Composer of 'K'


Gidéon Klein (1919-1945)

Czech composer and pianist of Jewish origin. Born in Prerov, Moravia region on 6th of December in 1919. He demonstrated his progidious talent of music such that he had written the first composition when he was at 10, and started to learn professional piano training under Ruzena Kurzová when he was at 11 years old. In 1938, he went to the capital city Praga, and entered the advantage piano class taught by Vilém Kurz, and did his professional debut in the following year. In 1939, he obtained a master's degree of music theory after only one-year of graduate study. Then he started to study composition under Alois Hába. However, his musical life darkened by Nazi's occupation because of his origin. He was strongly restricted his chance of giving the performance of his compositions and lost his opportunity to go and study abroad at Royal University of Music in England by Nazi's rejection. In December of 1941, he was arrested and deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp (this is a transit camp only for artists that Nazi built for the propaganda purpose to the external world). Although he put his heart and soul into composing and performing acts for the rest of his life, he was decided to send to Auschwitz and be casted in Fürstengrube concentration camp on 16th of October 1944. On 27th January 1945, only several hours before the riddance there by the allied forces, Nazi exterminated everything while they routed in a pitched battle, including the prisoners' lives (Related Site: Gideon Klein Foundation)


Main Works

Orchestral Partita for Strings Partita für streichorchester (1944) {strings} ... Arranged from his String trio, by the pen of his close friend V.Saudek.
Chamber Four Movements for String Quartet Vier sätze für streichquartett (1936-1938) {2vln, vla, vc}
1) andante, 2) allegro, 3) largo, 4) allegro
Divertimento (1939-1940) {2ob, 2cl, 2hrn, 2bssn}
กก1) tempo di marcia, 2) allegretto scherzando, 3) adagio, 4) allegro
Prelude for Viola Solo Präludien (1940) {vla}
String Quartet, op.2 Streichquartett, op.2 (1940-1941) {2vln, vla, vc}
Duet for Violin and Cello Duo für violine und cello: unvollendet (1941) {vln, vc} ...
3rd movement 'Scherzo' is unfinished.
1) allegro con fuoco, 2) lento

Fantasy and Fugue Fantasie und fuge für streichquartett (1942-1943) {2vln, vla, vc}
String Trio Streichtrio für violine, viola und cello (1944) {vln, vla, vc} ...
Last writing
1) allegro spiccato
2) lento: variation über ein mährisches volkslied
3) molto vivace
Piano Piano Sonata Klaviersonate (1943)
1) allegro con fuoco
2) adagio
3) allegro vivace
Vocal Three Songs Trei lieder, op.1 (-1940) {vo, p} ...Discovered in 1990. Detail unknown. German title of each movement unclear.
1) The fountain (Johann Klaj)
2) In the midst of life (Franz Hölderlin)
3) Darkness descending (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

Madrigal by the Villon's Poem 'Word of Death' Madrigal sag tod (1942) {2sop, alto, tnr, bass} ...
text: F.Villon, Trans. Otokar Fischer
Prime Sin První hrich: erster sündenfall (1942) {m-vo, choir}
Madrigal 'Delgihts of the World' by Hoelderlin
- Madrigal das angenehme in dieser welt (1942) {2sop, alto, tnr, bass}...
Text: F.Hölderlin, Trans.E.A. Saudek
(Trans.Unclear) Bachuri, le'an tisa? (1942) {f-choir}
Based on Czech and Russian Folksongs Bearbeitung tschechischer und russischer volksweisen (1942) {tnr, f-choir}
1) Aby nás pán buh miloval
2) Chodzila liska po razi
3) Chodíme, chodíme
4) Na tych nasich lukách
5) Poljusko, pole
6) Uz mne kone vyvádeji: erste version
7) Uz mne kone vyvádeji: zweite version

Cradle Song Wiegenlied: sch'haw b'ni (1943) {choir /sop, p} ...
Hebrew text


Klein Disc Review


"Divertimento / Duo / Four Movements / Sonata / Trio" (MDG : 304 0618-2)
Ensemble Villa Musica : Ingo Gortizki, Washington Barella (ob) Ulf Rodenhäuser, kerstin Grötsch (cl) Wolfgang Wipfler, Volker Grewel (hrn) Klaus Thunemann, Matthew Wilkie (bssn) Thomas Brandis, Ida Bieler, Eckhard Fischer, Kea Hohbach (vln) Enrique Santiago (vla) Martin Osterlag (vc) Kalle Randalu (p)
Although the movie 'The pianist' gave the solemn moving to us, the actual performance of the main cast was somewhat turnoff thing that made me the lucky episode might have been plotted for a certain degree. As a historical truth, many artists who should be praised and missed with their talent like The Pianist, has actually gotten robbed their lives. The present disc provides a tragic evidence that there were few Szpilmans in the real history. This disc is epoch-making not only because this provides a rare oppotunities of listenning most of Klein's instrumental works as a set, but also recorded string quartet and few other newly-discovered materials in 1990. On tightly-constructed rhythms, melodies transcend sometimes atonally, sonetimes poly-modally, verge on burlesque feature to them. Although the taste, such that 30% of Auric-like antics on Eisler-feature, confines the numbers of listeners who can be acceptable to it, the rock-bottom beauty of quasi-atonal and heart-searching sonority in Piano sonata demonstrates his real ability as an Schoenbergian, with hints of Dutilleux. The ensemble was created by the clarinettist Mr.Rodenhauser with the collaboration of the members of Bavaria and Berlin Philharmonic in 1990. The name stem from a foundation who were willing to support the project. Their performance is solid and highly dependable. We can feel even more keenly the importance of peace when we become a witness of German-based players performing a composer who had killed by Nazi, with 60 years of interval.

(2006. 10. 7 upload)