Karl Goldmark  
Karl Goldmark
Karl Goldmark, also known originally as Károly Goldmark (Hungarian: Goldmark Károly) and later sometimes as Carl Goldmark; May 18, 1830, Keszthely – January 2, 1915, Vienna) was a Hungarian composer.

Life and career

Goldmark came from a large Jewish family, one of 20 children. His father, Ruben Goldmark, was a chazan to the Jewish congregation at Keszthely, Hungary. Karl Goldmark's older brother Joseph Goldmark became a physician and was later involved in the Revolution of 1848, and forced to emigrate to the United States. Karl Goldmark's early training as a violinist was at the musical academy of Sopron (1842–44). He continued his music studies there and two years later was sent by his father to Vienna, where he was able to study for some eighteen months with Leopold Jansa before his money ran out. He prepared himself for entry first to the Vienna Technische Hochschule and then to the Vienna Conservatory to study the violin with Joseph Böhm and harmony with Gottfried Preyer. The Revolution of 1848 forced the Conservatory to close down. He was largely self-taught as a composer. He supported himself in Vienna playing the violin in theatre orchestras, at the Carlstheater and the privately supported Viennese institution, the Theater in der Josefstadt, which gave him practical experience with orchestration, an art he more than mastered. He also gave lessons: Jean Sibelius studied with him briefly. Goldmark's first concert in Vienna (1858) met with hostility, and he returned to Budapest, returning to Vienna in 1860.

To make ends meet, Goldmark also pursued a side career as a music journalist. "His writing is distinctive for his even-handed promotion of both Brahms and Wagner, at a time when audiences (and most critics) were solidly in one composer's camp or the other and viewed those on the opposing side with undisguised hostility." (Liebermann 1997) Johannes Brahms and Goldmark developed a friendship as Goldmark's prominence in Vienna grew. Goldmark, however would ultimately distance himself because of Brahms' prickly personality.

Among the musical influences Goldmark absorbed was the inescapable one, for a musical colorist, of Richard Wagner, whose anti-semitism stood in the way of any genuine warmth between them; in 1872 Goldmark took a prominent role in the formation of the Vienna Wagner Society. He was made an honorary member of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Budapest and shared with Richard Strauss an honorary membership in the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome.

Goldmark's opera Die Königin von Saba ("The Queen of Sheba"), Op. 27 was celebrated during his lifetime and for some years thereafter. First performed in Vienna on 10 March 1875, the work proved so popular that it remained in the repertory of the Vienna Staatsoper continuously until 1938. He wrote six other operas as well.

The Rustic Wedding Symphony (Ländliche Hochzeit), Op. 26 (premiered 1876), a work that was kept in the repertory by Sir Thomas Beecham, includes five movements, like a suite composed of coloristic tone poems: a wedding march with variations depicting the wedding guests, a nuptial song, a serenade, a dialogue between the bride and groom in a garden, and a dance movement.


His Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 28, was once his most frequently played piece. The concerto had its premiere in Bremen in 1877, initially enjoyed great popularity and then slid into obscurity. A very romantic work, it has a Magyar march in the first movement and passages reminiscent of Dvořák and Mendelssohn in the second and third movements. It has started to re-enter the repertoire, through recordings by such prominent violin soloists as Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell. Nathan Milstein also championed the work and Milstein's recording of the Concerto (1963) is widely considered the definitive one. Goldmark wrote a second violin concerto, but it was never published.

A second symphony in E-flat, Op. 35, is much less well-known. (Goldmark also wrote an early symphony in C major, between roughly 1858 and 1860. This work was never given an opus number, and only the scherzo seems to have ever been published.)

Goldmark's chamber music, in which the influences of Schumann and Mendelssohn are paramount, although critically well received in his lifetime, is now rarely heard. It includes the String Quintet in A minor Op. 9 that made his first reputation in Vienna, the Violin Sonata in D major Op. 25, two Piano Quintets in B-flat major, Op. 30 and C-sharp minor, Op. 54, the Cello Sonata Op. 39, and the work that first brought Goldmark's name into prominence in the Viennese musical world, the String Quartet in B-flat Op. 8 (his only work in that genre).

