elisabeth weiss was introduced by her mother into the world of the viennese high society. she was able to visit the salons of adele bloch bauer and alma mahler and she was excellently educated by her teachers and her house teachers. she was able to speak fluently french, english and russian. the language at home was german and french. she loved to speak russian and always if she wanted to express her opposition would use russian language. her mother would answer, you are not a child any more, you have to learn to incorporate social class and behaviour. elisabeth was often homesick. and the visits to the countryhouses auf der hohen rax or the summertrips to italy would not cure her homesickness. the only way out was music. she loved to play skriabin ... later schoenberg, alban berg and admired eduard steuermann ... she joined the founding of "Verein für musikalische Privataufführungen” shortly after the war ... “You must gain a feel for quality. When you are able to appreciate the great works of art—of fine art and poetic art—with understanding, you will also be able to evaluate people and judge whether they belong to the worthy or the worthless in quality.” (Czernin, 1999)
Upon becoming acquainted with Adele Bloch-Bauer, a wealthy society woman and hostess of a renowned Viennese Salon at the beginning of the twentieth century, one can easily understand why art and life seemed to blend together in her eyes. She has been eternalized by the famous Austrian artist Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) in two majestic portraits (1907 and 1912), and possibly also in an allegory of the Jewish heroine Judith (1901), displayed in the Austrian Gallery in Vienna. All three paintings are historical witnesses to the significance of Jewish patronage during the Golden Era of fin-de-siècle Vienna.
Adele Bloch-Bauer was born in Vienna on August 9, 1881, the youngest daughter of the seven children of the banker Moritz Bauer (1840–1905) and Jeannette Bauer née Honig (1844–1922). Her father was the general director of the influential Viennese Bank association and the president of the Orient railway company. When she was fifteen her sheltered world was shaken by the early death of her much loved older brother Karl. Presumably it was the trauma of his death that caused her to distance herself from religion. Denied the possibility to study and feeling unhappy at her parents’ house, Adele married relatively young. On December 19, 1899, she married the industrialist Ferdinand Bloch (1864–1945) who was seventeen years her senior. Her marriage followed the marriage of her sister Therese (1874–1961) to Ferdinand’s brother, Dr. Gustav Bloch (1862–1938). Adele and Ferdinand had no children. In 1917, both couples added the wives’ maiden name to the family name: Bloch-Bauer.
Adele Bloch-Bauer gave the impression of a refined mixture of romantic personae: sick and fragile on the one hand and a self-conscious and proud salon lady on the other. Indeed, Bloch-Bauer may have found her rôle models in romantic literature. She studied German, French and English classical literature by herself, at her own initiative. She was delicate, tending to be sick, and gave the impression of someone who suffered. Her narrow face appeared elegant and intellectual as well as arrogant and smug. She was often caught in the unladylike modern habit of smoking. Among the prominent guests in her salon were the composers Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) and Richard Strauss (1864–1949), Alma Mahler-Werfel (1879–1964), the authors Stefan Zweig (1881–1942) and Jakob Wassermann (1873–1934), artists from the circle of Gustav Klimt, actors from the Burgtheater, and after WWI, the Socialists Karl Renner (1870–1950) and Julius Tandler (1869–1936).
In the Summer of 1903, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer asked Klimt to paint his wife’s portrait, intending it as a present for her parents’ anniversary in October. The portrait was exhibited in public only early in 1907. Adele is sitting on a golden throne, the modern icon of a grande dame, the golden starry sky background complementing her rich golden robe. The fervent movement of erotic symbols such as triangles, eggs, eyes, in the flow of her gown hints at an intimate relationship between the artist and his model. Another indication of their relationship can be found in Klimt’s 1901 portrayal of “Judith” as a femme fatale, in which Adele is presumably recognized through her similarities in facial features and flashy neck-band to the subject in the later painting. A contemporary critic identified “Judith” as a modern Jewish lady. In a second portrait, dating from 1912, Adele is standing facing the viewer, wearing a fashionable dress. The colorful wallpaper behind her evokes a far-eastern exotic fantasy-world. The rumors about an affair between her and Klimt were never confirmed. In addition to the two portraits of Adele, the Bloch-Bauers also purchased four landscapes and numerous drawings by Klimt. They were both proud of their art collection, which included paintings by famous Austrian artists such as Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (1793–1865), Rudolf von Alt (1812–1905) and Emil Jakob Schindler (1842–1892), as well as a valuable collection of Viennese classical porcelain. In 1919, after the couple moved to their new grand palace opposite the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Adele erected a shrine dedicated to Klimt in her chambers. His paintings decorated the walls, while his photo stood on a side table.
In 1918, after the fall of the Austrian-Hungary monarchy, Ferdinand and Adele requested Czech citizenship with the address of their castle “Schloß Jungfern” near Prague. But, their home base remained in Vienna, where Adele continued her role as a salon lady. Julius Tandler, a prominent guest, also became her physician. It was possibly due to his influence that she began to support Socialist causes. In her will, she bequeathed her money to many charities, among them The Society of Children’s Friends. She donated her library to the Viennese Public and Workers’ Library.
