Alois Melichar

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Alois Melichar

Alois Melichar (b. 18 April, 1896 in Vienna, Austria - d. 9 April, 1976 - Munich, Germany) was a notable conductor, composer, arranger and music critic.

Melichar studied theory at the Vienna Academy of Music with Joseph Marx (1917-1920) and at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin with Franz Schreker (1920-1923).

From 1923 to 1926 Melichar was in the Caucasus, where he collected materials on Caucasian folk songs. He then lived in Berlin, and Vienna. In Berlin he was held in some regard and was contracted on several occasions to conduct the orchestra of the State Opera in the Unter-den-Linden (see also Eduard Künneke a contemporary]]), as in 1932 when he recorded Helge Rosvaenge performing Meyerbeer's The Huguenots and Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann.

As a composer, he followed the paths of Max Reger, Hans Pfitzner, and Graener; he wrote, amongst others, a symphonic poem, Der Dom (1934); a Rhapsodie über ein schwedisches Valkslied (1939); and the Lustspiel-Ouvertüre (1942).

As a music critic Melichar acquired notoriety by his intemperate attacks on mainly modernist music. His publications, written in a polemical manner, include Die unteilbare Musik (Vienna, 1952), Überwindung des Modernismus (1954) - in which he said that after the catastrophe of 1945, "every opponent of atonal racket and abstract kitsch was automatically labelled a Nazi" - Musik in der Zwangsjacke (Vienna, 1958), and Schönberg und die Folgen (Vienna, 1960).

He was possibly best known for his prolific output of film music which included:

  • Court Waltzes (1933)
  • Night in May (1934)
  • Song of Farewell (1934)
  • Farewell Waltz (1934)
  • The Young Baron Neuhaus (1934)
  • Forget Me Not (1935)
  • The Private Life of Louis XIV (1935)
  • Stradivarius (1935)
  • The Gypsy Baron (1935)
  • If It Were Not for Music (1935)
  • Stradivari (1935)
  • The Girl Irene (1936)
  • Love's Awakening (1936)
  • The Beggar Student (1936)
  • Land of Love (1937)
  • Mother Song (1937)
  • Nanon (1938) (with Erna Sack)
  • Capriccio (1938)
  • Maria Ilona (1939)
  • Immortal Waltz]] (1939)
  • Falstaff in Vienna (1940)
  • The Girl from Barnhelm (1940)
  • My Life for Ireland (1941)
  • The Girl from Fano (1941)
  • Riding for Germany (1941)
  • Attack on Baku (1942)
  • Rembrandt (1942)
  • Music in Salzburg (1944)
  • Die Fledermaus (1946)
  • Anni (1948)
  • Ulli and Marei (1948)
  • The Heavenly Waltz (1948)
  • The Blue Straw Hat (1949)
  • Kissing Is No Sin (1950)
  • Two Times Lotte (1950)
  • Maria Theresa (1951)
  • Don't Forget Love (1953)
  • Dreaming Lips (1953)
  • Diary of a Married Woman (1953)
  • Love is Forever (1954)
  • Dunja (1955)
  • Son Without a Home (1955)

Sources

  • Franz Schreker 1878-1934: a cultural biography by Christopher Hailey, 1993, p.301.
  • Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians by Theodore Baker, 1901/2001. Various editors.
  • https://www.amazon.co.uk/Biographical-Dictionary-Twentieth-Century-Classical-Musicians/dp/0028712714
  • Romantic Modernism: Nostalgia in the World of Conservation by Wim Denslagen, Amsterdam University Press, 2011, p.74.
  • Cinéma 64 - Dessin de Jean Effel - dossier : Le Festival de Cannes - Supplément : François Truffaut - Pages d'histoire : "Le cinéma nazi".
  • European Film Music by Miguel Mera & David Burnand, Published by Routledge, 2006, p.21. ISBN 10: 0754636593ISBN 13: 9780754636595
  • Richard Strauss: Man, Musician, Enigma by Michael Kennedy, Published by Cambridge University Press, 1999, p.394.ISBN 10: 0521581737 2006, p.394.