Rathaus, Karol

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Rathaus, Karol

Rathaus, Karol , Polish-born American pedagogue and composer; b. Tarnopol, Sept. 16, 1895; d. N.Y., Nov. 21, 1954. He studied at the Vienna Academy of Music and the Univ. of Vienna (Ph.D., 1922) and in Berlin (1920–21; 1922–23). In 1932 he went to Paris, and in 1934 to London. In 1938 he settled in the U.S., becoming a naturalized American citizen in 1946. After a brief stay in Hollywood in 1939, during which he wrote some film scores, he settled in N.Y.; in 1940 he was appointed to the faculty of Queens Coll. He was highly respected as a teacher of composition. His own music, however, never attracted large audiences; always noble in purpose and design and masterly in technique, it reveals a profound feeling for European neo-Romanticism. In 1952 he rev. and ed. the Orch. score to Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov on a commission from the Metropolitan Opera, which gave the new version on March 6, 1953.

Works

DRAMATIC : Opera : Fremde Erde (Berlin, Dec. 10, 1930; also as a symphonic interlude, 1950). Ballet : Der letzte Pierrot (1926; Berlin, May 7, 1927); Le Lion amoureux (1937). Incidental Music : Uriel Acosta (1930; Orch. suite, 1933; rev. 1947). Fi1m : 17 scores, including The Brothers Karamazov (1931), The Dictator (1934), Dame de pique (1937), Let Us Live (1939), and Out of Evil (1950). ORCH.: 3 syms. (1921–22; 1923; 1942–3); 4 Dance Pieces (1924); Piano Concertino (1925); Overture (1927); Suite for Violin and Chamber Orch. or Piano (1929); Suite (Liège, Sept. 6, 1930); Allegro concertantefor Strings and Trumpet obbligato (1930); Serenade (1932); Symphonic Movement (1933); Contrapuntal Triptych (1934); Jacob’s Dream, nocturne (1938); Piano Concerto (1939; Berkeley, Calif., Aug. 1, 1942); Prelude and Gigue (1939); Music for Strings (1941); Polonaise symphonique (1943; N.Y., Feb. 26, 1944); Vision dramatique (1945; Tel Aviv, April 4, 1948); Salisbury Cove Overture (1949); Sinfonia concertante (1950–51); Intermezzo giocoso for Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion (1950–51); Prelude (1953; Louisville, June 5, 1954). CHAMBER : 5 string quartets (1921, 1925, 1936, 1946, 1954); 2 violin sonatas (1924, 1938); Clarinet Sonata (1927); Little Serenade for Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, Horn, and Piano (1927); Trio for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano (1944); Piano Quintet (1948; unfinished); Dedication and Allegro for Violin and Piano (1949); Rapsodia notturna for Viola or Cello and Piano (1950); Trio Serenade for Piano Trio (1953); Divertimento for 10 Woodwinds (1954; unfinished). KEYBOARD : Piano : Numerous pieces, including 4 sonatas (1920; 1920–24, rev. 1928; 1927; 1946). Organ : Prelude and Toccata (1933). VOCAL : Song without Words and Fugue, both for Chorus and Chamber Orch. (1928); 3 Calderon Songs for Low Voice and Orch. or Piano (1931); XXUI Psalm for Tenor, Women’s Chorus, and Orch. or Piano (1945); O Juvenes, academic cantata (1947); Lament from “Iphigenia in Aulis” by Euripides for Chorus and Horn (1947); Diapason for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch., after Dryden and Milton (1950); choruses; songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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