René Leibowitz


René Leibowitz

René Leibowitz (17 February 1913 – 29 August 1972) was a French composer, conductor, music theorist and teacher born in Warsaw, Poland.

During the early 1930s, Leibowitz studied composition and orchestration with Ravel in Paris, where he was introduced to Schoenberg's Twelve-note technique by the German pianist and composer Erich Itor Kahn. He subsequently studied with Schoenberg's pupil Webern. Many of the works of the Second Viennese School were first heard in France at the International Festival of Chamber Music established by Leibowitz in Paris in 1947. Leibowitz was highly influential in establishing the reputation of the Second Viennese School, both through activity as a teacher in Paris after WWII and through his book "Schoenberg et son ecole", published in 1947 and translated by Dika Newlin as "Schoenberg and his School" (US and UK editions 1949). This was among the earliest theoretical treatises written on Schoenberg's 12-tone method of composition. Leibowitz's advocacy of the Schoenberg school was taken further by his two most gifted pupils, each taking different paths in promoting the musics of Schoenberg, Webern and the development of serialism, namely Pierre Boulez and Jacques-Louis Monod. His American students include the composers Will Ogdon, Janet Maguire, and the avant-garde film director-animator John Whitney.

As conductor, Leibowitz was active in many recording projects. One of the most widely circulated and most notable is a set of the Beethoven symphonies made for Reader's Digest Recordings; it was apparently the first recording of the symphonies to follow Beethoven's original metronome markings. In choosing this approach, Leibowitz was influenced by his friend and colleague Rudolf Kolisch. Leibowitz likewise made many recordings for Reader's Digest in their various compilation albums.

He also wrote for "Les Temps modernes", applying existentialist ideas to musicology.

