Alphons Diepenbrock

Alphonsus Johannes Maria Diepenbrock (2 September 1862 in Amsterdam – 5 April 1921) was a Dutch composer, essayist and classicist.

Life and work

Diepenbrock was not a musician by training. Brought up in a prosperous Catholic family, although he showed musical ability as a child, the expectation was that he would enter a university rather than a conservatory. And so he studied classics at the University of Amsterdam, gaining his doctorate cum laude in 1888 with a dissertation in Latin on the life of Seneca. The same year he became a teacher, a job which he held until 1894, and his decision to devote himself to music. As a composer, he had been completely self-taught from an early age.

He created a musical idiom which, in a highly personal manner, combined 16th-century polyphony with Wagnerian chromaticism, to which in later years was added the impressionistic refinement that he encountered in Debussy's music.

His predominantly vocal output is distinguished by the high quality of the texts used. Apart from the Ancient Greek dramatists and the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, he was inspired by, among others, Goethe, Novalis, Vondel, Brentano, Hölderlin, Heine, Nietzsche, Baudelaire and Verlaine.

As a conductor, he performed many contemporary works, including Gustav Mahler's Fourth Symphony (at the Concertgebouw) as well as works by Fauré and Debussy. Diepenbrock is one of the Dutch composers whose name is displayed on the first balcony of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

Throughout his life, Diepenbrock continued his interests in the wider cultural sphere, remaining a classics tutor and publishing works on literature, painting, politics, philosophy and religion. Indeed, during his lifetime his musical skills were often overlooked. Nonetheless, Diepenbrock was very much a respected figure within musical circles. He counted amongst his friends Mahler, Richard Strauss and Arnold Schoenberg.

Alphons Diepenbrock is related to Cardinal Melchior von Diepenbrock, who was his great uncle, as well as to a branch of the family that immigrated to America in 1879.

He married Rosmalen, Netherlands 8 August 1895 Lady Wilhelmina Elisabeth Cornelia Petronella de Jong van Beek en Donk.

Works and discography

  • Missa in die festo (1891, orchestrated version 1913)
    • Deniz Yilmaz, ten., Leo van Doeselaar, organ, men of the Netherlands Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava, cond., Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012)
    • orchestrated version, Kyrie and Gloria, Elisabeth Lugt, sop., Martha van Kerkoff, alto, Tom Brand, tenor, Laurens Bogtman, bass, Netherlands Radio Choir, Toonkunst Choir Amsterdam, Apollo Choir Soest, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink, cond. (1961), Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012)
  • Reyzangen uit Gysbrecht van Aemstel for choir and orchestra (1892-95)
    • Maja Roodveldt, sop., Sophie Hoofboom, mezzo, Frank Hameleers, tenor, Henk van Heijnsbergen, bass, Netherlands Radio Choir, Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ed Spanjaard, cond., Alphons Diepenbrock and the Golden Age, Composers Voice Classics CV 121 (2004); Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012)
  • Te Deum (1897)
    • laudamus, Toonkunst Choir Amsterdam, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Eduard van Beinum, Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012)
  • Ik ben in eenzaamheid niet meer alleen (1898)
  • Hymne für Geige und Orchester (Hymn for Violin and Orchestra) (1898)
    • Emmy Verhey, violin, Het Residentie Orkest den Haag (Hague Philharmonic), Hans Vonk cond., Alphons Diepenbrock, Vol. 1, Orchestral Works, Chandos 8821 (1990); Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012); Brilliant Classics 93412 (2017)
  • Hymne an die Nacht (1899)
    • Nr. 1, Gehoben is der Stein, Arleen Auger, sop., Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly, cond., Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012)
    • Nr. 2, Muß immer der Morgen wiederkommen?, Linda Finnie, mezzo-sop., Het Residentie Orkest den Haag (Hague Philharmonic), Hans Vonk cond., Alphons Diepenbrock, Vol. 2, Symphonic Songs, Chandos 8878 (1990); Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012); Brilliant Classics 93412 (2017)
    • Nr. 2, Nathalie Stutzmann, alto, Riccardo Chailly, cond., Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, vol. 6, 1990-2000, RCO Live 11004 (2011)
  • Vondels vaart naar Agrippine (1903)
  • Hymne aan Rembrandt, for soprano, female choir, and orchestra (1906)
    • Eva-Marie Westbroek, sop., Netherlands Radio Choir, Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ed Spanjaard, cond., Alphons Diepenbrock and the Golden Age, Composers Voice Classics CV 121 (2004); Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012)
  • Im Grossen Schweigen, five songs for baritone and orchestra (1906)
    • Robert Holl, bass, Het Residentie Orkest den Haag (Hague Philharmonic), Hans Vonk cond., Alphons Diepenbrock, Vol. 2, Symphonic Songs, Chandos 8878 (1990); Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012); Brilliant Classics 93412 (2017)
  • Die Nacht, three songs for alto and orchestra (1911)
  • Marsyas (1910)
    • Concert suite, Het Residentie Orkest den Haag (Hague Philharmonic), Hans Vonk cond., Alphons Diepenbrock, Vol. 1, Orchestral Works, Chandos 8821 (1990); Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012); Brilliant Classics 93412 (2017)
    • La source enchantee, Concert Suite (1920), Antony Hermus, Bamberger Symphoniker, Alphons Diepenbrock, Symphonic Poems, CPO 777 927-2 (2016)
  • Gijsbreght van Aemstel (1912)
  • Lydische Nacht (1913)
  • De Vogels (The Birds) (1917)
    • Overture, Het Residentie Orkest den Haag (Hague Philharmonic), Hans Vonk cond., Alphons Diepenbrock, Vol. 1, Orchestral Works, Chandos 8821 (1990); Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012); Brilliant Classics 93412 (2017)
    • Overture, Antony Hermus, Bamberger Symphoniker, Alphons Diepenbrock, Symphonic Poems, CPO 777 927-2 (2016)
  • Elektra (1920)
    • Symphonic suite (1920), Het Residentie Orkest den Haag (Hague Philharmonic), Hans Vonk cond., Alphons Diepenbrock, Vol. 1, Orchestral Works, Chandos 8821 (1990); Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012); Brilliant Classics 93412 (2017)
    • Symphonic Suite (1920), Antony Hermus, Bamberger Symphoniker, Alphons Diepenbrock, Symphonic Poems, CPO 777 927-2 (2016)
  • Hymne: Wenige wissen das Geheimnis der Liebe, three songs for voice and organ (or orchestra)
    • Christoph Homberger, tenor, Het Residentie Orkest den Haag (Hague Philharmonic), Hans Vonk cond., Alphons Diepenbrock, Vol. 2, Symphonic Songs, Chandos 8878 (1990); Brilliant Classics 93412 (2017)
  • Misc. works for Chamber Choir (1884-1912), Netherlands Chamber Choir, conducted by Hartmut Haenschen, Uwe Gronostay, Ed Spanjaard, Celso Antunes, Klaas Stok, Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012)
  • Misc. songs for voice and orchestra, Annete de la Bije, Renee Defraiteeur, Lode Devos, Christoph Hombert, Bernard Kruysen, Netherlands Radio Orchestra, Maurits van den Berg, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Willem van Otterloo, Promenade Orchestra, Benedict Silberman, Het Residentie Orkest den Haag (Hague Philharmonic), Hans Vonk cond., Alphons Diepenbrock—Anniversary Edition, Et'Cetera KTC 1435 (2012)

References

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