German composer. He became professor at the Berlin Academy in 1891. He wrote three operas, including Hermione (1872). Among the most celebrated of his works are the Kol Nidrei (1881) for cello and orchestra, violin concertos, and many choral pieces.
Bruch learnt music as a child from his mother, who was a singer. Later, with a scholarship, he studied with Ferdinand Hiller (1811–85), Carl Reinecke, and Ferdinand Breunung. He visited Leipzig, Munich, and other musical centres to gain further experience and in 1863 produced his opera Die Loreley at Mannheim, having obtained permission from the poet Emmanuel von Geibel to use the libretto originally written for Mendelssohn. After two appointments at Koblenz and Sondershausen, he lived first in Berlin and then Bonn, wholly devoted to composition. From 1880 to 1883 he was conductor of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society, and in 1881 he married the singer Clara Tuczek. From 1883 to 1890 he conducted at Breslau and in 1891 became professor of composition at the Hochschule in Berlin, retiring to Friedenau in 1910. Until recently only the popular G minor violin concerto has allowed Bruch to emerge from the shadow of Brahms; revivals of such works as the oratorio Odysseus (1872), the opera Loreley, and chamber music such as the Septet have allowed a more balanced view of the composer.
WorksOperaDie Loreley (Mannheim, 1863).
Voices and orchestra works for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra: Odysseus (after Homer; 1872), Das Lied von der Glocke (Schiller; 1879), Achilleus (after Homer), Das Feuerkreuz (after Scott's ‘Lay of the Last Minstrel’); three violin concertos (1868, 1878, 1891), Scottish Fantasia for violin, harp, and orchestra (1880); Kol Nidrei (1881) for cello and orchestra; Concerto in E minor for clarinet, violin, and orchestra, Op. 88; string quintet in A minor (1919), many choruses; instrumental pieces; piano music; songs.
Bruch, Max Violin Concerto in G Minor, First Movement
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