This edition is a special feature on Swiss composer Joseph Lauber (1864-1952). Heard are interpretations of Sopranist Elisabeth Mattman along with the Bernese chamber music trio Sorop.This content was published on March 17, 2003 - 10:04
Joseph Lauber (1864-1952)
Swiss composer Joseph Lauber was born in Ruswil (near Lucerne). Shortly after his birth his family moved to the canton of Neuchâtel. There his father gave the young Joseph the oppurtunity to perform as a pianist in his light orchestra. The support of a patron made it possible for him to study music at the Zurich Conservatory.
Organ studies led him to Joseph Rheinberger in Munich, piano and composition studies to Louis Diémer and Jules Massenet in Paris. Following a number of years as organist in the canton of Neuchâtel he taught at the Zurich Conservatory (1899-1901) and then settled in Geneva where he remained until his death in 1952.
His activities as the first 'Kapellmeister' at the Grand Theater in Geneva and as a teacher at the Geneva Conservatory marked these years.
One of his gratest services to musical life in Switzerland was the co-founding of the Swiss Musicians' Association (Schweizerischer Tonkünstlerverein) in 1899, which premiered a number of his compositions.
Joseph Lauber's works
which cover nearly every genre, are characterised by a mixture of elements from German Romanticism and French Impressionism, rounded off by roots in Swiss traditional music.
The multi-faced musician's motto was "music is, first and foremost, emotion". He particularly admired th Music of Debussy, Fauré and Duparc, composers who wrote "new music with a traditional foundation".
Sylvia Schwarzenbach (clarinet), Marianne Keller Stucki (flute) and Agathe Rytz-Jaggi (piano) were founding members of the Berne-Arcadia Soroptimist Club, a worldwide organisation for woman in management and professions to advance human rights and the status of woman. They first performed together as an ensemble at the founding ceremonies.
The Trio Sorop soon made a name for itself with performances outside the club activities. In addition to rare or neglected classical works and arrangements for flute, clarinet and piano, the trio also performed contemporary works.
Folowing her taining as a primary school teacher, Sopranist Elisabeth Mattmann took up voice studies with Paul Sandoz at the Basle Conservatory. She received her teaching and concert diplomas at the Berne Conservatory.
Swiss Composers 3. Joseph Lauber (1997). Musica Helvetica MH CD 97.2. Executive producer for SRI: Christian Strickler.
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