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Alexander Albrecht

Alexander Albrecht

(12. 8. 1885 Arad – 30. 8. 1958 Bratislava)


classical music: composition, conducting

CV

1895 – 1903 Royal Catholic Secondary School in Bratislava
1904 – 1908 Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest (composition – Hans Koessler, piano – István Thomán, later Béla Bartók, conducting – Franz Szandtner); simultaneous law studies
1908 – 1952 organ player at the Dome of St Martin in Bratislava and teacher at the Local Music School
1921 – 1952 conductor and director of the Kirchenmusikverein zu St. Martin music society in Bratislava

“The determining factor in Albrecht's musical composition development was as a current reaction to the new formed aesthetic criteria. His mental (thought) horizon encompassed pan-European context, thanks to which he was able to accept a wide range of stimuli. He diversified himself from the general rule of the Romantic idiom, which he teamed up with current trends, adding his own stamp of personality to it.

In his early years (until 1925) Albrecht's work was based on the German romantic tradition, especially Brahms. From his contemporaries he was close to Reger, but sometimes he also used elements of impressionism and expressionism. He was a strong synthesizer: messages from the past he confronted with the present; the classic texture of his compositions was balanced with a new way of music display. Even on a small scale in Albrecht's work we can recognize his individual compositional methods where variatoins play a major role.

Chamber music represents the major area of Albrecht's work (Piano Quintet, String Quintet D Major, Three Poems Of The Cycle Das Marienleben and others). The development of his musical language can be observed also in his extensive songs, which have points in common with romantic song works (Schubert, Schumann), but used harmonic progressions and application of modern elements exceeding the boundaries of romanticism (Rosenzeit, A szépség himnusz and others). In the years 1925 – 1945 Albrecht was using rich counterpoint work, courageous harmonic progressions (oscillation of seventh and ninth chords over the bass line), and he was leaning toward atonality and ideals of New Objectivity (Sonatina for 11 instruments, Tobias Wunderlich, Cantate Dominum and others). In the years 1946 – 1957 his music language simplified, combining elements of neoclassicism and folklorisms. Works as Variations, „Šuhajko“ and Concertant Suite for viola and piano were created by the transformation of elements of Slovak folklore connecting with his own individual technique. In the last period of his life the author was processing, transcribing and reviewing his own older works (Christmas, Six Pieces for string trio) and composing music-didactic literature.

Albrecht was a personality with extensive knowledge in the field of philosophy, art history and literature and law. He approached the human mind with sincere admiration and respect and had a positive attitude towards progress and nature, which served him as a constant source of inspiration. It is valuable to view Albrect's poetics, as he offered his rich literary and essayistic activity partly by publishing in newspapers or within radio broadcasting.”

 

(ŠEBESTOVÁ, Astrid: Alexander Albrecht. In: 100 slovenských skladateľov. Ed. Marián Jurík, Peter Zagar, Bratislava: Národné hudobné centrum, 1998, p. 13.)

Link to Personal Website