Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Julius Klengel

  1. #1
    Senior Member Joachim Raff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    West Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    941
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Julius Klengel

    Julius-Klengel-1903.jpg
    JULIUS KLENGEL
    (1859 - 1933)

    Julius Klengel, son of a Leipzig lawyer and amateur musician, became absorbed at an early age into the musical life of Leipzig. This was characterised by a certain scholarly conservatism, the legacy of Felix Mendelssohn, his colleagues and protégés (Klengel’s father had been a personal friend). Accordingly, Klengel became a pupil of Emil Hegar (1843–1921) who had in turn studied with the equally conservative Grützmacher of the Dresden school.

    At fifteen Klengel joined the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, becoming principal cellist in 1881. He also became a Royal Professor at the Leipzig Conservatory. Later in the decade his involvement with music in St Petersburg resulted in his giving the Russian premiere of Haydn’s Concerto in D and, in 1889, playing in the St Petersburg String Quartet along with Joachim pupil Leopold Auer. Klengel was also a member of the Brodsky Quartet and the Gewandhaus-Quartett, which (founded in 1808) is the oldest continuously-named quartet in existence.

    His playing drew mixed reactions. Some criticised Klengel for putting scholarship above tonal beauty, whilst others praised his tonal characteristics. Klengel’s teaching activities were more unambiguously successful, however. His materials, including Technical Exercises in All Keys (1909) and Daily Exercises (1911), were well regarded and he had a punishing schedule (giving fifty lessons per week in Leipzig) with pupils including Emanuel Feuermann, Guilhermina Suggia, Paul Grümmer, Gregor Piatigorsky and William Pleeth. Klengel was also an active composer in the Leipzig style, his works including four double concertos as well as a sonata, caprices and Hymnus for twelve cellos (1909), dedicated to conductor Arthur Nikisch.

    His recordings epitomise, rather startlingly, surviving traits of a conservative German classical approach to cello playing associated with the so-called Dresden school and with Leipzig. Listening to Klengel’s 1927 Bach Suite No. 6 (arranged for cello and piano) at once calls to mind Joseph Joachim’s violin-playing. There is almost no vibrato here, whilst (unlike Joachim although, apparently, common amongst cellists of his generation) there is frequent and pronounced use of portamento over many wide intervals. Indeed Klengel, for these reasons, sounds one of the most old-fashioned cellists on record. This is less evident in excerpts of Beethoven’s Op. 131 Quartet with the Gewandhaus-Quartett, where the whole sound is dominated by a regular if somewhat primitive violin vibrato. These discs, from 1916, are some of the earliest quartet recordings and bear interesting comparison to the acoustic recordings made by the Berlin-based Klingler Quartet in 1911–1912.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Joachim Raff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    West Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    941
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Recommended listening:

    Julius-Klengel-1903.jpg

    Klengel: Cello Concerto No. 3 in A minor, Op. 31
    Raphaela Gromes (cello), Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Nicholas Carter

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    4,100
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I like Klengel's compositions. They go far beyond pedagogical material and deserve to be heard on recordings and in concerts. His phrasing was elegant and he had a fine sense of form. Klengel was a relative of Julius Roentgen. Here is what I wrote on the thread on the Orchestral Music forum called "Neglected German and Austrian orchestral composers of the late romantic era" (post #314):

    "Of the works listed in post #307, the cello concertos of cellist-composer Julius Klengel (1859-1933) have been new pleasures for me. Klengel was a tremendous all-around musician and teacher of Feuermann, Piatigorsky, and Pleeth, among others. I particularly like the Cello Concerto No. 4 in B minor, op. 37 and the Concerto for Two Cellos & Orch. in E minor, op. 45. The former is an agile, mature work that incorporates appealing new harmonic and technical advances of the post-1850 era, while the latter is, well -- just delightfully written for the unusual medium. Right from his Concerto No. 1 in A minor, op. 4 Klengel composed in a fluent, elegant manner that is not only idiomatic for the cello, but also well-crafted for balance and interplay with the orchestra. He was a conservative, beginning I think in the Mendelssohn-Schumann orbit; in any case I find myself listening to his works repeatedly. Re post #307 I can add that there doesn't seem to be a second cello concerto, but I assume the Concert Piece in D minor, op. 10 takes its place. There is also the late Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra. which I haven't heard..."
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Oct-21-2020 at 01:16.

  4. Likes Joachim Raff liked this post

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •