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Bruno Kittel (Choral Conductor, Violin)

Born: May 26, 1870 - Entenbruch, near Posen, Germany
Died: March 10, 1948 - Wasserberg, near Cologne, Germany

The German violinist and choral conductor, Bruno Kittel, studied in Berlin and played in theatre orchestras there.

From 1901 to 1907 Bruno Kittel was conductor of the Royal Theater Orchestra in Brandenburg. He was also director of the Brandenburg Conservatory until 1914. In 1902 he established the Kittelsche Chor, which quickly developed into one of the finest choral societies of Europe, and with which he made many tours. He was director of the Stern Conservatory in Berlin from 1935 to 1945.

Bruno Kittel occupied a leading place in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. He is also known for his work with conductors Oscar Fried and Wilhelm Furtwängler (the Berlin 1942 edition of L.v. Beethoven's 9th Symphony is a robust performance that also includes the soprano Tilla Briem). Notwithstanding limited sonics, the 1941 recording of Mozart's Requiem is a moving account; heightened by elite-status choral singing and by the masterly orchestral control of the Berliner Philharmoniker, the tableau is not complete without the very good - and sometimes impressive - soloists. This album discloses a trailblazing account of Mozart's justly famous Requiem. Kittel's is a classic reading of this masterpiece: Power, tension and the heavenly sense of a tragic era, but not without an unmistakable mozartian temperament. Kittel also produced some Bach, including a very good version of the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244). This recording of the Requiem is meaningful because it is one of the first studio recordings (maybe the very first) of the work. It also documents music making during the nazi regime. The somewhat somber light of the work is well reflected by this performance, and despite the precarious quality of sound we do hear a certain amount of details.


Source: Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); Customer review of W.A. Mozart’s Requiem in Amazon
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2002, March 2013)

Bruno Kittel: Short Biography | Recordings of Vocal Works

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