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Matthus, Siegfried

Matthus, Siegfried

Matthus, Siegfried , esteemed German composer; b. Mallenuppen, April 13, 1934. He was a composition student of Wagner- Régeny at the Deutsche Hochschule für Musik (1952–58) before attending the master class of Eisler at the Akademie der Künste (1958–60) in East Berlin. From 1964 he was active as a composer and dramaturgical advisor for contemporary music at the Komische Oper in East Berlin. In 1985 he was honored with the title of Prof. In 1991 he became artistic director of the Rheinsberg Chamber Opera. Matthus was made a member of the Akademie der Künste in East Berlin in 1969, of the Akademie der Künste in West Berlin in 1976, and of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste in Munich in 1978. In 1996 he was awarded the prize of the Berlin Internationale Theaterinstitut. First and foremost, Matthus is a man of the theater. His fascination for opera has set his course as a composer, while also influencing his non-dramatic scores as well. He has effectively absorbed various avant-garde techniques and styles to create works of pronounced individuality and distinction.


dramatic:Lazarillo vom Tormes, opera (1960–63; Karl-Marx-Stadt, May 26, 1964); Der letzte Schuss, opera (1966–67; Berlin, Nov. 5, 1967); Match, ballet (1969; Berlin, May 1971); Noch ein Löffel Gift, Liebling?, comic “criminal opera” (1971; Berlin, April 16, 1972); Omphale, opera (1972–74; Weimar, Sept. 7, 1976); Alptraum einer Ballerina, ballet (1973); Mario und der Zauberer, ballet (1974); Judith, opera (1982–84; Berlin, Sept. 28, 1985); Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke, operatic vision (1983–84; Dresden, Feb. 16, 1985); Graf Mirabeau, opera (1987–88; Berlin, Karlsruhe, and Essen, July 14-15, 1989); Farinelli oder Die Macht des Gesanges, opera (1996–97; Karlsruhe, Feb. 28, 1998); Crown Prince Friedrich, opera (Rheinsberg, Dec. 30, 1999). orch.: Kleines Orchesterkonzert (1963; Dresden, Feb. 26, 1964); Inventionen (1964; Erfurt, Feb. 2, 1967); Tua res agitur (Berlin, Dec. 1965); Violin Concerto (1968; Dresden, Feb. 24, 1969); 2 syms.: No. 1, Dresdner Sinfonie (Dresden, Oct. 10, 1969) and No. 2 (1975–76; Berlin, Oct. 7, 1976); Piano Concerto (1970; Berlin, Feb. 18, 1971); Orchesterserenade (Leipzig, Nov. 26, 1974); Werther (1975; Potsdam, Sept. 1977); Cello Concerto (1975; Dresden, Sept. 9, 1976); Drei Sommerbilder (1975); Responso, concerto for Orch. (Dresden, Oct. 27, 1977); Visionen for Strings (Dresden, June 1978); Flute Concerto (1978; Leipzig, Jan. 11, 1979); Chamber Concerto for Flute, Harpsichord, and Strings (1980; Berlin, Sept. 12, 1981; based on the Flute Concerto); Concerto for Trumpet, Timpani, and Orch. (1982; Berlin, Jan. 18, 1983); Der Wald, timpani concerto (1984; Dresden, June 6, 1985); Divertimento (Salzburg, Aug. 14, 1985); Oboe Concerto (Swansea, Nov. 22, 1985); Die Windsbraut, concerto for Orch. (1985; Munich, June 6, 1986); Nächtliche Szene im Park (1987; Krefeld, April 21, 1988); Der See, harp concerto (Dresden, Nov. 1, 1989); Concerto for 3 Trumpets and Strings, O namenlose Freude (1989–90; Kiel, July 7, 1990); Piano Concerto, after Brahms’s Piano Quartet, op.25 (1992; Berlin, June 1, 1994); Manhattan Concerto (1993–94; N.Y., May 16, 1994); Horn Concerto (1994; Dresden, June 9, 1995); Blow Out for Organ and Orch. (1995; Dresden, May 4, 1996); Das Land Phantásien (1995–96; Frankfurt an der Oder, Sept. 6, 1996); Ariadne (1997–98; Berlin, Oct. 1998); Double Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orch. (Dresden, Dec. 