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German musicologist and music director.

Career Summar

Praetorius studied music composition as a child, then music history and systematic music with Carl Stumpf at the University of Berlin 1899‒1905 with a dissertation on the mensural theory of Gafurius. He was director of the Heyer Music-Historical Museum 1906‒09, then worked as repetiteur and music director at the Cologne Opera 1909‒12 and subsequently as music director at theaters and opera houses in Bochum, Leipzig, Breslau, Lübeck, Berlin, and Weimar. He was attacked in the national socialist press for his involvement in contemporary opera (Krenek, Hindemith), and under that pressure was removed from his Weimar position in 1933, and went into exile in Turkey in 1935.

Praetorius and Schenker

This may be the "Preetorius" who wrote an article for Der Rotarier für Deutschland und Österreich in January 1931, to which Reinhard Oppel drew Schenker's attention as favorable toward Schenker, and a copy of which Schenker obtained. On February 9 "Preetorius" gave a lecture, attended by Schenker, Jeanette, and Hans Weisse, who identifed deficiencies, while Schenker was disappointed that it failed to consider music. Schenker subsequently arranged for a copy of Meisterwerk III to be sent to him, and followed that with a letter on February 12/13 (which appears to survive as OJ 5/30, [1]), believing that his theory of cohesiveness (Zusammenhang), as set out in the article "Rameau oder Beethoven?" in Meisterwerk III on pp. 20‒21 (Eng. transl, pp. 7‒8) addressed the question raised in Preetorius's article. (See diary, January 24, February 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 26, March 8, 1931.)


  • Ian Bent

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