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Kurt Lange

Kurt Lange was born on 18 May 1881 in Lübben (Germany). He was born into a musical family - his father was an organist - and so learned to play the piano from an early age first from his father, later he received  professional piano lessons. At the age of 22 Kurt Lange started to study music at the Berliner Hochschule für Musik and also taught piano at the music school of Max Pohl in Berlin-Schöneberg.

After his studies Kurt Lange continued to work as a piano teacher at the music school in Berlin-Schöneberg, interrupted by the World War I in which Kurt Lange served as a pioneer. After the war Kurt Lange toured as an accompianist with several singers (for example Emma Bellwidt) through Germany. But he shortly quit his work as a accompanist and focused on composing and working as a piano teacher. In the 1930s Kurt Lange had difficulties to adapt himself with the Nazi regime. There is a documented incident that Kurt Lange refused the Nazi salute during a public event and therefore was removed from the location by force. Later his position at the music school was terminated. When his wife died shortly afterwards, Kurt Lange withdrew completely from the public life and continued to compose as well as started to paint. In April 1945 his house was bombed out destroying all his belongings, his library and his Bechstein piano. Only the music manuscripts and his paintings survived, but he nevertheless continued to compose and paint until his death.

Kurt Lange died on 29 September 1958 in Berlin.

 

Kurt Lange composed over 100 compositions with a strong emphasis on piano music and songs. Beside his piano works and the songs (with piano, chamber ensemble or orchestral accompaniment) the work catalogue of Kurt Lange only contains a String quartet op.113 and a Romance for violin and piano. Some of his compositions were published like his "Drei Gesänge" (Verlag Dreililien, 1913) or the "Sieben Klavierstücke op.47" (Verlagsanstalt Deutscher Tonkünstler, 1934). His mostly unpublished music manuscripts are archived at the Munich music library and were a donation of a Ms. Weiss-Reyscher in 1959.

 

In my possession are two autograph manuscripts by Kurt Lange. Both autographs are excerpts from larger piano compositions which Kurt Lange created for a "Frau Weiss-Reyscher", obviously the same person who took over the musical estate of Kurt Lange after his passing and who donated the estate to the music library in Munich.

The first excerpt is titled "5 Stücke aus den Klavierskizzen Wk. 7" and includes the variations 12a, 8, 11, 9 and 2. At the end the manuscript is dated "July 1930" and dedicated to Ms. Weiss-Reyscher. The complete composition "Klavierskizzen" op.7 consists of 12 movements and was most likely composed way before 1930. The date in my manuscript surely shows the year when the excerpt was created.

The second manuscript is also an excerpt and titled "Thema und vier Stücke (Var. 10, 6, 11 und 4) aus den Klaviervariationen A-Dur". The manuscript is not dated, but again dedicated to Ms. Weiss-Reyscher. The complete "Klaviervariationen" is the op.55 in the work catalogue of Kurt Lange.

Lange_Klaviervariationen.pdf
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