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Karol Rathaus

Karol Rathaus was born on 16 September 1895 in Ternopil (Austria-Hungary, now Ukraine). Rathaus began composing at an early age, beginning his studies in 1913/1914 at the Academy of Performing Arts and Music in Vienna. His studies were interrupted by military service during the First World War. As one of the favorite pupils of Franz Schreker, Rathaus followed him to the Academy of Music in Berlin, where he continued to study music and composition.


After graduation, Rathaus accepted the position of a teacher of composition and music theory at the Berlin University of the Arts. Rathaus lived in Berlin from 1922 to 1932, during which time his first compositions caused a sensation and achieved great success. After his 1930 opera "Fremde Erde", Rathaus created film music and was among the artistically outstanding film composers in Germany before 1933. He wrote the music for three films by Fyodor Ozeps.


In 1933 he went to Paris and lived in London from 1934 to 1938, before he finally settled in New York. In 1940 he became a professor of composition at Queens College. In this position he achieved prestige and popularity. In addition, he was also successful as a composer, writing many commissioned works and several film scores. Karol Rathaus died on 21 November 1954 in New York (USA).


Among his compositions are 3 symphonies, several orchestral pieces, a piano concerto, a suite for violin and chamber orchestra, the ballet "Der letzte Pierrot", 5 string quartets, 2 violin sonatas, 2 piano sonatas, the opera "Fremde Erde" and some vocal music. In Nazi Germany, his compositions were classified as "degenerate art" and assigned a performance ban. He is now considered one of the many great 'composers in exile'.


In my possession is the autograph manuscript of the choral composition "Dona nobis pacem, Domine" op.54 No.1. The work is scored for SSAT chorus and was composed in 1944. It is part of the larger composition "Psalm XXIII op.54". Do to the fact that it is unpublished I present the score here for information purposes:

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