Goldschmidt Berthold

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Goldschmidt Berthold

Goldschmidt, Berthold, German-born English composer and conductor; b. Hamburg, Jan. 18, 1903. He studied at the Univ. of Hamburg (1918-22) and took courses in composition (with Schreker) and in conducting at the Berlin State Academy of Music (1922-24). He participated as a repetiteur and celesta player in the premiere of Berg’s opera Wozzeck in Berlin in 1925. After working as an asst. conductor at the Darmstadt Opera (1927-29), he was a conductor in Berlin with the Radio and the Stadtische Oper (from 1931). With the Nazi takeover in 1933, he was dismissed. In 1935 he fled to England and in 1947 became a naturalized British subject. He made numerous appearances as a guest conductor in England. In 1959 he conducted the first complete British performance of Mahler’s 3rd Sym. That same year he was consulted by Deryck Cooke on the latter’s performing version of Mahler’s 10th Sym. Gold-schmidt conducted Cooke’s first though incomplete reconstruction of the sym. in a London recording studio on Dec. 19, 1960. He conducted the first complete performance of the sym. at a London Promenade Concert on Aug. 13, 1964. Goldschmidt’s inability to secure a performance of his opera Beatrice Cenci led him to cease composing in 1958. It was nearly 25 years before he broke his silence with his Clarinet Quartet of 1983. By the end of the 1980s he had been “discovered,” and was composing again with renewed vigor. Several of his works were either lost during World War II (Passacalia for Orch. and Requiem for Chorus and Orch.) or were withdrawn by the composer (Sym. and Harp Concerto).


DRAMATIC Opera : Der gewaltige Hahnrei (1929-30; Mannheim, Feb. 14, 1932); Beatrice Cenci (1949; concert version, London, April 16, 1988; stage version, Magdeburg, Sept. 10, 1994). B a l l e t : Chronica for 2 Pianos (1938; orch. suite, 1958). ORCH.: Overture to Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors (1925); Ciaccona Sinfonica (1936); Greek Suite (1940-41); Sinfonietta (1945-46); Violin Concerto (1951-55; expansion of a Concertino, 1933); Cello Concerto (1952; expansion of a Concertino, 1933); Clarinet Concerto (1954); Intrada for Wind or Sym. Orch. (1985-86). CHAMBER: 4 string quartets (1926; 1936; 1988-89; 1992); Clarinet Quartet (1983); Piano Trio (1985); Retrospective, string trio (1991); Fantasy for Oboe, Cello, and Harp (1991); Capriccio for Violin (1992). Piano : 2 sonatas (1921, not extant; 1926); Variations on a Palestine Shepherd’s Song (1934); Scherzo and From the Ballet, 2 pieces (1957-58). VOCAL: Zwei Betrachtungen for Chamber Chorus, Speaker, Piano, and Percussion (1931; renamed Letzte Kapitel, 1984); Mediterranean Songs for Voice and Orch. (1958); choruses; solo songs.


S. Hilger and W. Jacobs, eds., B. G. (Bonn, 1993).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Goldschmidt Berthold

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