Karl Goldmark

Hungarian-born Viennese composer (1830–1915)

Karl Goldmark (born in Keszthely, Hungary, 18 May 1830; died in Vienna 2 January 1915) was a Hungarian composer. His music was largely forgotten for a long time after his death, but is now starting to be played much more.

Karl Goldmark

Life and career Edit

Goldmark came from a large Jewish family. He was one of 20 children. His father was a chazan to the Jewish congregation at Keszthely. He learned to play the violin and was sent to Vienna to study music. After the Revolution of 1848 the Conservatory had to close down and so he had to teach himself how to compose. He earned money by playing the violin in theatre orchestras and by teaching music. For a short time one of his pupils was Jean Sibelius.

Wagner's music was an influence on his compositional style. However, he could not form a proper friendship with Wagner because of Wagner's antisemitism.

Goldmark composed six operas, including Die Königin von Saba ("The Queen of Sheba"). It was very popular during his lifetime and continued to be performed by the Vienna State Opera until 1938. His Violin Concerto No. 1 was also very popular indeed, then it lay forgotten for many years. It is very Romantic and sounds very Hungarian.

Other works include a symphony called Ländliche Hochzeit (Rustic Wedding) and several other orchestral works, some chamber music and choral music.