On January 24, 1925 Bloch-Bauer died suddenly of meningitis, in Vienna. After her death, the “Klimt Hall” was turned into a “memorial room” for her. In her will she asked her husband to donate Klimt’s paintings to the Austrian Gallery after his death. In 1938, following the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany, the paintings were aryanized. Ferdinand fled to Czechoslovakia and later continued to Zurich, where he died shortly after the end of the war. He is buried beside his wife in Vienna. His last request to recover the Klimt paintings and other artworks from their exquisite collection was not fulfilled in his lifetime. Maria Altmann, Adele’s California-based niece and the family heir, sued the Republic of Austria, demanding that the Klimt paintings be returned to her.
In May 2005 the Republic of Austria and Maria Altmann of Los Angeles agreed to end their litigation in U.S. District Court regarding five Gustav Klimt paintings and to submit the dispute to binding arbitration in Austria. In January 2006 the arbitration resulted in the award of the paintings to Maria Altmann. Soon afterwards, she had them displayed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In June 2006 the portrait entitled Adele Bloch-Bauer I was purchased for the Neve Galerie in Manhattan by Ronald Lauder for the record sum of 135 million dollars. In April, 2005 New York District Judge Edward Korman awarded Altmann and several relatives USD 21.8 million from the Swiss Banks Fund. This vast sum was granted because a Swiss bank which Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer appointed as trustee of his sugar refinery in 1938 handed the business to an industrialist with ties to the Nazis in 1939."
quoted from: http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/bloch-bauer-adele
October 5, 1916 Vienna, Austria (1916-10-05)
Died April 22, 1935, Vienna, Austria Parents Walter Gropius, Alma Mahler Grandparents Emil Jakob Schindler, Walter Adolph Gropius, Anna von Bergen, Manon Auguste Pauline Scharnweber
Similar People Alma Mahler, Walter Gropius, Anna Mahler, Franz Werfel, Emil Jakob Schindler
Alma Manon Gropius (October 5, 1916 – April 22, 1935) was the daughter of the architect Walter Gropius and the composer and diarist Alma Mahler and the stepdaughter of the novelist and poet Franz Werfel. She is a Randfigur (peripheral person) whose importance lies in her key relationships to major figures: a muse who inspired the composer Alban Berg as well as Werfel and the Nobel Prize-winning writer Elias Canetti. Manon Gropius is most often cited as the "angel" and dedicatee of Berg's Violin Concerto (1935).
Webern's compositions tend to be very compact, and concise. Only a few of his works were published during his lifetime (roughly about 30). The music he wrote changed over time, but his scores may be generally characterized as very sparse in texture so that every note can be quite clearly heard. Webern chose his tone colors (timbres) very carefully. Quite often he gave very detailed instructions to performers. The composer also made use of instrumental techniques like flutter tonging and col legno (hitting strings with wooden part of the bow). His melodic lines often contain leaps greater than an octave. The pieces he wrote can be quite short--sometimes less than four minutes total. Some of Webern's earlier atonal works are quite free and in the style of his teacher, Schoenberg; however, his later works may actually have influenced his former teacher. Webern's music does show a formal systematic organization to the twelve tone method, and there is an emphasis on counterpoint.
Arnold Schönberg in Mödling 1/2
Arnold Schönberg in Mödling 2/2
Schoenberg: Piano Concerto, op.42 (1/3)
"In October 1901, Arnold Schoenberg married Mathilde Zemlinsky, the sister of the conductor and composer Alexander Zemlinsky, with whom Schoenberg had been studying since about 1894. Mathilde bore him two children, Gertrud (1902–1947) and Georg (1906–1974). Gertrud would marry Schoenberg's pupil Felix Greissle in 1921 (Neighbour 2001). During the summer of 1908, his wife Mathilde left him for several months for a young Austrian painter, Richard Gerstl. This period marked a distinct change in Schoenberg's work. It was during the absence of his wife that he composed "You lean against a silver-willow" (German: Du lehnest wider eine Silberweide), the thirteenth song in the cycle Das Buch der Hängenden Gärten, Op. 15, based on the collection of the same name by the German mystical poet Stefan George. This was the first composition without any reference at all to a key (Stuckenschmidt 1977, 96). Also in this year, he completed one of his most revolutionary compositions, the String Quartet No. 2, whose first two movements, though chromatic in color, use traditional key signatures, yet whose final two movements, also settings of George, daringly weaken the links with traditional tonality. Both movements end on tonic chords, and the work is not fully non-tonal. Breaking with previous string-quartet practice, it incorporates a soprano vocal line.
During the summer of 1910, Schoenberg wrote his Harmonielehre (Theory of Harmony, Schoenberg 1922), which remains one of the most influential music-theory books. From about 1911, Schönberg belonged to a circle of artists and intellectuals who included Lene Schneider-Kainer, Franz Werfel, Herwarth Walden and the latter's wife, Else Lasker-Schüler.
