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Schweitsik, Kurt

Schweitsik, Kurt

Schweitsik, Kurt, Austrian composer, horn player, and teacher; b. Vienna, June 25, 1935. He studied composition with Marx and Schiske at the Vienna Academy of Music (1949–57), where he also received training in horn. From 1955 to 1959 he played horn in the Niederösterreichisches Tonkünstler-Orch. in Vienna. With Cerha, he founded the new music ensemble die reihe in Vienna in 1958. He continued his training with Stockhausen in Darmstadt and Cologne (1959–62), and held a bursary with the Austrian Cultural Inst. in Rome (1960–61). From 1962 to 1968 he again played horn in the Niederösterreichisches Tonkünstler-Orch. He also studied analysis with Polnauer (1964–65). While serving as a visiting teacher of composition at the Univ. of Calif, at Riverside (1966), he pursued his studies in analysis with Jonas. In 1968 he became a horn player in the Vienna Sym. Orch. He also taught composition at the Vienna Cons. from 1979. A skillful and imaginative composer, he explores in his works many new paths in synthesizing the traditional with the contemporary.

Works

dramatic: Der lange Weg zur grossen Mauer, opera (1974; Ulm, May 13, 1975); Walzerträume (…als das Tanzen noch geholfen hat), ballet (1976; Cologne, Feb. 16, 1977; also as the ballet or set of 3 orch. suites, Wiener Chronik 1848, 1976–77); Ur-Faust, music to Goethe’s play (1976; Mattersburg, Feb. 2, 1977); Kaiser Joseph und die Bahnwärters-Tochter, music to Herzmanovsky-Orlando’s play (1977); Das Märchen von Fanferlieschen Schönefusschen, opera (1982; Stuttgart, Nov. 24, 1983); Macbeth, dance theater (Heidelberg, Feb. 10, 1988); Die verlorene Wut, Singspiel (ORF, Dec. 26, 1989); Das Friedensbankett, operetta (1990); Frida Kahlo, ballet (1991; Bremen, Feb. 8, 1992); Ulrichslegende, music for an opera (1992); Café Museum oder die Erleuchtung, opera (Deutschlandsberg, Oct. 9, 1993); Nietzsche, ballet (1994); Der ewige Frieden, operetta (1994; Bonn, Jan. 8, 1995); Die Welt der Mongolen, opera (1996; Linz, Feb. 2, 1997). orch.: 4 syms.: No. 1, …für Audifax und Abachum (1963–70), No. 2, Draculas Haus- und Hofmusik: Eine transsylvanische Symphonie for Strings (1968), No. 3, Symphonie im Mob-Stil (1971), and No. 4, Irdische Klänge (Vienna, April 16, 1980); Alphorn Concerto “in the Celtic manner” (1975; Vienna, May 15, 1977); Violin Concerto (Graz, Oct. 9, 1977); Epilog zu Rosamunde (Vienna, May 31, 1978); Tag- und Nachtweisen (Salzburg, Aug. 25, 1978); Concerto for Guitar and Small Orch. (1979); Instant Music for Flute and Wind Orch. (1981; Vienna, Nov. 28, 1982; rev. 1983); Der irdischen Klänge 2. Teil, nämlich Fünf Naturstücke (1984; Vienna, Dec. 4, 1985); Timpani Concerto, Irdische Klänge 4 (1987–88; Vienna, July 5, 1988); Double Bass Concerto, ein emfindsames Konzert (Heidelberg, April 29, 1989); Mit den Riesenstiefeln, Irdische Klänge 5 (1991; Vienna, April 24, 1992); Uluru (in mitten der Irdischen Klänge) (Vienna, Nov. 19, 1992); Baumgesänge (Vienna, Nov. 16, 1992); Sinfonia- Sinfonieita (1996); Unter Messing Bäumen (1998); Schrumpf- Symphonie (Salzburg, Dec. 31, 