Goldmark also composed choral music, two Suites for Violin and Piano (in D major, Op. 11, and in E-flat major, Op. 43), and numerous concert overtures, such as the Sakuntala Overture Op. 13 (a work which cemented his fame after his String Quartet), the Penthesilea Overture Op. 31, the In the Spring Overture Op. 36, the Prometheus Bound Overture Op. 38, the Sappho Overture Op. 44, the In Italy Overture Op. 49, and the Aus jungendtagen Overture, Op. 53. Other orchestral works include the symphonic poem Zrínyi, Op. 47, and two orchestral scherzos, in E minor, Op. 19, and in A major, Op. 45.

Karl Goldmark's nephew Rubin Goldmark (1872–1936), a pupil of Dvořák, was also a composer, who spent his career in New York.

Goldmark died in Vienna and is buried in the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery), along with many other notable composers.

Many of his autograph manuscripts are in the collection of the National Széchényi Library, with "G" catalogue numbers attached to various works (including those without opus number.)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Karl Goldmark - Sakuntala Overture, Op. 13 (1865)
A concert overture by Hungarian composer Karl Goldmark (1830-1915), based on the story of Shakuntala from the Indian epic Mahabharata. In this episode of the tale, Shakuntala is the daughter of Vishwamitra and the apsara Menaka, but she is abandoned and reared by the wise sage Kanva, who lives in a secluded hermitage. She grows up to be a lovely, though naive young woman. One day, while Kanva is away on a pilgrimage with the sages of the hermitage, Dushyanta, king of Hastinapura, happens upon the hermitage while out hunting, and he falls in love with Shakuntala. He gives her a signet ring and asks her to come to see him at his court. When the irritable sage Durvasa returns with Kanva from the pilgrimage and discovers what had passed, he curses Shakuntala and casts a spell that causes Dushyanta to forget about her existence. The only way for Shakuntala to reverse the curse is to go directly to the King and show him the signet ring. On her way to the palace, Shakuntala loses the ring while crossing a river. When she arrives at the King's court, he has no recollection of her and orders her to leave. Alone and disconsolate, Shakuntala returns to the hermitage. Meanwhile, the ring had been swallowed by a fish, and by coincidence, a fisherman caught the fish and brought the ring to the King. He realizes his mistake, but it is too late - he must go to war with the Titans. Many years later, after returning from the war, Dushyanta passes through the same forest; he recognizes Shakuntala playing with their son.

Conductor: András Korodi
Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra

Karl Goldmark - Sappho, Op.44 (1893)
Overture, Sappho, Op.44 (1893)

Orchestra: Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Adam Medveczky

Karl Goldmark A-minor Violin Concerto
Violin-Joseph Lendvay, Budapest Festival Orchestra
Conductor:Michael Schonwandt
Itzhak Perlman "Violin Concerto No 1" (1. Mov.) Goldmark
1. Movement "Allegro moderato"
Itzhak Perlman, violin
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
André Previn, conductor
Itzhak Perlman "Violin Concerto No 1" (2. Mov.) Goldmark
2. Movement "Andante"
Itzhak Perlman, violin
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
André Previn, conductor
Itzhak Perlman "Violin Concerto No 1" (3. Mov.) Goldmark
3. Movement "Moderato-Allegretto"
Itzhak Perlman, violin
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
André Previn, conductor
Karl Goldmark - Der gefesselte Prometheus, Op. 38 (1889)
Conductor: András Korodi
Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra
Karl Goldmark - Aus Jugendtagen, ouverture, Op.53 (1913)
Orchestra: ORF Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Lothar Zagrosek

Karl Goldmark - Ein Wintermärchen - Ouverture
Ein Wintermärchen, opera in three acts, first performance 2 January 1908, Hofoper, Wien.

Libretto: Alfred Maria Willner after Shakespeare


Orchestra: Hungarian State Radio Orchestra

Goldmark - Merlin Overture
Overture to the opera "Merlin" by Hungarian Jewish composer Karl Goldmark (1830-1915). Siegfried Lipiner's libretto is a loose retelling of several Arthurian legends from the viewpoint of the wizard Merlin in the tragic mode. The music is a delightful mélange of Wagnerian chromaticism and Schumannian lyricism, full of ingenious textural effects representing otherworldly forces.