Another of his most important works from this atonal or pantonal period is the highly influential Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21, of 1912, a novel cycle of expressionist songs set to a German translation of poems by the Belgian-French poet Albert Giraud. Utilizing the technique of Sprechstimme, or melodramatically spoken recitation, the work pairs a female vocalist with a small ensemble of five musicians. The ensemble, which is now commonly referred to as the Pierrot ensemble, consists of flute (doubling on piccolo), clarinet (doubling on bass clarinet), violin (doubling on viola), violoncello, speaker, and piano.
Wilhelm Bopp, director of the Vienna Conservatory from 1907, wanted a break from the stale environment personified for him by Robert Fuchs and Hermann Grädener. Having considered many candidates, he offered teaching positions to Schoenberg and Franz Schreker in 1912. At the time Schoenberg lived in Berlin. He was not completely cut off from the Vienna Conservatory, having taught a private theory course a year earlier. He seriously considered the offer, but he declined. Writing afterward to Alban Berg, he cited his "aversion to Vienna" as the main reason for his decision, while contemplating that it might have been the wrong one financially, but having made it he felt content. A couple of months later he wrote to Schreker suggesting that it might have been a bad idea for him as well to accept the teaching position (Hailey 1993, 55–57).
World War I brought a crisis in his development. Military service disrupted his life when at the age of 42 he was in the army. He was never able to work uninterrupted or over a period of time, and as a result he left many unfinished works and undeveloped "beginnings". On one occasion, a superior officer demanded to know if he was "this notorious Schoenberg, then"; Schoenberg replied: "Beg to report, sir, yes. Nobody wanted to be, someone had to be, so I let it be me" (Schoenberg 1975, 104) (according to Norman Lebrecht (2001), this is a reference to Schoenberg's apparent "destiny" as the "Emancipator of Dissonance").
Later, Schoenberg was to develop the most influential version of the dodecaphonic (also known as twelve-tone) method of composition, which in French and English was given the alternative name serialism by René Leibowitz and Humphrey Searle in 1947. This technique was taken up by many of his students, who constituted the so-called Second Viennese School. They included Anton Webern, Alban Berg and Hanns Eisler, all of whom were profoundly influenced by Schoenberg. He published a number of books, ranging from his famous Harmonielehre (Theory of Harmony) to Fundamentals of Musical Composition (Schoenberg 1967), many of which are still in print and used by musicians and developing composers.
Schoenberg viewed his development as a natural progression, and he did not deprecate his earlier works when he ventured into serialism. In 1923 he wrote to the Swiss philanthropist Werner Reinhart: "For the present, it matters more to me if people understand my older works ... They are the natural forerunners of my later works, and only those who understand and comprehend these will be able to gain an understanding of the later works that goes beyond a fashionable bare minimum. I do not attach so much importance to being a musical bogey-man as to being a natural continuer of properly-understood good old tradition!" (Stein 1987, 100; quoted in Strimple 2005, 22)
His first wife died in October 1923, and in August of the next year Schoenberg married Gertrud Kolisch (1898–1967), sister of his pupil, the violinist Rudolf Kolisch (Neighbour 2001; Silverman 2010, 223). She wrote the libretto for Schoenberg's one-act opera Von heute auf morgen under the pseudonym Max Blonda. At her request Schoenberg's (ultimately unfinished) piece, Die Jakobsleiter was prepared for performance by Schoenberg's student Winfried Zillig. After her husband's death in 1951 she founded Belmont Music Publishers devoted to the publication of his works (Shoaf 1992, 64). Arnold used the notes G and E♭ (German: Es, i.e., "S") for "Gertrud Schoenberg", in the Suite, for septet, Op. 29 (1925) (MacDonald 2008, 216).
Following the 1924 death of composer Ferruccio Busoni, who had served as Director of a Master Class in Composition at the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin, Schoenberg was appointed to this post the next year, but because of health problems was unable to take up his post until 1926. Among his notable students during this period were the composers Roberto Gerhard, Nikos Skalkottas, and Josef Rufer.
Schoenberg continued in his post until the election of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in 1933. While vacationing in France, he was warned that returning to Germany would be dangerous. Schoenberg formally reclaimed membership in the Jewish religion at a Paris synagogue, then traveled with his family to the United States (Friedrich 1986, 31). His first teaching position in the United States was at the Malkin Conservatory in Boston. He moved to Los Angeles, where he taught at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles, both of which later named a music building on their respective campuses Schoenberg Hall (UCLA Department of Music ; University of
Southern California Thornton School of Music ). He
settled in Brentwood Park, where he befriended fellow composer (and tennis partner) George Gershwin and began teaching at UCLA. He lived there the rest of his life. Composers Leonard Rosenman and George Tremblay studied with Schoenberg at this time"
quoted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schoenberg
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