Gottfried von Einem

Biography

Born: January 24, 1918; Berne, Switzerland   Died: July 12, 1996; Oberdürnbach, Austria  
Von Einem's life was often as dramatic as one of his operas, but he managed to forge a unique style that combined Romantic elements with jazz and atonal sounds and methods.

The son of a military attaché to the Austrian embassy in Bern, von Einem was educated in Holstein at a school with an emphasis on music, in Ratzeburg, and in England. In 1938, he became a coach for the Berlin Staatsoper and the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, and felt that
Read more experience to be formative, leading him toward composing for the stage. From 1941 -- 1943 in Berlin, he began studying privately with the officially "degenerate" (entartete) composer Boris Blacher, who was very influential on his style and wrote libretti for four of von Einem's five operas. At this time, von Einem also established friendships with Carl Orff, Egk, and Wagner-Régeny.

Aside from musical friends and experiences, von Einem's personality was, of course, also affected by the serious developments in Europe. For several years, he had been helping people escape from the totalitarian German state. Somehow, the Gestapo learned of this, and he was arrested and interrogated. The entire story is Kafkaesque, like a scene from von Einem's second opera, a setting of Kafka's Der Prozess (The Trial, 1953, produced at the Salzburg Festival).

Von Einem was released, and obtained the position of resident composer and musical adviser to the Dresden Staatsoper in 1944, simultaneous with the success of his first stage work, a ballet entitled Prinzessin Turandot (Princess Turandot, in two scenes). Shortly after the war's end, his first opera Dantons Tod (The Death of Danton, 1944 -- 1946) was given at the 1947 Salzburg Festival, securing international fame for the composer. In these first two operas, the von Einem "sound" is clearly heard with its strong jazz-influenced rhythms, its touches of Stravinsky and Blacher, rich harmonies, powerful string writing, and a sectional organization that avoids traditional continuity.

From 1948 to 1951, von Einem was a board member for the Salzburg Festival, and then chairman of the Kunstrat (Art Advisory). In 1953, he moved to Vienna and was a board member of the Concert House Society, and a director of the Vienna Festival from 1960 to 1964. He composed his third opera, a folk comedy-farce entitled Der Zerissene (The Torn One, 1961 -- 1964), four new ballets including the energetic Pas de coeur (Death and Resurrection of a Ballerina) (1952), a Piano Concerto (1955), an oratorio with words by Brecht Das Stundenlied (The Song of the Hours, 1958), and the orchestral Symphonic Scenes (1956), one of several American commissions. Von Einem was gradually moving away from his early Expressionist atmospheres.

He began teaching composition in 1965. His important works of the 1970s include the operas The Old Lady's Visit, with text by Dürrenmatt (1971); and Cabal and Love (1976); the song cycle Rosa mystica; and the oratorio An die Nach gebornen for the 30th anniversary of the UNO in New York. Read less
Browse 1-22 of 22 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Giulini In Vienna [15-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002037702 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli,  Andreas Schmidt,  Barbara Bonney,  Lazar Berman  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
    CD: $83.49
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  • 2.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0393 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried von Einem,  Albert Roussel,  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    CD: $9.99
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  • 3.
    Von Einem: Piano Concerto, Danton's Tod Suite, Etc. / Meister, Vienna Radio Symphony
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 764091 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried von Einem
    Performer:  Konstantin Lifschitz
    Conductor:  Cornelius Meister
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $22.49
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  • 4.
    Lisa Della Casa - Recital - Mozart, Wagner, Strauss, Etc
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 685091 Release Date: 03/31/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Gottfried von Einem,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Lisa Della Casa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Herbert Von Karajan - Salzburg Festival 1957 - Bruckner, Brahms, Berger, Einem, Honegger, Mozart
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 773084 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Theodore Berger,  Gottfried von Einem  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Lisa Della Casa,  Gerty Herzog,  Géza Anda
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $74.49
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  • 6.
    Tschaikowsky: Der Nussknacker; Einem: Gluck, Tod Und Traum
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1317 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried von Einem,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen Wind Soloists
    CD: $17.99
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  • 7.
    Christa Ludwig - Arias & Scenes - Live Recordings 1955-1994
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 758083 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Hans Pfitzner  ... 
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Emmy Loose,  Karl Dönch,  Waldemar Kmentt  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Alberto Erede,  Herbert von Karajan,  Georges Prêtre  ... 
    CD: $54.49
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  • 8.
    Festspieldokumente - Salzburger Orchesterkonzerte / Szell
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 704077 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon,  Rudolf Firkusny
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $74.49
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  • 9.
    Gottfried Von Einem: Die Solo-klavierwerke / Lehrbaumer
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 176 Release Date: 06/05/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried von Einem
    Performer:  Robert Lehrbaumer
    On sale! $27.98
    CD: $22.99
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  • 10.
    Stravinsky, Haubenstock-ramati, Von Einem / Alban Berg Qt
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54347 Release Date: 05/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Roman Haubenstock-Ramati,  Gottfried von Einem
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
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  • 11.
    Original Masters - Ferenc Fricsay - A Life In Music
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085402 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Frank Martin,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Gottfried von Einem,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Performer:  Irmgard Helmis,  Gerty Herzog,  Sylvia Kind,  Diana Eustrati  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus  ... 
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  • 12.
    Einem: Streichquartette 2 & 4 / Artis Quartett
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 98201 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried von Einem
    Performer:  Othmar Müller,  Herbert Kefer,  Johannes Meissl,  Peter Schuhmayer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artis String Quartet
    CD: $22.49
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  • 13.
    Einem: Streichquartette No 1, 3, 5 / Artis Quartett
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 98101 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried von Einem
    Performer:  Othmar Müller,  Herbert Kefer,  Johannes Meissl,  Peter Schuhmayer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artis String Quartet
    CD: $22.49
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  • 14.
    Stravinsky, Von Einem, Engel: Violin & Piano Duos, Etc
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 7261 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried von Einem,  Paul Engel,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Alfons Kontarsky,  Christos Kanettis,  Reinhard Latzko
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 15.
    Einem, Berg, Scholz, Krenek: Clarinet Trios / Trio Contrasts
    Label: Cybele   Catalog: 351001 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernst Krenek,  Friedrich Scholz,  Alban Berg,  Gottfried von Einem
    Performer:  Bernd Hengst,  Klaus Esser,  Christian Dollfuss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Contrasts
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  • 16.
    Einem: Dantons Tod / Schoffler, Patzak, Cebolari, Fricsay
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1316 Release Date: 10/02/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gottfried von Einem
    Performer:  Wilhelm Felden,  William Wernigk,  Julius Patzak,  Maria Cebotari  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 17.
    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Lieder / Reimann, Reutter
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 67349 Release Date: 06/05/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Cornelius,  Gottfried von Einem,  Ernst Krenek,  Hans Erich Apostel  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Aribert Reimann,  Hermann Reutter
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  • 18.
    Von Einem: Der Prozess / Böhm, Della Casa, Lorenz, Et Al
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 393952 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gottfried von Einem
    Performer:  Endre Koréh,  Polly Batic,  Erich Majkut,  Alfred Poell  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    CD: $39.99
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  • 19.
    Von Einem: Dantons Tod / Zagrosek, Adam, Hollweg, Etc
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 102842 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gottfried von Einem
    Performer:  Theo Adam,  Werner Hollweg,  Horst Hiestermann,  Kurt Rydl  ... 
    Conductor:  Lothar Zagrosek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Austrian Radio Chorus
    CD: $44.49
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  • 20.
    Von Einem: Bruckner Dialog;  Haydn, Schubert / Von Matacic
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 235901 Release Date: 04/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried von Einem,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 21.
    Einem: Violin Concerto, Etc / Edinger, Walter
    Label: Marco Polo   Catalog: 223138 Release Date: 12/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Gottfried von Einem
    Performer:  Christiane Edinger
    Conductor:  Alfred Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra Hannover
    CD not available
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  • 22.
    Von Einem, Ravel, Hindemith, Roussel / Ormandy, Bavarian Rso
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 199891 Release Date: 11/08/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Albert Roussel,  Paul Hindemith,  Gottfried von Einem
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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