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German composer and pianist.

Career Summary

D'Albert studied at the New Music School, London (1874-). He was rated highly as a pianist by Rubinstein, knew Liszt, Richter, Brahms (a member of whose circle he was), and Hanslick, and established an international career as a virtuoso concert pianist. His career as a composer began around 1893; by 1908, he had written eight operas, all performed, and a number of orchestral works, piano pieces, chamber works, and Lieder. By his death, he had written 20 operas, musical comedies, music dramas, etc.

D'Albert and Schenker

D'Albert and Schenker corresponded from at least 1894; Schenker wrote an article on d'Albert in Die Zukunft (October 6, 1894), pp.33-36 (OJ 20/2; Federhofer (1990), pp.115-21); and among Schenker's possessions is a photographic portrait of d'Albert inscribed: "To Dr. Heinrich Schenker, a true friend, as a memento of Eugen d'Albert. Frankfurt/a/M, October 6, 1998." (OJ 72/1). See also Federhofer (1985), pp. 55-68.

D'Albert had already written a letter of recommendation for Schenker's Harmonielehre to Brockhaus on November 7, 1905, and it was his intervention with Cotta (reply from Cotta to d'Albert, OJ 9/31, [2], November 14, 1905) that persuaded that company to adopt the book, having initially rejected it. Schenker began to distance himself from d'Albert around 1907, becoming disillusioned with d'Albert's music, as in the entry "Verschenkte Frau by d'Albert: inexcusably banal; instructive: in the midst of the meaninglessness, the final scene of Act II also underlined with corresponding musical tedium." (lessonbook, OC 3/1, February 8, 1912). After 1914 the two men drifted out of touch without a formal break.

Correspondence with Schenker

Correspondence between d'Albert and Schenker survives as OJ 9/6 (1984-1914: 73 items), and one item from d'Albert to Moriz Violin as 70/6 (1904).

Sources:

  • NGDM
  • Federhofer, Hellmut, ed., Heinrich Schenker als Essayist und Kritiker ... (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1990), pp. 115-21
  • Federhofer, Hellmut, Heinrich Schenker nach Tagebüchern und Briefen ... (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1985), pp. 55-68

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Correspondence

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