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Frauengunst, (alla Strauss) Op. 101, No. 18 (33 Musical Portraits)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (02/24/18)
Composer: Karg-Elert, Sigfrid
Sample Producer: Voxus Virtual Organs
Sample Set: Stahlhuth/Jann - Dudelange
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933) was born Siegfried Theodor Karg in Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany, the youngest of twelve children. The family finally settled in Leipzig in 1882, where he received his first musical training and private piano instruction. At a gathering of composers in Leipzig, he presented his first attempts at composition to the composer Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek, who arranged a three-year tuition-free scholarship at the Leipzig Conservatory, where he studied with Jadassohn, Reinecke, Reisenauer and Teichmüller.

Having returned to Leipzig, he started devoting himself to composition, primarily for the piano (encouraged by Edvard Grieg, whom he greatly admired).

Shunned and neglected in Germany, he accepted an invitation for an organ concert tour of America in the spring of 1932. The tour proved to be a disastrous mistake. He was suffering from the diabetes which would soon kill him, and his limited powers as an organist compared unfavorably to the virtuoso standard of organ performance to which American audiences had grown accustomed.

After his return to Leipzig, his health started deteriorating rapidly. He died there in April 1933, only 55 years old.

"Frauengunst," which I THINK means "Women's Favor" comes from the set of 33 Musical Portraits (for harmonium), where Karg-Elert writes cleverly in the style of various well-known composers. In this case, the composer being imitated is Johann Strauss.

The format is the waltz, naturally (!), but before you think that you can't dance to this, you must remember that the "moods" change every few measures, so, you go from shy, to elegant to clumsy and back and forth.

Since this is for the harmonium, you must "arrange it" as you go. The colors are quite kaleidoscopic, and nothing remains the same for long!

By the way, when you come to the big flourish at the end, WAIT for the VERY LAST THING, or you'll miss the best part!

Photos of K-E & Strauss and the score (page 52) are attached below.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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