Robert Fuchs (15 February 1847 – 19 February 1927) was an Austrian composer and music teacher.
As Professor of music theory at the Vienna Conservatory, Fuchs taught many notable composers, while he was himself a highly regarded composer in his lifetime.
He was born in Frauental an der Laßnitz in Styria in 1847 as the youngest of thirteen children. He studied at the Vienna Conservatory with Felix Otto Dessoff and Joseph Hellmesberger among others. He eventually secured a teaching position there and was appointed Professor of music theory in 1875. He retained the position until 1912. He died in Vienna at the age of eighty.
He was the brother of Johann Nepomuk Fuchs, who was also a composer and conductor, primarily of operas.
Robert Fuchs taught many notable composers, including George Enescu, Gustav Mahler, Hugo Wolf, Jean Sibelius, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Erich Korngold, Franz Schmidt, Franz Schreker, Richard Heuberger, Leo Fall, Erkki Melartin, and Leo Ascher.
"Unfailingly tuneful and enjoyable, Robert Fuchs’s piano trios are an easily accessible way to get to know a composer whom Brahms greatly admired," noted the magazine Gramophone. "In his time Fuchs was very highly regarded, with one critic famously pointing to Fuchsisms in Mahler’s Second Symphony."
That his compositions did not become better known was largely because he did little to promote them, living a quiet life in Vienna and refusing to arrange concerts, even when the opportunity arose, in other cities. He certainly had his admirers, among them Brahms, who almost never praised the works of other composers. But with regard to Fuchs, Brahms wrote, “Fuchs is a splendid musician, everything is so fine and so skillful, so charmingly invented, that one is always pleased.” Rarely, if ever, did another composer receive this kind of an accolade from Brahms. Famous contemporary conductors, including Arthur Nikisch, Felix Weingartner and Hans Richter, championed his works when they had the opportunity but with few exceptions, it was his chamber music which was considered his finest work.
In his lifetime, his best known works were his five serenades; their popularity was so great that Fuchs acquired the nickname "Serenaden-Fuchs" (roughly, "Serenading Fox").
Johannes Moser and Paul Rivinius recorded his Sonata No.2 in E♭ Minor, Op. 83 for Violoncello and Piano in 2006 for Hanssler Classic.
List of compositions
- Symphony No.1 in C major, Op.37
Symphony No.2 in E♭ major, Op.45
- Symphony No.3 in E major, Op.79
Serenade for string orchestra No.1 in D major, Op.9 (The American Symphony Orchestra gave the US premiere of the Serenade No. 1 (1874) on November 15, 2009.)
- Serenade for string orchestra No.2 in C major, Op.14
- Serenade for string orchestra No.3 in E minor, Op.21
- Serenade for string orchestra and 2 horns in G minor, Op.51
- Serenade for small orchestra in D major, Op. 53
- Andante grazioso & Capriccio for string orchestra, Op.63
Piano Concerto in B♭ minor, Op.27
Die Königsbraut, in 3 acts, Op.46 (1889) (librettist: Ignaz Schnitzer) premiered in Vienna
Die Teufelsglocke, in 3 acts (w/o Op.) (1891) (librettist: Bernhard Buchbinder)
- Mass in G, Op. 108
- Mass in D minor, Op. 116
- Mass in F, without Opus number
Quintet for clarinet and string quartet in E♭ major, Op.102
- String Quartet No.1 in E major, Op.58
- String Quartet No.2 in A minor, Op.62
- String Quartet No.3 in C major, Op.71
- String Quartet No.4 in A major, Op.106
- Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor, Op.15
- Piano Quartet No.2 in B minor, Op.75
Trio in F♯ minor for violin, viola, and piano, Op.115
- Seven Fantasy Pieces for violin, viola and piano, Op.57
- String Trio in A major, Op.94
- Piano Trio in C major, Op.22
Piano Trio in B♭ major, Op.72
- Terzetti (trios for two violins and viola) Opp. 61 nos. 1 in E minor, 2 in D minor
Terzetto in C♯ minor, Op. 107
Violin and Viola
Violin and Piano
Violin Sonata No.1 in F♯ minor, Op. 20
- Violin Sonata No.2 in D major, Op. 33
- Violin Sonata No.3 in D minor, Op. 68
- Violin Sonata No.4 in A major, Op. 77
- Violin Sonata No.5 in E major, Op. 95
- Violin Sonata No.6 in G minor, Op.103
- Ten Fantasy Pieces for violin and piano, Op. 74
Viola and Piano
- Viola Sonata in D minor, Op. 86
- Six Fantasies for viola and piano, Op. 117
Cello and Piano
- Cello Sonata No.1 in D minor, Op. 29
Cello Sonata No.2 in E♭ minor, Op. 83
- Seven Fantasy Pieces for cello and piano, Op. 78
Double-Bass and Piano
Double Bass Sonata, B♭ Major, Op.97
Three Pieces for Double Bass and Piano, Op.96
- Fantasia in C major, Op. 87
- Fantasia in E minor, Op. 91
Fantasia in D♭ major, Op. 101
- Variations and Fugue on an Original Theme
Piano Sonata No.1 in G♭ major, Op. 19
- Piano Sonata No.2 in G minor, Op. 88
Piano Sonata No.3 in D♭ major, Op. 109
- Jugendklänge, Op. 32
- Twelve Waltzes, Op.110
- Dewdrops (Tautropfen), Thirteen Pieces for Piano, Op. 112
^ "American Symphony Orchestra Dialogues and Extensions". http://www.americansymphony.org/dialogue.php?id=473&season=2009-2010. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
^ "List of 2009-10 Premieres". http://www.americanorchestras.org/symphony_magazine/09_10_premieres_orch.html. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
^ Robert Fuchs at www.operone.de
^ Score available at IMSLP
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