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Siegfried Kallenberg

Siegfried Kallenberg was born on 3 November 1867 in Bad Schachen (Germany). His great-grandfather was the eminent writer Jean Paul and his grandfather the painter Ernst Förster. His father Karl Kallenberg was a gymnast and fellow campaigner of Friedrich Jahn. His godfather was the Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi which brought Kallenberg the second given name "Garibaldi".

Siegfried Kallenberg studied music in Stuttgart under Immanuel Faißt and in Munich under Josef Gabriel Rheinberger. After his studies he earned a living as piano lecturer and choir master at the conservatories in Szczecin, Hannover and Kaliningrad.

In 1910 Siegfried Kallenberg moved to Munich and focussed on composing as a freelance artist. In the following three decades Siegfried Kallenberg composed a large amount of works: 5 operas (Sun Liao, Das goldene Tor, Die lustigen Musikanten, Der Diener zweier Herren), 2 singspiele, 2 pantomimes (Buch der Tänze, Abenteuer im lila Molch), 4 symphonies, 2 piano concertos and several orchestral pieces. Among his chamber music are a violin sonata, a string trio, a string quartet and quintet, a Serenade for piano, horn and flute, a "Romantisches Trio" for piano, horn and clarinet, as well as many works for piano. He composed around 300 songs, among them substantial song cycles on works by Rilke, Stefan George, Rosetti or Theodor Storm. And finally Kallenberg also wrote choral music like "Germania an ihre Kinder" for solo, choir and orchestra, a requiem for choir and orchestra, "Den Gefallenen" for 5-part choir or the "Kleine Passionsmusik" for solo, choir, string orchestra and organ.

Siegfried Kallenbergs compositions never became extremely popular because his compositional style changed over the decades and he could not be allocated to a specific "pigeonhole". The fellow composer Roderich von Mojsisovics wrote on the occasion of Kallenberg's 75th birthday: "[Kallenberg] is a distinctive son of his time with its different compositional styles and likewise he created an extensive, but also diversified work catalogue. Starting from the neo-German, i.e. as Romanticist, over impressionism, extreme contemporary styles of the postwar period [of World War I] to the present - ever an idiosyncratic creator".

Among Kallenberg's most notable compositions is his collaboration with the young playwright Ödon von Horvath. The two men met in 1920 and the established composer Kallenberg asked the young up-and-coming Ödön von Horvath to write texts for a pantomime. Horvath agreed and created seven poems to which Kallenberg wrote music. The poems were published under the title "Buch der Tänze" (book of dances), because for the performance the poems were read by a narrator and then danced by artists to the music of Kallenberg. The world premiere of the piano version took place in 1922 in Munich, the orchestral version in 1926 in Osnabrück. Both performances received diverse reviews, but the critics were mainly disappointed or shocked. For that reason Ödön von Horvath withdrew his publication, rebought all copies of his "Buch der Tänze" from private persons and libraries and destroyed them. The work was never performed again during the lifetimes of both authors, but in contrast to Horvath Siegfried Kallenberg stood by his composition and preserved it.


Siegfried Kallenberg died on 9 February 1944 in Munich (Germany).

Fantasie für Klavier


In my possession is the autograph manuscript of the "Fantasie für Klavier nach einer Dichtung von Ödön von Horvath". The work was composed in 1923 according to the manuscript and seems to be a successor to the "Buch der Tänze" from 1921. The composition is played without interruption, but has nevertheless some clear sections which are titled: Aus einem Herbst - Menuett - Musik der Nacht - Morgen.

The work was performed by the composer at the 3rd concert of the Kallenberg-Gesellschaft in Munich in 1924 which most likely was the premiere.


The score of the composition can be downloaded here:

PDF-Dokument [283.6 KB]



In my possession is the autograph manuscript of a small composition titled "Bauerntanz" for piano. The manuscript consists of two parts: A "primo" part for upper and middle voice and a "secondo" part for lower voice.

PDF-Dokument [81.1 KB]
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