Composers of Today: A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
Klenau has been equally successful in writing for orchestra, piano or stage. His exquisite morsels for the piano Stimmungen, inspired Leigh Henry to write: "There is an innate pathos even in their sunniest phrases. There is that latent unrest--in moods and the ever-shifting tonal color expressing these--which is typical of the Danish mentality--that sense of impatience with even the vividest actual impressions because these are but the signs of a sensed spiritual vision beyond. So intimately, delicately, not theatrically, Klenau is to some extent a tragic poet, tragic in that deeper sense of spiritual urge, impatient with the tangible. . . . Not that this implies heaviness. There is the tragedy of the jest and the young smile against the background of Life and Destiny. Klenau can be light . . . but there is always the little catch of the breath in his laughter."Most recently, Klenau attracted attention with his opera Michael Kohlhass. "Musically," commented Frank Patterson, "the work is impressive and effective. This is not one of those operas where the music is an empty, colorless accompaniment to the drama, and of no individual worth. The music is, on the contrary, quite as important as the play, colorful, forceful, picturesque, at times tender and beautiful. It is highly modern, effectively discordant in spots and skilfully orchestrated."Summarizing Paul von Klenau's style, Edwin Evans says: "Apart from a feeling for harmonic warmth, the most salient attributes of Klenau's music are its lyrical quality and its sensitiveness to mood." Paul von Klenau, who is living today in Copenhagen, is generally recognized as Denmark's leading composer.Principal works by Paul von Klenau:
OPERAS : Sulamith; Kjartan und Gudrun; Michael Kohlhass; Die Lästerschule.
BALLET : Klein Idas Blumen.
ORCHESTRA : Three Symphonies; Inferno; Bank Holiday; etc.
CHORAL : Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Kornets Rilke; Gespräche mit dem Tod; Hiob.
CHAMBER MUSIC : String Quartet in E- Minor.
Piano pieces, etc.

About Paul von Klenau:

Musical Standard 28:119 October 9, 1926; Sackbut 5:219 March 1925.


Lyof Knipper 1898-

LYOF CONSTANTOVICH KNIPPER, who belongs to the extreme left-wing of contemporary Russian composers, was born at Tiflis on December 16, 1898. His aunt is the famous actress of the Moscow Art Theatre, Olga Knipper-Tchekova. His musical education is half-Russian and half-European, a fact which explains the unusual refinement of his musical style. After acquiring the rudiments of his art in Russia, Knipper went to Berlin where the major share of his musical studies was pursued under Philip Jarnach. Completing his studies he served in the Red Army Corps in the Far East. He returned to Moscow, and there in 1924 his works first reached performance, inspiring considerable dissension and debate.

Knipper has composed very little, but his works are of a sufficient strength to have placed him among the more interesting of younger Russian composers. "The work of this young musician," comments Leonid Sabaneyev, "is mainly influenced by Stravinsky, Hindemith and

____________________
Lyof Knipper: lĕ'ŭf knĭp'pĕr

-141-

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