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

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
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conception. The vast metaphysical and religious system created by him is analogous to Indian mysticism. It is symbolized in L'Acte Préalable, a cantata which was to serve as an introduction to the Mystery, but of which we possess the text only, and a few musical fragments."Principal works by Alexander Scriabin:
ORCHESTRA: Prometheus; Poem of Ecstasy; Symphony No. 1; Symphony in C- Minor; Third Symphony: The Divine Poem.
An entire library of piano-music.
About Alexander Scriabin:
Hull A. E. Scriabin; Sabaneyev Leonid. Modern Russian Composers; Swan Alfred J. Scriabin.
Important recordings of music by Alexander Scriabin:
VICTOR: Prometheus (Stokowski); Poem of Ecstasy (Stokowski).
BRUNSWICK: Prelude; Etude.

Bernhard Sekles 1872-

Bernhard Sekles contributes the following autobiographical sketch:

"I HAVE never considered my life sufficiently important to make an inventory of it. Now that you have the kindness to address an entire series of questions concerning my artistic career I am, therefore, compelled to rely entirely upon my memory which, with increasing age (or, as we prefer to say, with waning youth) has not become better.

"I was born in Frankfurt-on-the-Main on June 20, 1872, the son of a merchant. (The day of my death I cannot, at the present moment, tell you--with all the best intention in the world). It was the wish of my father that I become a merchant like himself. So, upon finishing school, I became an apprentice in a great machine factory and was there-- after a valuable speech given me by the head of the office--given over for a thoro initiation in the service of the God Hermes. I showed little talent to the priest of this deity, so that after three days I forsook his sanctified temple.

"My great interest in music, which has been intense since earliest child

hood, gave me the courage to announce to my parents that I wished to know nothing else except music--but that I wished to know well. The description of the domestic scene which followed need not, I believe, be elaborated upon. After passing successfully the comprehensive examinations given me by all the possible musical authorities available, I finally succeeded in convincing my father that I should be enrolled in Dr. Hoch's Conservatory in Frankfurt. There I studied piano with L. Uzielli and composition with B. Scholz, Ivan Knorr, and Humperdinck. With a much- coveted first prize in composition in my hand, I left the institution five years after I had entered it and, in 1893, accepted a post as theatre-conductor in Heidelberg, which I soon afterwards exchanged for a similar one in Mainz. I must have perceived that my love for the Theatre was, fundamentally, a platonic one, and so, in 1896, I heeded a call from the Hoch Conservatory--the institution to which I owe, in a high degree, my musical education--and accepted a position as teacher of theory.

"After the death of B. Scholz I was assigned to the departments of counter- point, form, instrumentation and composition. My artistic connection with talented pupils has given me some of my most beautiful memories. An entire group of talented musicians studied

____________________
Sekles: sĕk-lĕs

-245-

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