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Frank Wohlfahrt

Frank Wohlfahrt was born on 15 April 1894 in Bremen (Germany). He studied under Max Loewengard and Conrad Hanns in Hamburg (1912/13), under Wilhelm Klatte and Bruno Eisner in Berlin (1914) and under Ernst Kurth in Bern (1919).

 

After his studies – from 1920 to the early 1930s – Frank Wohlfahrt focused on composing and writing poems. At that time he mainly lived in Florence and published two collections of poems: „Zwoelf und einer“ and „Gesänge um Gott und die Mutter“.

In terms of music he created songs and four large string quartets. All of these works were composed in ultra-modern, controversial manner it seems and received devastating reviews across the board. Below I listed some representativve examples from contemporary reviews to performances of works by Frank Wohlfahrt:

 

  • songs (1915)
    „viscous, solitary, sterile. Melancholia of incompetence are their seal.“

     
  • String quartet No.1 E-major (1922)
    „dreadful, futuristic work“

     
  • String quartet No.2 g-minor op.3
    „suffers from a lack of concentration and tight arrangement“

     
  • String quartet No.3 B-flat major op.4 (1922)
    „one was fed up in such a way, that not few took to their heels“

     
  • String quartet No.4 op.5 (1933)
    „not without skill, but extremely long-winded and pretty sterile“

It seems that Frank Wohlfahrt gave composing and versing a rest in the 1930s and contrated on writing on music and was critic for several newspapers in the German-speaking area. In 1943 he published a large analysis on each of Anton Bruckner‘s symphonies, a writing Frank Wohlfahrt is best remembered nowadays.

 

After World War II he taught music theory at the conservatory in Hamburg and was appointed professor in 1950. Frank Wohlfahrt lectured there until his retirement and created only a few more compositions and writings (a book on Bach/Mozart/Schumann and a book on the history of the symphony).

 

Frank Wohlfahrt died on 3 Oktober 1971 in Hamburg (Germany).

 

 

The work catalogue of Frank Wohlfahrt contains only a few compositions: The songs and four string quartets from the time before World War II. From this time dates an orchestration (with an own ending) of the Passacaglia for piano op.16 by Ilse Fromm-Michaels as well. After 1945 Frank Wohlfahrt composed an oratorio for speaker, choir and orchestra „Die Passion des Prometheus“ (1955), an scenic oratio „Gott und Wolf“ and the „Fanfaren-Musik“, for 2 trumpets and 2 trombones (1960).

Eriksonate for piano

 

In my possession is the autograph music manuscript of a sonate for piano called "Eriksonate" by Frank Wohlfahrt. The work is undated and I have no information why the work bears this curious title. For information purposes one can download the score of the work below:

Wohlfahrt_Eriksonate.pdf
PDF-Dokument [366.1 KB]
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