Works

*Piano Sonata op.1 (1939)
*10 Canons for wind trio op.2 (1939)
*String Quartet no.1 op.3 (1940)
*Symphony op.4 (1941)
*Double concerto for violin, piano and 17 instruments op.5 (1942)
*6 Songs for bass and piano op.6 (1942)
*"Tourist Death", concert aria for soprano and chamber orchestra (T: Archibald MacLeish) op.7 (1943)
*4 Piano Pieces op.8 (1943)
*3 Songs for soprano and piano (T: Pablo Picasso) op.9 (1943)
*Chamber Concerto for nine instruments op.10 (1944)
*Wind Quintet op.11 (1944)
*Sonata for violin and piano op.12a (1944)
*Sonata for flute and piano op.12b (1944)
*"Empedokles" for mixed a cappella chorus (T: Friedrich Hölderlin) op.13 (1944/45)
*Variations for orchestra op.14 (1945)
*"L'explication des Metaphores/Explanation of Metaphors" (T: Raymond Queneau) op.15 (1947)
*Chamber Concerto for 12 instruments op.16 (1948)
*"La Nuit Close", music drama in three acts (T: Georges Limbour) op.17 (1947-50)
*4 Songs for soprano and piano (T: Michel Leiris) op.18 (1949)
*3 Piano Pieces op.19 (1949)
*Piano Trio op.20 (1950)
*"L'Emprise du Donné" op.21 (1950)
*String Quartet no.2 op.22 (1950)
*Duo for cello and piano op.23 (1951)
*"Perpetuum Mobile: The City - A Dramatic Symphony for Narrator and Orchestra" (T: William Carlos Williams) op.24 (1951)
*5 Songs for soprano and piano op.25 (1951)
*String Quartet no.3 op.26 (1951)
*Fantasy for piano op.27 (1952)
*6 Short Piano Pieces op.28 (1952)
*5 Pieces for clarinet and piano op.29 (1952)
*"La Circulaire de Minuit", opera in three acts (T: Georges Limbour) op.30 (1953)
*6 Orchestral Pieces op.31 (1954)
*Concerto for piano and orchestra op.32 (1954)
*"Träume vom Tod und vom Leben - Eine Symphonie für Soli, Sprecher, gemischten Chor und Orchester" (T: Hans Arp) op.33 (1954-55)
*4 Songs for soprano and piano (T: James Joyce) op.34 (1954)
*"Concertino" for viola and chamber orchestra op.35 (1954)
*"Rhapsodie Concertante" for violin and piano op.36 (1955)
*"La Notte" (T: Angelo Poliziano), "Epigramma" (T: Torquato Tasso) and "A se stesso" (T: Giacomo Leopardi) for mixed chorus op.37 (1955)
*"Serenade" for baritone and eight instruments (T: Friedrich Hölderlin, Clemens Brentano) op.38 (1955)
*Symphonic Fantasy for orchestra op.39 (1956)
*"The Renegade" for mixed chorus and instruments (T: Lionel Abel) op.40 (1956)
*"Capriccio" for high soprano and nine instruments (T: Friedrich Hölderlin) op.41 (1956)
*String Trio op.42 (1956)
*"Sonata quasi una Fantasia" for piano op.43 (1957)
*"Humoresque" for six percussionists op.44 (1957)
*String Quartet no.4 op.45 (1958)
*"Trois Poèmes de Georges Limbour" for soprano and six instruments (T: Georges Limbour) op.46 (1958)
*"Concertino" for piano duet op.47 (1958)
*Overture for orchestra op.48 (1958)
*"Damocles", song cycle for soprano and piano (T: Michel Leiris) op.49 (1958)
*Concerto for violin and orchestra op.50 (1958)
*3 Bagatelles for string orchestra op.51 (1958)
*"Art for Art's Sake - A Fantasia for Jazz Orchestra" op.52 (1959)
*"Concertino" for trombone and orchestra op.53 (1960)
*"Marijuana - Variations non sérieuses op.54 (1960)
*"Sinfonietta da Camera" op.55 (1961)
*Fantasy for violin solo op.56 (1961)
*Introduction, Funeral March and Fanfare op.57 (1961)
*Concerto for cello and orchestra op.58 (1962)
*String Quartet no.5 op.59 (1963)
*"Les Espagnols à Vénise - Opera buffa" in one act (T: Georges Limbour op.60 (1964)
*"Quatre bagatelles" for trombone and piano op.61 (1963)
*"Toccata pour piano" op.62 (1964)
*Symphonic Rhapsody for orchestra op.63 (1965)
*"Trois Ètudes miniatures" for piano op.64 (1965)
*String Quartet no.6 op.65 (1965)
*"Suite" for violin and piano op.66 (1965)
*2 Songs for soprano and piano (T: Aimé Cesaire) op.67 (1965)
*"A Prayer - A Symphonic Cantata" for mezzo-soprano, male chorus and orchestra (T: James Joyce) op.68 (1965)
*"Sonatina" for flute, viola and harp op.69 (1966)
*"Trois Caprices" for vibraphone op.70 (1966)
*"Two Settings after William Blake" for mixed chorus (T: William Blake) op.71 (1966)
*String Quartet no.7 op.72 (1966)
*"Trois Poèmes de Georges Bataille" for bass and piano (T: Georges Bataille) op.73 (1966)
*"Motifs" for speaker and instruments (T: Georges Limbour) op.74 (1967)
*"Petite Suite" for piano op.75 (1966)
*"Deux Poèmes" for soprano and piano (T: Michel Leiris) op.76a (1966)
*"Chanson Dada", three melodramas for treble and instruments (T: Tristan Tzara) op.76b (1966)
*"Sonnet" for soprano and five instruments (T: E. E. Cummings) op.77 (1967)
*"Rondo capriccioso" for piano op.78 (1967)
*"Capriccio" for flute and strings op.79 (1967)
*4 Songs for bass and piano (T: Carl Einstein) op.80 (1967)
*"Suite" for nine instruments op.81 (1967)
*"Legend" for soprano, piano and orchestra (T: Hart Crane) op.82 (1968)
*String Quartet no.8 op.83 (1968)
*Saxophone Quartet op.84 (1969)
*"Labyrinthe", music drama in one act (T: René Leibowitz after Charles Baudelaire) op.85 (1969)
*4 Songs for bass and piano (T: Paul Celan) op.86 (1969)
*"Tre Intermezzi per pianoforte" op.87 (1970)
*"Laboratoire Central - Short Cantata" for speaker, female chorus and instruments (T: Max Jacob) op.88 (1970)
*"Scene and Aria" for soprano and orchestra (T: Georg Heym) op.89 (1970)
*Clarinet Sextet op.90 (1970)
*"Todos Caeràn", opera in 2 acts and 5 tableaux (T: René Leibowitz) op.91 (1971)
*"Trois Poèmes de Pierre Reverdy" for vocal quartet and piano (T: Pierre Reverdy) op.92 (1971)
*String Quartet no.9 op.93 (1972)

