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Paul von Klenau   (1883 - 1946)

composer

Paul von Klenau was Danish-born but as a young man he left his native country to study and work in Germany and Austria. His first symphony was influenced by Bruckner, while later influences came from both French music and Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique. Klenau never achieved real recognition as a composer in Denmark, but held important conducting posts, for example at the Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft, and belonged to Alban Berg's circle of friends. He began music studies in Copenhagen in 1900 with Otto Malling (composition) and F. Hillmer (violin). With his move in 1902 to the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, where he studied composition under Bruch and the violin under Halir, he started to enter Germanic circles, and as he did so he to receive less recognition in Denmark. In 1904 he went to Munich as a pupil of Thuille after whose death in 1907 he was appointed Kapellmeister to the Freiburg Opera. But he soon moved to Stuttgart, where he studied with von Schillings (1908) and took a post at the Hofoper (1909). His First Symphony had been performed at the 1908 Munich Tonkünstlerfest, and within five years it was followed by three more. Klenau was in Frankfurt in 1912 as conductor of the Bach Society; however, he returned in the next years to his position with the Freiburg opera. By now his compositional interests had turned to dramatic music: in 1913 he completed Sulamith, a sacred opera on the Song of Salomon; Kjarten und Gudrun, an opera on Icelandic themes, was conducted by Furtwängler at Mannheim in 1918. Shortly after World War I he went to Schönberg for a final period of study. The war had caused him to return to Copenhagen, where in 1920 he participated in the formation of the Danish philharmonic Society. As conductor of the society (1920-26) he introduced much new music to Denmark, but his attempts to generate interest in Schönberg's work at that time were unsuccessful. Feeling drawn back to Germany musical centres, he accepted a concurrent appointment as conductor of the Vienna Konzerthausgesellschaft (1922-30). Klenau returned in his later years to composing operas and symphonies, in his last opera, Elisabeth von England, his style evolved beyond the techniques of Bruckner and Strauss (these had marked most of his output) as he employed Schönbergian atonal procedures. He remained in Vienna until advancing deafness began to limit his activities, returning finally to Copenhagen in 1940.

Live Dates

01/09/2016   American Record Guide

PAUL VON KLENAU: Symphony No. 9
"One could almost call it a neglected masterpiece if it weren’t for some of the background implications."
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01/09/2016   Klassisk

ENDNU EN GRIM ÆLLING FOLDER VINGERNE UD
5/6 Stars

"Klenau er helt sikkert en komponist, der fortjener en genopdagelse [..]"
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30/08/2016   Fono Forum

PAUL VON KLENAU: Symphony No. 9
4/5 Stars

”[Diese Einspielung] ist eine Tat und verhilft dem Werk zu einer nachhaltigen, überzeugenden Wirkung, die immer noch recht unbekannten Komponisten weite Beachtung schaffen sollte.”
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01/08/2016   Concerti

Schwer verdaulich
3/5 Stars

”Toll produziert, fantastisch musiziert [..] - und schwer verdaulich!”
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31/07/2016   Classical Lost and Found

PAUL VON KLENAU Symfoni nr. 9
"It leaves one anxious to hear more of Klenau’s symphonic music."
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18/07/2016   GregersDH

PAUL VON KLENAU Symfoni nr. 9
5/6 Stars

"[..]Et requiem, et vældigt værk på halvanden time, prægtig musik, [..]"
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28/06/2016   Pizzicato

PAUL VON KLENAU Symfoni nr. 9
[..] "Das eindrucksvolle Werk wird vom Dänischen Radio-Symphonieorchester, dem DR Konzertchor und den vier Solisten unter Michael Schønwandt engagiert und auf hohem Niveau aufgeführt."
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22/06/2016   Gramophone

PAUL VON KLENAU Symfoni nr. 9
[..] "Bravo to these musicians for giving the piece every chance. Excellent playing, good [..] choral singing and excellent contributions from the inimitable Susanne Resmark [..] and open-voiced tenor Michael Weinius." [..]
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22/06/2016   artistxite

PAUL VON KLENAU: Symphony No. 9
”Klenaus Epitaph erweist sich als ein erschütterndes Werk, das ein kraftvoller, gewaltiger, bewegender Abgesang auf die Gräuel des Krieges und auf die Megalomanie des gestürzten Regimes ist. Ein in Form, Wirkung und Umsetzung beeindruckendes Werk.”
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13/06/2016   The Classical Reviewer

PAUL VON KLENAU Symfoni nr. 9
[..] "This is a sprawling symphony full of terrific ideas throughout its long length. [..] a fascinating and hugely enjoyable listening experience. [..] Michael Schønwandt achieves fine results from his strong line up of soloists, fine choir and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra."
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31/05/2016   Ritmo

PAUL VON KLENAU Symfoni nr. 9
[..]"Irregular, pero en conjunto muy interesante, vale la pena acercarse a ella. Michael Schønwandt, que la estrenó en 2014 (la partitura estuvo perdida hasta 2001), nos la trae en condiciones inmejorables."
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27/05/2016   Fyns Amts Avis

PAUL VON KLENAU Symfoni nr. 9
4/6 Stars

"[..]overvælder og betager, med sin på én gang inderlige storhed og strittende tonalitet"
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11/05/2016   Kristeligt Dagblad

PAUL VON KLENAU: SYMPHONY NO. 9
4/6 Stars

"Rent musikalsk er det i lange stræk et imponerende stykke håndværk. DRSO spiller fremragende, dirigeret af Michael Schønwandt, ligesom DR KoncertKoret og de fire solosangere også yder deres bedste for at forløse den lange symfoni."
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Discography

Symphony No. 9
Symphony No. 9
Paul von Klenau

CD 8.226098-99 (2016)

String Quartets nos. 1, 2 and 3
String Quartets nos. 1, 2 and 3
Paul von Klenau

CD 8.226075 (2008)

Seething and boiling – intense quartets caught between two world wars

Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornetts Christoph Rilke
Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornetts Christoph Rilke
Paul von Klenau

SACD 6.220532 (2007)

A rediscovered major Late Romantic work for baritone, choir and orchestra

Orchestral Works Vol. 2
Orchestral Works Vol. 2
Paul von Klenau

CD 8.224183 (2002)

Overwhelming, controversial Late Romantic music, neglected for three quarters of a century

Orchestral Works Vol. 1
Orchestral Works Vol. 1
Paul von Klenau

CD 8.224134 (2000)

Klenaus tysk-orienterede senromantik er en overvældende genopdagelse


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