|ORCHESTRA : Two symphonies; Isle of the Dead; four piano concertos; Rhapsody On a Theme of Paganini (for piano and orchestra).|
|CHAMBER MUSIC : Elegiac Trio; Sonata for Violoncello and Piano.|
|CHORAL : Six Choruses for Female Voices; Fate; The Bells.|
|OPERA : Aleko; Francesca da Rimini. Pieces for piano; songs, etc.|
|VICTOR : Second Piano Concerto ( Rachmaninoff-Stokowski); Third Piano Concerto ( Horowitz); Isle of the Dead; Prelude in C-sharp Minor; Prelude in G-Minor ( Horowitz).|
|BRUNSWICK : Symphony in E-Minor ( Sokoloff).|
KAROL RATHAUS, one of the more prominent of younger Austrian modernists, was born in Tarnopol, Poland, on September 16, 1895. He is a naturalized Austrian citizen. His grandfather was a professional musician, and his father was a profound music-lover-- and so, his heritage predestined him for a musical career. As a boy he was brought to Vienna where he first began his musical studies. His musical training was completed under Franz Schreker in Vienna and Berlin, when he was brought to modernism; Schreker influenced Rathaus's entire musical outlook.
At the present time, Rathaus divides his time, in Berlin, between the teaching of the piano and composition.
He came into prominence as a composer after the war, when his orchestral works were introduced in Berlin by such conductors as Erich Kleiber (Tanzstücke) and Fürtwängler (Overtüre), and his first opera, Der Letzte Pierrot, was presented at the Berlin State Opera in 1927. Revealing a highly individual style, pungent with modernism, it was not long before Rathaus acquired an enviable reputation as an original voice in modern music. He has produced compositions for orchestra, chorus, the stage and chamber-groups, and his touch has proved effective in all these various forms of composition.
" Rathaus," writes Lopatnikoff, "has proved himself an individualist in all fields of his art. In Germany, his piano and chamber-music and his orchestral works are equally appreciated. His style cannot be called striking, his peculiarities are not obvious; and yet his individuality, setting him apart from average German composition, is indubitable. His typical mode of expression has a brooding and analytical quality. Altho his early work lacks richness, altho the ideas of his first piano pieces are more forced than forceful, his recent music has a vitality of rhythm which happily counterbalances the somewhat labored method of expression which is often too heavily overladen with chords. His best and most mature achievement is the Suite for Violin and Chamber Orchestra."
Rathaus is at his maturest in his latest work, an opera entitled Fremde Erde-- an operatic interpretation of a modern American city--which was presented with enormous success at the Berlin State Opera on November 28, 1931. Here his style, which has been developing during the past decade, resolves itself into its final crystallization. Geraldine de Courcy has the following to say concerning Rathaus's latest work: "The music had a sombre quality--a prolonged melancholy that rarely lifted for more than a moment, even at dramatic climaxes. The multiple tonality, the occasional outbursts of chromaticism, and the vivifying qualities of incidental orchestral complexities failed to enliven a texture dominated by an interrupted melodic line, the crepuscular note of____________________
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Publication information: 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: 205.