1999). chamber: Horn Sonata (1952); Duo and Double for Violin and Piano (1957); Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano (1960); String Quartet (1961); Salotto romano for 12 Bass Instruments (1961); Liebesträume for 7 Instruments (1963); Eichendorff Quintet for Winds (1964); Proviant for Wind Sextet (1965); 5 Nocturnes for Cello and Piano (1966); Querschnitt durch eine Operette for Wind Quintet (1966); Österreichisches Quodlibet for Chamber Ensemble (Montreal, April 28, 1967); Musik vom Mutterland Mu for 11 Instruments (1974); Skizzen und Entwürfe for String Quartet (Hamburg, Sept. 13, 1974); Twilight Music: A Celtic Serenade for Octet (1976; Hall, Aug. 25, 1977); Kleine Blaumusik for 2 Trumpets and 2 Trombones (Graz, Oct. 16, 1977); Bagatellen for Piano Trio (Vienna, Dec. 12, 1979); Sotto Voce: Gedämpfte Unterhaltung for Flute, Violin, Cello, and Guitar (South German Radio, Stuttgart, Oct. 3, 1980); Blechpartie im neuesten Geschmack for Brass Quintet (Innsbruck, Nov. 8, 1982; rev. 1986); Fantasy Piece for Trumpet and Piano (1982); Hornpostille, 4 pieces for 4 Horns (Vienna, Sept. 1983); Neues von Eu-Sirius for 2 Violins and Viola (Vienna, Oct. 2, 1988); Am Ende Steht ein Marsch for Wind Octet (Vienna, March 4, 1991); 3 späte Liebeslieder for Cello and Piano (Vienna, Oct. 17, 1992); Möbelmusik-Klassich for 2 Violins, Viola, and Double Bass (1993); Wake for String Quartet (1994). vocal: Shâl-i-mâr, 7 songs for Baritone and Orch. (1962–72; rev. version, Vienna, Oct. 24, 1992); Stückwerk for Soprano and Chamber Orch. (1966; Vienna, Jan. 30, 1967); Kurt Schwertsiks lichte Momente for Singers and Instrumentalists (1971); Brautigan Songbook for Voice and Piano (1971); Manchmal vertrödelt Christa S. den Tag for Voice and Instrumentalists (1975); Ich sein Blumenbein, 11 songs for Voice and Piano (Vienna, June 1980; also for Voice, Guitar, and Keyboards); Starckdeutsche Lieder und Tänze for Baritone and Orch. (1980–82; Vienna, Feb. 13, 1986); Kurze Geschichte der Bourgeoise for Chorus (1981); …& was ist dann Friede?, 6 songs for Voice and Guitar (1983); Starker Tobak, cantata for Soprano and 7 Instruments (Vienna, Sept. 13, 1983); Iba di gaunz oaman Fraun, 8 songs for Soprano, Piano, Bass, and Drums (1983; Vienna, Jan. 1984); Cinq chansons cryptiques for Voice and Piano (1985; Vienna, June 1986); Gute Nacht, Guten Morgen, 8 songs for Voice and Piano (1985; Vienna, Oct. 26, 1986); Das Leben, 8 songs for Mezzo-soprano and Celtic Naturehorn (Bregrenz, Aug. 21, 1986); Gedichte an Ljuba, 5 songs for Voice and Piano (1986; Vienna, Feb. 5, 1987); Es friert zuweilen auch den Geist for Voice and Piano (1991); Human Existence for Soprano and Ensemble (Dartington, Aug. 17, 1992); Singt meine Schwäne for Soprano and Ensemble (Dartington, Aug. 17, 1992); Der Herr weis was der Wil for Soprano and Ensemble (Dartington, Aug. 17, 1992); The Fox and the Magpie for Tenor, Baritone, Soprano Saxophone, Horn, Bassoon, and Piano (Sydney, July 18, 1994); Roald Dahl’s “Goldilocks” for Narrators and Orch. (1997).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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