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Otto Vrieslander (Composer, Arranger)

Born: July 18, 1880 - Münster, Germany
Died: December 16, 1950 - Tegna, Switzerland

The German composer and writer on music, Otto Vrieslander, was a student of Stemhauer and Buths in Düsseldorf from 1891 to 1900), of Van de Sandt and Klauwell at the Cologne Conservatory in 1901-1902, and of Heinrich Schenker in Vienna in 1911-1912. In 1929 he settled in Switzerland.

Under Schenker’s influence, Otto Vrieslander made a “critical edition with elucidatory appendix” (dedicated to Schenker) of C.P.E. Bach’s Kurze und leichte Clavierstücke: Neue kritische Ausgabe mit erläuterndem Nachwort [Short and easy keyboard pieces: new critical edition with elucidatory afterword] (Vienna: UE, 1914), which the cover title significantly characterized as: Erläuterungsausgabe (elucidatory edition); he also wrote the monographs C.P.E. Bach Lieder und Gesänge (Munich: Drei-Masken-Verlag, 1922) and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (Munich, 1923), and contributed the article Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach als Theoretiker to Von neuer Musik (Cologne 1925).

Otto Vrieslander also wrote articles about Schenker and his work: Musikblätter des Anbruch, February/March 1923; Die Musik, 19/1 October 1926; Deutsche Tonkünstler-Zeitung, March 5, 1928; and Der Kunstwart, 43 (1930). Vrieslander advocated several projects (all ultimately abortive): in 1915, a second edition of Schenker’s Harmonielehre (which he used in his own teaching, and on which he wrote three unpublished commentaries between 1910 and 1925 and compiled a list of typographical errors), and adding exercises and assignments (which Schenker resisted); in 1918, a Festschrift for Schenker’s 50th birthday; in 1919-1920, the founding of a Schenker Institute in Munich; in 1921, with Hoboken, the publishing of inexpensive Urtext editions and a periodical; in 1926–1927, a Festschrift for Schenker’s 60th birthday; in 1927-1928 a monthly Schenker periodical planned by Weisse, Salzer, and Jonas; around 1927, a Schenker monograph-cum-anthology; and in 1932 a student edition (Schulausgabe) of Harmonielehre (of which he was then making a “concentrated” version) for use by Josef Marx at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik.

Otto Vrieslander was an accomplished Lieder composer, including a setting of poems from Giraud’s Pierrot lunaire in O.E. Hartleben’s translation, dating from 1904 - eight years before Arnold Schoenberg’s Melodrama cycle: both settings were commissioned by Albertine Zehme, but whereas Zehme performed A. Schoenberg's setting, she was dissatisfied by that of Vrieslander and never performed it..


Source: Schenker Pilot Website; Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2007)

Bach-Vrieslander: Otto Vrieslander | PT - Works | PT - Recordings

Links to other Sites

SchenkerPilot: Vrieslander, Otto




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