Gerd Schaller conducts the Philharmonie Festiva, a Munich-based orchestra consisting of members of the Munich Bach Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and other leading Bavarian ensembles.

Goldmark - Geisterreigen (Dance of the Ghosts) from the opera "Merlin"
This is an orchestral interlude from Act 2, Scene 5 of the opera "Merlin" by Hungarian Jewish composer Karl Goldmark (1830-1915). It is known as Geisterreigen, or Dance of the Ghosts.

Gerd Schaller conducts the Philharmonie Festiva.

Goldmark - Trauermarsch (Funeral March) from the opera Merlin
This is the closing scene of the opera "Merlin" by Hungarian Jewish composer Karl Goldmark (1830-1915). At this point in the opera, after Merlin was slain in battle, his distressed lover Viviane commits suicide. A funeral march ends the work.

Gerd Schaller conducts the Philharmonie Festiva.

Die Konigin von Saba - 1875

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba by Giovanni De Min (1789-1859)
Die Königin von Saba (The Queen of Sheba) is an opera in four acts by Karl Goldmark. The German libretto by Hermann Salomon Mosenthal sets a love triangle into the context of the Queen of Sheba's visit to the court of King Solomon, recorded in First Kings 10:1-13 (largely copied in 2 Chronicles 9:1–12). The plot centres on a love triangle not found in the Bible between the Queen of Sheba, Assad (an ambassador at the court of Solomon), and Sulamith (Assad's betrothed).

The opera was first performed at the Hofoper (now the State Opera) in Vienna, on 10 March 1875. It became Goldmark's most famous opera and subsequent performances have been mounted internationally.

Creating the opera

Goldmark's interest in the subject of the Queen of Sheba was inspired by his pupil, mezzo-soprano Caroline von Gomperz-Bettelheim, whose beauty was once compared to that of the Queen of Sheba by a friend of Goldmark. Bettleheim possessed a striking voice and the role was written to show off her wide range and dramatic skills. However, Bettleheim never performed the role, as the opera took twelve years to make it to the stage. Goldmark began working on the opera in 1863, but the first working libretto proved unsuitable. Mosenthal's libretto was provided two years later, but Goldmark was not satisfied with the happy ending. After some deliberation, Goldmark rewrote the ending of the opera to finish with the tragic death of Assad.

Performance history
After a long gestation, Die Königin von Saba finally made it to the stage on 10 March 1875 at the Hofoper in Vienna. Although written for a mezzo-soprano, the role of the Queen of Sheba went to acclaimed dramatic soprano Amalie Materna, who had originated several roles in Wagner's operas. The premiere was highly successful, partly due to the theatre manager's ability to persuade Goldmark to make sizable cuts following the dress rehearsal. Performances in numerous European cities followed, and the work became particularly popular in Italy for several decades.[1] The opera made its United States premiere at the Metropolitan Opera on 2 December 1885.


Place and Time: Jerusalem and the surrounding desert, 10th Century BC.

Act 1: A hall in Solomon’s palace
Sulamith, the daughter of the High Priest, is anxiously waiting for her fiancé, Assad, to return to court from his diplomatic assignment to plan for the arrival of the Queen of Sheba to the court of King Solomon. The couple are scheduled to marry the following day. Upon his return to the palace, Assad meets with Solomon and reveals to him that he has fallen in love with a mysterious woman among the cedar forests of Lebanon and does not love Sulamith. Before Solomon can reply, the Queen of Sheba arrives with her entourage. As she greets the king, she pulls back her veil, revealing to Assad that she is in fact the mysterious woman he had met on his journey. The queen, however, pretends not to know Assad to his confusion. After the queen leaves, Solomon counsels Assad to not pursue his infatuation but to continue with his marriage to Sulamith.

