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Albert Luig

Albert Luig was born on 20 January 1906 in Brussels (Belgium) to German parents. After World War I the family had to leave Belgium and moved to Aachen (Germany) where Albert Luig finished his school. Then he moved to Cologne and studied music at the Hochschule under Philipp Jarnach (composition), Lazarro Uzielli (piano) and Hermann Abendroth (conducting). He finished his studies in 1933 and went back to Aachen where he successfully conducted a local chamber orchestra. A year later Albert Luig moved to Berlin, worked as music manager in the governance of the Hitler Youth but quit in 1936 to focus on this career as a composer. In the next years till his sudden death Albert Luig mainly earned a living from composing film music for documentaries produced by the UFA or by private. But he also composed serious music for concerts and was a beacon of hope for the German classical music scene. During World War II Albert Luig was drafted for military service and was a driver for the German Armed Forces at home. In such a mission Albert Luig died on 30 April 1942 in a car accident.

 

Although the works by Albert Luig were performed regularly at music festivals in the 1930s and early 1940s, received good reviews throughout and he was titled a promising composer, none of the compositions were published neither during his lifetime nor later. I also could not find an archive that holds his manuscripts and so it is difficult to find information about his work catalogue not to speak of scores. For this reason I would like to present here a work catalogue which I compiled from two short articles about Albert Luig in German music journals as well as from announcements in old newspapers.

work catalogue:

 

orchestra music:

  • Konzertstück, for violin and orchestra op.12 (1933)
  • Fest- und Feiermusik, for orchestra
  • Sinfonietta for small orchestra
  • Melodies for cello and orchestra
  • Festlicher Auftakt für grosses Orchester mit Fanfaren, op.49
  • Suite for orchestra No.1 op.51 „Erinnerungen an eine Winterreise“ (1939)
  • Piano concerto (unfinished)


chamber music:

  • String quartet No.1 op.8
  • Hausmusik I, for piano op.13a
  • String quartet No.2 D major op.40
  • Fantasie, for saxophone and piano
  • Abendmusik, for soprano, flute and violin
  • Der treue Johannes, a fairy tale of the Grimm brothers, for flute, oboe, clarinet, viola da gamba and harp
  • Sonata for piano
  • 6 kleine Stücke, for violin and piano
  • Fantasia for horn and piano
  • Spielerei am Klavier, for piano op.52

 

vocal music:

  • Operetta „Der silberne Teufel“
  • many songs

 

film music:

  • „Für Ehre, Freiheit, Frieden – Zeppelin im Wahlkampf“, director: Richard Quaas & Hermann Stöß (1936)
  • „Das Sinnesleben der Pflanzen“, director: Ulrich K. T. Schulz & Wolfram Junghans (1937)
  • „1 A in Kamerun“, director: Paul Lieberenz (1938)
  • „“Können Tiere denken?“, director: Fritz Heydenreich (1938)
  • „Bei den Batakern auf Sumatra“, director: Alfred Bothas (1938)
  • „Sinnvolle Zwecklosigkeiten“, director: Fritz Heydenreich & Friedrich Goethe (1939)
  • „Kanarien“, director: Ulrich K. T. Schulz & Wolfram Junghans (1940)
  • „Die Nürnberger Uhr“ (1941)

Suite for orchestra No.1 op.51

 

In my possession is the full score of the Suite for orchestra No.1 op.51 "Erinnerungen an eine Winterreise" (Memories on a winter journey). The work was composed in 1938/39 and premiered on 20 February 1941 by the Städtisches Orchester Bochum under Klaus Nettstraeter.

As far as I know this is the only existing score of a composition by Albert Luig and it seems that this work was his hitherto master piece. Reinhold Zimmermann wrote in his commemorative article on Albert Luig in "Neue Zeitschrift für Musik" (113 volume, 1952, page 282):

 

"The sum of his nature and his artistic imagery became his hexamerous, richly coloured and rhythmic Suite for orchestra op.51 'Memories on a winter journey'."

 

And a review of the premiere performance in the local newspaper "Bochumer Anzeiger" on 22 February 1941 described the Suite as follows:

 

"First of all it is emphasized that Luig knows how to orchestrate and how to use the large and multisided orchestral forces very artfully and transparently. [..] Melodically he favours thematic structures of eastern and northern origin when it comes to the presentation of severe images, vast snow and ice sceneries or cold, hibernal ambience. In the more casual sections his music turns to be strikingly pleasant. But it is always elegant and subtle."

 

Below you can download the full score of this "First suite for large orchestra" by Albert Luig:

Luig_SuiteForOrchestra.pdf
PDF-Dokument [2.5 MB]

The following sound snippet is a computer realisation of the beginning of the Suite:

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© Tobias Broeker