Discography (selection)

* Beethoven: Complete symphonies. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra cond. R. Leibowitz. Chesky (LP/CD)
* Bizet: "Les Pêcheurs de perles". Paris Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra cond. R. Leibowitz. Preiser (CD)
* Grieg: Piano Concerto. Earl Wild (piano), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra cond. R. Leibowitz. Chesky (CD)
* Massenet & Puccini: "A Portrait of Manon" - Anna Moffo, Giuseppe di Stefano, Flaviano Labo, Robert Kerns - RCA Italiana Opera Chorus and Orchestra, cond. R. Leibowitz. Testament (CD)
* Mozart: Symphony no. 41 ("Jupiter"). Royal Philharmonic Orchestra cond. R. Leibowitz. Chesky (CD)
* Offenbach: "La Belle Hélène". Paris Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra cond. R. Leibowitz. Regis (CD)
* Offenbach: "Orphée aux enfers". Paris Opera Chorus and Orchestra cond. R. Leibowitz. Regis (CD), also Preiser (CD)

Bibliography

* Leibowitz, René. 1947 "Schönberg et son école: l'étape contemporaine du langage musical". [Paris] : J.B. Janin. (English edition, as "Schoenberg and His School: The Contemporary Stage in the Language of Music". Translated by Dika Newlin. New York: Philosophocal Library, 1949).
* —. 1948. "Qu’est-ce que la musique de douze sons? Le Concerto pour neuf instruments, op. 24, d’Anton Webern". Liège: Editions Dynamo.
* —. 1949. "Introduction à la musique de douze sons: Les variations pour orchestre op. 31, d'Arnold Schoenberg". Paris: L'Arche.
* —. 1950a. "L'artiste et sa conscience: esquisse d'une dialectique de la conscience artistique". Préf. de Jean-Paul Sartre. Paris: L'Arche.
* —. 1950b. "Scènes de la vie musicale américaine". Liège: Editions Dynamo.
* —. 1950c. "Arnold Schoenberg, ou Sisyphe dans la musique contemporaine". Liège: Editions Dynamo.
* —. 1951. "L'évolution de la musique, de Bach à Schönberg". Paris: Éditions Corrêa.
* —. 1957. "Histoire de l'opéra". Paris: Buchet Chastel.
* —. 1969. "Schoenberg". Paris: Éditions du Seuil.
* —. 1971. "Le compositeur et son double: essais sur l'interprétation musicale". Paris: Gallimard. (Ed. augm., version définitive. Paris: Gallimard, 1986.)
* —. 1972. "Les fantômes de l'opéra: essais sur le théâtre lyrique". Paris: Gallimard.

External links

Leibowitz as conductor: [http://www.angelfire.com/music2/reneleibowitz/rl.html]


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  • Rene Leibowitz — René Leibowitz (* 17. Februar 1913 in Warschau; † 29. August 1972 in Paris) war ein französischer Dirigent, Musikpädagoge, Schriftsteller und Komponist lettisch polnischer Herkunft. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • René Leibowitz — (* 17. Februar 1913 in Warschau; † 29. August 1972 in Paris) war ein französischer Dirigent, Musikpädagoge, Schriftsteller und Komponist lettisch polnischer Herkunft. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • René Leibowitz — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda René Leibowitz (Varsovia, 17 de febrero de 1913 29 de agosto de 1972). Compositor polaco, nacionalizado francés, director de orquesta, teórico y profesor. Durante los primeros años de la década de 1930, Leibowitz… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Rene Leibowitz — René Leibowitz René Leibowitz (né à Varsovie le 17 février 1913 et mort à Paris le 28 août 1972) est un chef d orchestre, compositeur, théoricien et pédagogue français d origine polonaise. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Citation 3 Œuvre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • René Leibowitz — (né à Varsovie le 17 février 1913 et mort à Paris le 28 août 1972) est un chef d orchestre, compositeur, théoricien et pédagogue français d origine polonaise. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Citations 3 Œuvre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rene Leibowitz — n. (1913 1972) French composer and conductor who was born in Poland …   English contemporary dictionary

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  • René — (born again, or reborn, in French) is a very common given name in French speaking countries. It comes from the Latin name Renatus. René is normally, originally only a masculine name (Renée being the feminine form). But in non Francophone… …   Wikipedia