d’Albert, Eugen (actually, Eugène FrancisCharles)

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d’Albert, Eugen (actually, Eugène FrancisCharles)

d’Albert, Eugen (actually, Eugène FrancisCharles), prominent Scottish-born German pianist, conductor, and composer of English-French descent; b. Glasgow, April 10, 1864; d. Riga, March 3, 1932. He began training with his father, Charles Louis Napoléon d’Albert (b. Nienstetten, near Hamburg, Feb. 25, 1809; d. London, May 26, 1886), and at the age of 10 entered London’s National Training School and studied piano with Pauer and theory with Stainer, Prout, and Sullivan. After appearances at London’s Popular Concerts, he made his debut as soloist in the Schumann Concerto in London on Feb. 5, 1881. On Oct. 24, 1881, he was soloist in his own Piano Concerto under Richter in London and won extraordinary acclaim. After further training in Vienna and with Liszt, who hailed him as the young Tausig, he pursued a highly successful career as a pianist. In addition to his brilliant performances of Liszt, he was greatly admired for his Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. In 1895 he became conductor of the Weimar Opera. From 1907 he served as director of the Berlin Hochschule für Musik. During World War I, he repudiated his English heritage, became a naturalized German citizen, and changed his first name to Eugen. His first wife (1892–95) was (Maria) Teresa Carreño; he subsequently married five more times. As a composer, d’Albert’s output reflects German and Italian influences. Of his major works, he found some success with the operas Die Abreise (Frankfurt am Main, Oct. 20, 1898), Tiefland (Prague, Nov. 15, 1903), and Flauto solo (Prague, Nov. 12, 1905). His character pieces for piano also were in vogue for a time.


DRAMATIC: Opera: Der Rubin (Karlsruhe, Oct. 12, 1893); Ghismonda (Dresden, Nov. 28, 1895); Gernot (Mannheim, April 11, 1897); Die Arbreise (Frankfurt am Main, Oct. 20, 1898); Kain (Berlin, Feb. 17, 1900); Der Improvisator (Berlin, Feb. 20, 1902); Tiefland (Prague, Nov. 15, 1903); Flauto solo (Prague, Nov. 12, 1905); Tragaldabas or Der geborgte Ehemann (Hamburg, Dec. 3, 1907); Izeÿl (Hamburg, Nov. 6, 1909); Die verschenkte Frau (Vienna, Feb. 6, 1912); Liebesketten (Vienna, Nov. 12, 1912); Die toten Augen (Dresden, March 5, 1916); Der Stier von Olivera (Leipzig, March 10, 1918); Revolutionshochzeit (Leipzig, Oct. 26, 1919); Scirocco (Darmstadt, May 18, 1921); Mareike von Nymwegen (Hamburg, Oct. 31, 1923); Der Golem (Frankfurt am Main, Nov. 14, 1926); Die schwarze Orchidee (Leipzig, Dec. 1, 1928); Mister Wu (unfinished; completed by L. Blech; Dresden, Sept. 29, 1932). ORCH.: 2 piano concertos (1884, 1893); Sym. (1886); Overture to Grillparzer: Esther (1888); Cello Concerto (1899); Aschenputtel, suite (1924); Symphonic Prelude to Tiefland (1924). CHAMBER: 2 string quartets (1887, 1893); numerous piano pieces, including a Suite (1883) and a Sonata (1893). VOCAL: Der Mensch und das Leben for Chorus (1893); Seejung-frâulein for Voice and Orch. (1897); Wie wir die Natur erleben for Soprano or Tenor and Orch. (1903); 2 Lieder for Soprano or Tenor and Orch. (1904); Mittelalterliche Venushymne for Tenor, Men’s Chorus, and Orch. (1904); An den Genius von Deutschland for Solo Voices and Chorus (1904); 58 lieder for Voice and Piano.


W. Raupp, D. d’A.: Ein Künstler-und Menschenschicksal (Leipzig, 1930); H. Heisig, “D’.A.s Opernschaffen” (diss., Univ. of Leipzig, 1942).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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d’Albert, Eugen (actually, Eugène FrancisCharles)

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