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Opera and lyrical music
Sheet music for Karol Rathaus
Orchestra (Full Score)
Full Score. Composed by Karol Rathaus (1895-1954). Boosey & Hawkes Scores/Books. Contemporary, Classical. 32 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051093779. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48001235).
Bassoon - Grade 4
Composed by Karol Rathaus (1895-1954). Series; Solo; Solo Small Ensembles; Woodwind - Bassoon Solo. Belwin Instrumental Solos. Part(s). 12 pages. Belwin Music #00-BWI00042. Published by Belwin Music (AP.BWI00042).
Composed by Karol Rathaus (1895-1954). With Standard notation. Theodore Presser Company #410-41064. Published by Theodore Presser Company (PR.410410640).
Composed by Karol Rathaus (1895-1954). Boosey & Hawkes Orchestra. Boosey & Hawkes #M051701926. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48007188).
Composed by Karol Rathaus (1895-1954). Boosey & Hawkes Miscellaneous. Boosey & Hawkes #M051370078. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48003044).
Composed by Karol Rathaus (1895-1954). Boosey & Hawkes Chamber Music. Boosey & Hawkes #M051490097. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48005194).
- Three symphonies
- Sinfonia concertante
- Overtures and Suites
- Piano Concerto
- Opera, Two ballets
- Five string quartets
- Two piano trios
- Two violin sonatas
- Choral works
A prominent figure in the milieu of Germany’s intellectual and artistic life of the 1920’s, Karol Rathaus was regarded as one of that nation’s most promising composers. Rathaus had heard his music premiered by the world’s finest orchestras and played as sound tracks for the earliest talking motion pictures. His compositions also won him prizes, earned him commissions, opened the door to his restoration of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov for the Metropolitan Opera, and contributed to his shaping the tone and standard of what is today the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College of the City University of New York.
He studied music with composer Franz Schreker. Orchestral and stage works by Rathaus were premiered by George Szell, Eugen Jochum, Erich Kleiber and Wilhelm Furtwangler. In 1931 Rathaus composed his first film score. Film was a medium in which he continued to work for another twenty years.
His dance score for the Ballet Russe was premiered at Covent Garden in 1937. Rathaus immigrated to the United States in 1938.
In 1940, joined the music faculty of Queens College, which was only three years old. Though his music never achieved the degree of recognition in America it had enjoyed in Europe, he was always busy, often composing on commission, from, for example, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony, the LouisvilleOrchestra, and the Queens College Choral Society. Eminent musicians, such as the Galimir Quartet and pianist Artur Rubinstein programmed his works. He maintained his interest in film music, too, and in addition to some feature films, he extended his range to include the documentary, providing scores for several films on Palestine and one on the founding of the United Nations.
After Rathaus’s untimely death at age 59, friends and colleagues formed the Karol Rathaus Memorial Association (subsequently the Karol Rathaus Society), dedicated to making Rathaus’s music available by sponsoring publication, distribution, performances, and recordings of his works. The Association had a very distinguished roster of members, including such luminaries of the music world as Rudolph Bing, Aaron Copland, Ernst Krenek, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Douglas Moore, Artur Rubinstein, William Schuman, Roger Sessions, William Steinberg and George Szell. The Queens College Music Department has mounted numerous memorial concerts of music by Rathaus and by his students and contemporaries, and in 1960-61 a new music building was dedicated Rathaus Hall. And though The Aaron Copland School of Music moved into its present, newer home in 1989, Rathaus Hall remains a tribute to the composer’s memory.
During his initial years in America, Rathaus composed some stage music for Katherine Cornell, a piano concerto, and a Holywood film score. He considered staying on the West Coast, but ultimately decided to return east. Composer Roger Sessions invited Rathaus to teach at Princeton University during the former’s absence. There Rathaus inherited Sessions’s teaching assistant, a young Milton Babbitt, who has subsequently earned the reputation as one of this country ‘s most important and influential composers and theorists of serial music.
Rathaus’s film music may turn out to be one of his most influential achievements. His first effort was the score for a 1931 film adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (The Murderer Dmitri Karamazov), directed by Russian emigre Fedor Ozep. One sequence in the film is accompanied by an orchestra made entirely of percussion instruments, this in the same year that Edgard Varese was composing his famous all-percussion piece Ionisation. In another scene Rathaus needed to depict Dimitri Karamazov’s agonized remorse, and he did so by recording a series of gong crashes, each with a slow fade-out, and then playing the recording in reverse. Film composer Bernard Herrmann (Citizen Kane, Psycho, North by Northwest) once said in an interview that this film contained the best musical score he had ever encountered in a film.
Today Rathaus’s music is enjoying somewhat of a revival. His opera Fremde Erde (Strange World) was performed in Germany. His Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 45 received its New York premiere with Donald Pirone as soloist and was a critical success; the New York Times called it "an ambitious three-movement work of tragic mien" and said it "calls to mind Bartók, Prokofiev, Schönberg and Stravinsky by turn, yet remains unmistakably the product of a single creative imagination".
(Contributrion by Charles Berry <firstname.lastname@example.org>)