Act 2: The garden of the palace at night
The Queen of Sheba has slipped away from the social gathering being held in her honor inside the palace. As she reflects on Assad's impending marriage, Astaroth, her slave, informs her that Assad is nearby and then proceeds to lure Assad to her mistress with a seductive oriental vocalise ("Magische Töne"). Assad and the Queen engage in a fervent conversation that climaxes in a passionate duet and embrace. The Guardian of the Temple arrives at daybreak and disrupts their tryst with a call for the Sons of Israel to pray.

The wedding party arrives and Assad and Sulamith are about to be married in front of the Ark of the Covenant when the Queen appears to give a wedding present. The Queen continues to treat Assad like a stranger which throws him into distress. He commits blasphemy by referring to the Queen as his god, causing an uproar which ends the wedding ceremony. Assad is led off to await punishment, most likely his execution.

Act 3: The court of King Solomon
Celebrations in honour of the Queen of Sheba continue with a performance of Bienentanz der Almeen, a ballet, and a bacchanal. Worried for Assad's fate, the Queen pleads for Solomon to give Assad mercy. He refuses and the Queen leaves plotting revenge. Sulamith, along with her companions, enter the court singing a mournful song. She too pleads for Assad's life to be spared in an aria that eventually culminates into a large ensemble. Still unmoved, Solomon replies with an ominous prophesy about Sulamith's fate. Distraught, she leaves the palace for the desert to bewail her impending future.

Act 4: The vicinity of Sulamith's desert retreat
Assad has been banished by Solomon to the desert. The Queen of Sheba seeks him out to attempt to convince him to come back with her to her kingdom. She finds him alone, not too far from Sulamith's retreat, and tries to seduce him. He rejects her advances and in a bitter soliloquy reveals his regret and desire for a death that might redeem his offense against God. Assad then prays for Sulamith, during which time he is engulfed in a violent sandstorm. He is later found barely alive by Sulamith and her companions. He begs for her forgiveness, which she bestows just before he dies in her arms.

Musical analysis
Die Königin von Saba is written in the style of grand opera; with the usual large-scale cast and orchestra, the use of local color, and a plot set in history all typical of that genre. The vocal writing includes solo recitative and aria passages, duets, and large-scale choruses. Notable moments of the opera include Assad’s short arietta "Magische Töne" in Act 2 and the final duet in Act 4, both of which display Goldmark's lyricism at its best.[1]

Although Goldmark was never an ardent follower of Wagner, the orchestration of Die Königin von Saba is reminiscent of the effects and formal fluidity that characterized so much of Wagner's work. Although Goldmark never adopted a fully-fledged system of leitmotifs, certain passages are reminiscent of Tristan und Isolde. The work also shows some influence of the dramatic sensibilities of Meyerbeer.

Although these are obvious influences in the work, Goldmark's individuality is apparent. The music for the Queen of Sheba displays a sultry eroticism with oriental flair. The music for the High Priest and other religious characters recalls Jewish religious music and at times the music of Sarastro in The Magic Flute. The religious character of these parts of the opera may well have been influenced by the ideas of the great Viennese cantor Salomon Sulzer, who was concerned with restoring Jewish music to its oriental origins.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Goldmark - Overture: Die Königin von Saba
Overture to the 1875 opera Die Königin von Saba (The Queen of Sheba) by Hungarian composer Karl Goldmark (1830-1915).

Ádám Fischer leads the Hungarian State Opera.

Goldmark - Nachtstück und Festmusik, from Die Königin von Saba
Uploaded on May 4, 2010
Act II of Karl Goldmark's (1830-1915) opera Die Königin von Saba (The Queen of Sheba) opens with a colourful orchestral introduction "Nachtstück und Festmusik" (Night Music and Festive Music).

Ádám Fischer leads the Hungarian State Opera.

Goldmark - Ballet music from Die Königin von Saba (1/2)
Act III of Karl Goldmark's (1830-1915) opera Die Königin von Saba (The Queen of Sheba) opens with a lively ballet.

Ádám Fischer leads the Hungarian State Opera.

Goldmark - Ballet music from Die Königin von Saba (2/2)
Act III of Karl Goldmark's (1830-1915) opera Die Königin von Saba (The Queen of Sheba) opens with a lively ballet.

Ádám Fischer leads the Hungarian State Opera.

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