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German music critic, author of the standard four-volume biography of Brahms (1904-14), co-editor of the Brahms letters, and member of the Brahms circle (Brahms set some of his poetry to music).

Kalbeck worked for the Breslauer Zeitung before moving to Vienna in 1880 and joining the staff of the Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung, subsequently becoming music critic for the Neue Freie Presse in 1883, theater critic of the Neues Wiener Tagblatt in 1886 and music critic in 1894, and the Wiener Montags-Revue in 1890. He was one of the most influential Viennese critics of his day. He also prepared almost sixty opera librettos.

He produced several books of music criticisms, including, e.g., Humoresken und Phantasien (Berlin, 1896) and Opernabende : Beiträge zur Geschichte und Kritik der Oper (Evenings at the Opera: Contributions to the History and Criticism of Opera), 2 vols (Berlin, 1898). Albeit an advocate of the "classical composers" from Mozart to Brahms, he also wrote studies of Wagner's Ring and Parsifal, and of the Bayreuth Festival Theater.

Kalbeck and Schenker

Schenker consulted Kalbeck in October or November 1906 about finding a publisher for his Harmonielehre (OJ 12/7), a complimentary copy of which he later had sent to him (CA 56, 58: November 22 and 24, 1906).

Correspondence between Kalbeck and Schenker survives as OJ 5/19 (1897-1906: 12 items) and OJ 12/7 (1897-1906: 8 items).

Sources:

  • MGG
  • NGDM

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