Krein, Alexander (Abramovich)

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Krein, Alexander (Abramovich)

Krein, Alexander (Abramovich), Russian composer, brother of Grigori (Abramovich) Krein and uncle of Julian (Grigorievich) Krein; b. Nizhny-Novgorod, Oct. 20, 1883; d. Staraya Ruza, near Moscow, April 21, 1951. At the age of 13, he entered the Moscow Cons, and studied cello. He also studied composition privately with Nikolayev and Yavorsky. He taught at the People’s Cons, in Moscow (1912–17). After the Revolution, he worked in the music division of the Commissariat of Education and in the Ethnographic Dept. From 1923 he was associated with the productions of the Jewish Drama Theater in Moscow, and wrote music for many Jewish plays. Together with Gnessin, he was a leader of the National Jewish movement in Russia. In general, his style was influenced by Scriabin and Debussy, but he made considerable use of authentic Hebrew material.


dramatic: Opera: Zagmuk, on a revolutionary subject based on an ancient Babylonian tale (Moscow, May 29, 1930); Daughter of the People (1946). Ballet: Lauren-cie, after Lope de Vega (1938). Incidental music to plays, including The Eternal One (1923), Sabbati Zewi (1924), Ghetto (1924), The People (1925), and The Doctor (1925). orch.:Elegy (1914); The Rose and the Cross (1917–21); 2 syms. (1922-25; 1946); Salome (1923); suites. chamber: String Quartet; Jewish Sketches for Clarinet and String Quartet; Elegiac Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano; Piano Sonata. vocal:Kaddish for Tenor, Chorus, and Orch. (1921); U.S.S.R., Shock Brigade of the World Proletariat for Narrator, Chorus, and Orch. (1925); Threnody in Memory of Lenin for Chorus and Orch. (1925); vocalises; songs.


L. Sabaneyev, A. K. (Moscow, 1928; in Russian and German); J. Krein and N. Rogozhina, A. K. (Moscow, 1964).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire