Jan 21

21. Felix Blumenfeld [365 Composers for 2013]


21st January – Felix Blumenfeld


Blumenfeld (19th April 1863 – 21st January 1931) is our composer for 21st January, to mark the day of his death.
Nationality: Ukraine/Russian
Lifespan: 67 years
Genre: Romantic
Education: St. Petersburg Conservatory
Fame Ranking: 5

Blumenfeld is a composer who is almost unheard of today, but who was known in his own time as not only a composer but also a conductor, pianist and teacher. He studied composition under Rimsky-Korsakov at St. Petersburg Conservatory, and went on to become a piano teacher there himself, with several notable students such as Horowitz.

Blumenfeld conducted the premiere of several important works, including Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Servilia”, an opera set in Ancient Rome, and the first Russian performance of Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde” opera.

As an exceptional pianist, it comes as no surprise that most of Blumenfeld’s compositions were written for piano. His style can be compared to Chopin and Liszt – he was reasonably conservative and did not experiment with new techniques such as dissonance.

He also wrote chamber music, choral works and one symphony, a dark piece in C minor, dedicated to “The Dear Beloved” (orignally “To the Memory of the Beloved Dead”, which many people consider to be “Tchaikovskian” in style.(1)

Blumenfeld died in Moscow.

Here is the first movement of Blumenfeld’s Symphony in C minor (Op.39)

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(1) Views from several threads at www.unsungcomposers.com 


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