Hans (Erich) Pfitzner


A pupil of Knorr and Kwast at the Hoch Conservatory, Frankfurt, he was a teacher in Berlin, Strasbourg and Munich until 1934, when he was relieved of his post.

His earlier works, including the operas Der arme Heinrich (1895) and Die Rose vom Liebesgarten (1901), are Wagnerian, but in Palestrina (1917) he produced a remarkable piece of operatic spiritual autobiography.

One of his certainties was of the supremacy of the German Romantic tradition - he was a powerful patriot which he supported in polemical exchanges with Berg and implicitly in the cantatas (Von deutscher Seele, 1921; Das dunkle Reich, 1929) which were his main works after Palestrina.

He also wrote three symphonies (1932, 1939, 1940), concertos for the piano (1922), the violin (1923) and two for the cello (1935, 1944), chamber music (including three string quartets) and circa 100 songs.

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