Goldmark Karl

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Goldmark Karl

Goldmark, Karl (actually, Károly), eminent Hungarian composer, uncle of Rubin Goldmark; b. Keszethely, May 18, 1830; d. Vienna, Jan. 2, 1915. He was born into a lower middle class Jewish family which numbered more than 20 children. After his family moved to Deutsch- Kreuz, he had a few violin lessons with a local chorister. His father then sent him to the Odenburg music school in 1842, and subsequently to Vienna in 1844, where he had violin lessons with Jansa until 1845. After briefly attending the Vienna technical school, he continued his studies at the Vienna Cons, with J. Böhm (violin) and G. Preyer (harmony) until it was closed in the wake of the Revolutionary events of 1848. He was a violinist in the theater orch. in Oldenburg, and later in Of en before returning to Vienna to play in the orchs. at the Josefsstadter and subsequently at the Carlstheater. During this time, he taught himself to play the piano and, during a sojourn in Budapest (1858-60), he studied composition on his own. From 1860 he made Vienna his home, where he established his reputation as a composer that year with his String Quartet. He also was active as a music critic, championing the cause of Wagner, and was active as conductor of the Eintracht Choral Soc. as well. On Dec. 26, 1865, the Vienna Phil, gave the first performance of his Sakuntala Overture, with notable success. His first opera, Die Konigen von Saba, was premiered to great acclaim at the Vienna Court Opera on March 10, 1875. In his works for the stage, Goldmark was predominantly influenced by Wagner. In most of his other scores, he reveals the influence of Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Spohr. His career is recounted in his Erinnerungen aus meinem Leben (Vienna, 1922; 2nd ed., 1929; Eng. tr., 1927, as Notes from the Life of a Viennese Composer).


DRAMATIC Opera : Die Königen von Saba (Vienna, March 10, 1875); Merlin (Vienna, Nov. 19, 1886; rev. 1904); Das Heimchen am Herd (Vienna, March 21, 1896); Die Kriegsgefangene (Vienna, Jan. 17, 1899); Götz von Berlichingen (Budapest, Dec. 16, 1902; rev. 1903 and 1910); Ein Wintermarchen (Vienna, Jan. 2, 1908). ORCH.: 8 overtures: Overture (c. 1854), Sakuntala (Vienna, Dec. 26, 1865), Penthesilea (1879), Im Friihling (1888), Der gefesselte Prometheus (1889), Sappho (1893), In Italien (1904), and Aus Jungendtagen (1913); 2 syms. (1858-60; 1887); 2 scherzos (c. 1863,1894); 2 symphonic poems: Landliche Hochzeit (Vienna, March 5, 1876) and Zrinyi (1903; rev. 1907); Violin Concerto (1877; Nuremberg, Oct. 28, 1878). CHAMBER: 3 piano trios (n.d.; 1858-59; 1880); Piano Quartet (n.d.); 3 string quintets (n.d., 1862, 1879); String Quartet (1860); 2 suites for Violin and Piano (1869,1893); Violin Sonata (1874); Cello Sonata (1892); Ballade for Violin and Piano (1913); Romanze for Violin and Piano (1913); Piano Quintet (publ. 1916); piano pieces. VOCAL : Choral works and songs.


O. Keller, C. G. (Leipzig, 1901); H. Schwarz, Ignaz Brtill und sein Freundeskreis: Erinnerungen an Brilll, G. und Brahms (Vienna, 1922); E. Kálmán, K. G. (Budapest, 1930); J. Klempá, K.G. (Budapest, 1930); L. Koch, K. G. (Budapest, 1930); M. Kaldor and P. Várnai, G. K. élete és müvészete (Budapest, 1956).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire