Saint-
|ORCHESTRA:Three Pieces; Fantaisie Espagnol; Fugue.|
|PIANO: Three Funeral Marches; Fragments Psychologiques; Valses Bourgeoises.|
|SONGS: Trois Chansons; Three Chanties; Lieder Album.|
About Lord Berners:
Berners G. H.T-W. Since Childhood; Holbrooke Josef C. Contemporary British Composers.
Chesterian n.s. 3:65December 1919; Chesterian n.s. 32:244January 1923; Musical
Times 69:9January 1, 1920.
Important recordings of music by Lord Berners:
DECCA: Orchestral Fugue.
Julius Bittner 1874-
JULIUS BITTNER was born in Vienna on April 9, 1874. His early
education consisted of law, which he
pursued with such zeal and talent that
he soon became an eminently successful
lawyer. Law, however, soon yielded its
place to music in Bittner's interest.
Always sensitive to the beautiful in
music, Bittner discovered as he grew
older that the need to express himself
thru tones became more and more pressing. What he did, he always did conscientiously, and--far from feeling
burdened by his success as a lawyer--
he began to pursue the study of music
with great earnestness under Josef Labor and Bruno Walter. His talent became manifest from the very first. Such
early works as Tänze aus Österreich, for
piano, revealed a fine imagination and a
deep musical instinct. With the première
of his first opera at Frankfurt, in 1907
--Die Rote Gret--there could no longer
be a doubt as to his ability as a
composer. This opera was marked, as H. C. Colles informs us, by "qualities of
accomplished musicianship and a strong
dramatic sense, relieved by a sense of
humor." Its success was sufficiently
encouraging to convince Bittner that he
must sacrifice his successful practise for
He has since proved the wisdom of
his decision by becoming an equally
successful composer. With a series of
operas--including Der Bergsee and Das
Rosengärtlein--he proved that his was
one of the most tasteful musical pens of Vienna. "He has an excellent, witty
and enthusiastic pen," is the opinion of Paul Stefan. "His music is both popular and original in the best sense. He
is the greatest hope for the German
popular opera of our time."____________________
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Composers of Today:A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations.
Contributors: David Ewen - Editor, David Ewen - Compiler.
Publisher: H. W. Wilson.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1934.
Page number: 23.
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