18, 1998); Capriccio “Kraft Variationen” for Violin and Orch., after Paganini (1999); Furien-Furioso (1999). chamber: Sonata for Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Piano, and Timpani (1968); Musik for Oboes and Piano (1968); Octet for Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass (1970; Berlin, Oct. 28, 1971); String Quartet (1971; Berlin, Oct. 14, 1973); Trio for Flute, Viola, and Harp (1972); Octet for Flute, Oboe, Percussion, Piano, and String Quartet (1976); Nocturno for Flute (1977); Adagio und Passacaglia for Cello and Double Bass (1982; Berlin, April 18, 1984); Impromptu for Flute (1984); Andante for Oboe and Harp (1986); “Ich komm einem Weg”, octet for Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, and String Quartet (Berlin, Oct. 19, 1989); Unruhige Zeit, trio for Baryton, Viola, and Cello (1990; Berlin, Feb. 24, 1991); Die Sonne sinkt for Speaking Voice and String Quartet, after Nietzsche (Cologne, Dec. 30, 1994); Windspiele for Violin, Viola, and Cello (Berlin, Oct. 15, 1995); Lichte Spiele for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano (Berlin, Oct. 26, 1996); Das Mädchen und der Tod for 2 Violins, Viola, and Cello (1996; Berlin, Feb. 18, 1997). piano:Variationen (1957). vocal:Liebeslieder fünfundvierzig for Soprano, Alto, and Chorus (1960); Die Zeit hält den Atem an for Alto and Chorus (1964); Kammermusik 65 for Alto, Women’s Voices, and Instrumental Ensemble (1965); Lieder for High Voice and Piano (1965–69); Galilei for Voice, 5 Instruments, and Tape (1966); Höflichkeit for Voice and Piano (1967); Kantate von den Beiden for Soprano, Baritone, Speaker, and Orch. (1969); Musica et vinum for Chorus (1969); Wir zwei for Chorus (1970); Wie die Saiten der Gitarre for Children’s or Women’s Chorus (1970); Das Jahr Zweitausend naht for Chorus (1970); Dorf for High Voice and Piano (1971); Vokalsinfonie for Soprano, Baritone, 2 Choruses, and Orch., after the opera Der letzte Schuss (1972); Fünf Liebeslieder des Catull for Chorus (1972; Berlin, Sept. 22, 1973); Laudate pacem, oratorio for Soloists, 2 Mixed Choruses, Children’s Chorus, Organ, and Orch. (1973–74; Berlin, April 19, 1976); Unter dem Holunderstrauch for Soprano, Tenor, and Orch. (Berlin, Oct. 7, 1976); Hyperion-Fragmente for Bass and Orch. (1979; Berlin, Feb. 23, 1980); Holofernes for Baritone and Orch. (Leipzig, Nov. 25, 1981); Die Liebesqualen des Catull for Soprano, Bass, Chorus, and Instrumental Ensemble (1985–86; Bratislava, Sept. 30, 1986); “Der über uns” for Voice and Piano (1986; also for Tenor and 4 Bassoons, 1986–93; Berlin, May 26, 1993); Nachtli-eder for Baritone, String Quartet, and Harp (1987; Berlin, Sept. 12, 1988); Wem ich zu gefallen suche for Soprano or Tenor and Orch. (1990; also as Feuer und Schnee for Voice and Piano, 1990); Sym. for Soprano, Children’s Chorus, Organ, and Orch., Gewandhaus-Sinfonie (1992–93; Leipzig, March 11, 1993); Weisen von Liebe, Leben und Tod for Middle Voice and Orch. (Berlin, April 6, 1995; also for Middle Voice and Piano, 1995–97); Sappho- Fragmente for Chorus and Harp (Netzeband, July 12, 1997; also for 4 Women’s Voices and Guitar). other:Leise zieht durch mein Gemüt, orchestration of 12 songs by Mendelssohn for High Voice and Orch. (1987–93; Berlin, April 15, 1994); String orch. version of Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14, D.810, Der Tod und das Mädchen (1995; Berlin, Jan. 20, 1996).


H. Döhnert, S. M.-für Sie porträtiert (Leipzig, 1979).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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