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Austrian composer and teacher.

Career Summary

Robert Fuchs studied with his brother Johann Nepomuk Fuchs, moving to Vienna in 1865. He became organist at the Piaristenkirche in 1866, and studied composition at the Conservatory with Otto Dessoff, and himself became a professor of harmony, counterpoint, and composition at the Conservatory in 1874, continuing for thirty-seven years during which his many students included Ernst Decsey, Gustav Mahler, Jean Sibelius, Franz Schmidt, Franz Schreker, Hugo Wolf and Alexander von Zemlinsky. In 1912 he was forcibly pensioned off by the new administration along with Hermann Grädener to make way for "new blood" (Moriz Violin's outspoken pamphlet about the state of affairs at the Conservatory in 1912 contains a long section about this).

His works include two operas, five symphonies, five serenades and other orchestral works, a large amount of chamber music including piano quartets and trios, string quartets and trios, violin sonatas, cello sonatas, piano sonatas, also many choral works and collections of solo songs.

Fuchs and Schenker

Brahms thought very highly of Fuchs, and that ‒ along with Violin's admiration ‒ probably endeared him to Schenker. And yet in 1907 he commented that an orchestral serenade by Fuchs was "very short-breathed and spiritually too primitively shaped" (OJ 1/6, p. 32).

Sources:

  • Moriz Violin, Die Zustände der k. k. Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst (Vienna: privately published, 1912), pp. 15‒18
  • Grove Music Online (Robert Pascall) (2012)

Contributor:

  • Ian Bent

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Correspondence

  • DLA 69.930/12 Handwritten letter from Schenker to Halm, dated April 3‒4, 1924

    In response to matters raised by Halm in two previous letters, Schenker discusses figuration, distinguishing between that which works only on the surface and that which arises out of the middle and background, drawing on primal intervals. He also concedes that he heard Bruckner improvising, and criticizes it adversely. He refers to Reger, and outlines plans for forthcoming volumes of Der Tonwille.

Diaries