Othmar Schoeck: Life and Works

Othmar Schoeck: Life and Works

by Chris Walton


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The work of the late-Romantic Swiss composer Othmar Schoeck (1886-1957) has in recent years enjoyed a surge of interest. His 300 songs with piano accompaniment are now all on CD, as are his orchestral song cycles and five of his eight stage works. Yet despite an impressive discography featuring names such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Lucia Popp and Ian Bostridge, no biographical study of Schoeck has ever been available in English. Chris Walton, author of Richard Wagner in Zurich: The Muse of Place, charts the turbulent course of Schoeck's life and career with care and candor, from a rampant youth to midlife monogamy and an old age ravaged by fears of neglect. He traces Schoeck's relationships to musicians such as Max Reger, Ferruccio Busoni, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Paul Hindemith, and Igor Stravinsky, and to writers Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, and James Joyce. New light is also shed on Schoeck's uneasy relationship with Nazi Germany and its culmination, for him, in public humiliation and private catastrophe. As an accompanist, Schoeck was an arch-Romantic master of rubato; as a conductor, he was a fervent champion of the new; and in his compositions, he moved from late-Romanticism through a modernist vortex to emerge in full mastery of an individual musical language both sensuous and stringent. In this thorough new biography, Walton places Schoeck the man and the artist squarely in the context of his time. Chris Walton is Extraordinary Professor at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and Managing Director of the Orchestre Symphonique Bienne in Switzerland. He is the recipient of the 2010 Max Geilinger Prize honoring exemplary contributions to the literary and cultural relationship between Switzerland and the English-speaking world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580463003
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 10/16/2009
Series: Eastman Studies in Music Series
Pages: 457
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Schoeck and the Swiss
Childhood and Youth
Wolf amidst the Sheep
Leipzig, Munich, and an Awful Little Moustache
Back in the Fold
Hermann Hesse, via the Dentist
Look Back in Melancholy
Chamber Music
The Art of Counterpoint
The Picture on the Wall
Touch of Venus
Silent Bronze
Sucking Sweet Folly
Self Portrait, with Sandwich
Goodbye to Geneva
The Bee in the Rose
Raging Queen
Storms in the Pigeon Loft
Into the Vortex
Wrong-Note Rag
Variations and Fugue on an Age-Old Theme
Put to the Wheel
Lost in the Stars
Whores and Madonnas
". . . he can write music all right . . ."
Tea with (Ms.) Hitler
Aryanizing Music
Arms and the Man
Castles in the Air
Goering's Bullshit
The People at Home
The Reckoning
Transfigured Summer Nights
Silent Lights
Fair Measure
Rather Nice Horn
Sleepless in Wollishofen
Echoes and Elegies
Running on Empty
Othmar Schoeck: Concise Work Catalogue and Discography

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