Albrecht Forum

Alexander Albrecht

(1885 Arad – 1958 Bratislava)


Studies/Education

Alexander Albrecht was a composer, conductor and music teacher. He first encountered music thanks to Karl Forster, the organist at St. Martin's Church in Bratislava. He met and became friends with Béla Bartók and Ernő Dohnányi during his studies at the Royal Catholic High School in Bratislava (the building on Klariská Street is currently serving as the University Library). From 1904 to 1908 he studied composition with Hans Koessler, piano with István Thomán and Béla Bartók, conducting with Franz Szandtner and chamber music with David Popper at the Music Academy in Budapest. At the same time he completed his studies at the Faculty of Law in Budapest.

 

Professional Life

Since 1908, Alexander Albrecht was the organist at St. Martin's Church in Bratislava. In 1921 he took the post of the conductor of the Church Music Society (a position he held until the dissolution of the Society in 1952) as well as the post of the headmaster of the Municipal Music School (until 1945). Alexander Albrecht had a major impact on the professional growth of many Slovak composers and performers.

 

 

Alexander AlbrechtWork

Albrecht belonged to the first composers of the 20th century Slovakia whose music resonated with both layman and professional audiences abroad. His musical language and style originated in the German Romantic tradition (Brahms, Reger), later enriched by impressionistic and expressionistic features. Albrecht synthesized the major European musical traditions of his time by means of an elaborate variation technique.

The crucial part of Alexander Albrecht's work lies in his chamber music (Piano Quintet, String Quartet in D Major) and songs (Rosenzeit, A szépség himnusza, Three Poems from Das Marienleben and others). Compositions from 1925 to 1945 are influenced by atonality and the ideals of The New Objectivity (Sonatina for 11 Instruments, Tobias Wunderlich, Cantate Domino and others). His last period, from 1946 to 1957, is characterized by the simplification of his musical language, and leans towards neoclassical and folklorist idioms (Variations for Trumpet, Šuhajko, Suite Concertante for Viola and Piano).

 

Alexander Albrecht was a personality with a deep knowledge of literature, art history and law. Mountains and the countryside served as an unlimited source of inspiration for his creative work and he highly valued the achievements of the human spirit and intelligence. The multifaceted literary and essayistic legacy of Alexander Albrecht was compiled in the book Túžby a spomienky (Desires and Memories), published by Musical Centre in 2008. The publication also includes a study of the composer written by a musicologist and composer Vladimir Godár.

 

Young years

Maturity

Catalogue

Published works

Discography

Manuscripts and Published Texts

 

(Based on information from the Dictionary of 100 Slovak Composers (100 slovenských skladateľov, Národné hudobné centrum, 1998) and Desires and memories (Túžby a spomienky. Hudobné centrum, 2008).