Karg-Elert (real name, Karg), Sigfrid

views updated

Karg-Elert (real name, Karg), Sigfrid

Karg-Elert (real name, Karg), Sigfrid, distinguished German organist, pedagogue, and composer; b. Oberndorf am Neckar, Nov. 21, 1877; d. Leipzig, April 9, 1933. (His real name, which means “avaricious” sounded unattractive to his audiences, so he changed it to Karg-Elert.) He was a chorister at St. John in Leipzig, where he received instruction in music from the cantor Rothig. He studied with Homeyer, Jadassohn, Reinecke, and Teichmüller at the Leipzig Cons.; in 1919, joined its faculty. He gave organ recitals, becoming known as a great virtuoso; he also played the Kunstharmonium, for which he wrote many compositions. In 1931-32 he made a concert tour of the U.S. As a composer, he developed a brilliant style, inspired by the music of the Baroque, but he embellished this austere and ornamental idiom with impressionistic devices; the result was an ingratiating type of music with an aura of originality. He publ. Akustische Ton-, Klang-, und Funktionsbestimmung (1930) and Polaristiche Klang-und Tonalitätslehre (1931). In 1984 the Karg-Elert-Gesellschaft was organized in Heidelberg.


kunstharmonium: Sets of pieces: Skizzen (1903); Aquarellen (1906); Miniaturen (1908); Intarsien (1911); Impressions (1914); Idyllen (1915); Innere Stimmen (1918). fundamental technical works:Die Kunst des Registrierens; Die ersten grundlegenden Studien; Hohe Schule des Legatospiels; Die Harmoniumtechnik (Gradus ad Parnassum); Theoretische-praktische Elementarschule. Organ: 66 chorale improvisations (1908–10); 20 chorale preludes and postludes (1912); 10 Poetic Tone Pictures; 3 Pastels, Cathedral Windows (on Gregorian themes). other: Wind Quintet; 2 clarinet sonatas; Sonata for Solo Flute; Trio bucolico for Violin, Flute, and Piano; lieder.


P. Schenk, S. K.-E. (Berlin, 1927); H. Avril, S. K.- E.: Kompositions-verzeichnis mit einer monographischen Skizze (Berlin, 1928); G. Sceats, The Organ Works of K.-E. (Orpington, 1940; rev. ed., London, 1950); W. Kwasnik, S. K.-E.: Sein Leben und Werk in Heutiger Sicht (Westerwald, 1971); S. Gerlach, S. K.-E.: Verzeichnis sämtlicher Werke (Frankfurt am Main, 1984); G. Hartmann, Die Orgelwerke von S. K.-E. (Bonn, 1985); A. Wollinger, Die Flötenkompositionen von S. K.-E. (1877–1933) (Frankfurt am Main, 1991).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

About this article

Karg-Elert (real name, Karg), Sigfrid

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article