August Reuß

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August Reuß
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Born6 March 1871
Liliendorf, Moravia
Died18 June 1935

August Reuß (6 March 1871 – 18 June 1935)[1] was a German composer.


A son of a railway construction company, whose father, however, had worked as a teacher and organist in Würzburg, Reuß, who was born in Lesná (Znojmo District), Moravia,[2] came from Lower Franconia and joined his father's company after his secondary school years in Ingolstadt. Due to his early death, Reuss had to wait until 1899, before he could finally start studying music with Ludwig Thuille in Munich[2] after a long period of self-taught activity. Reuß had to interrupt his originally intended career as a bandmaster after a short time in Magdeburg and Augsburg due to illness.[2] In 1909, he settled in Munich as a freelance musician. He became co-founder of the Trapp School of Music (1927), the forerunner of today's, and worked there as a teacher of composition.[2] In 1929, he was appointed to the Akademie der Tonkünste, of which he remained a member and teacher until his death.

Autobiographical notes, reports critical of culture and a theory of function in the manuscript have survived.[3] A high conception of the ethos of art determined his thinking and work. The main focus of his compositional work was chamber music and song, supplemented by symphonic poems and two stage works. His often austere, sensitive tonal language is in touch with that of his contemporaries Reger and Pfitzner in its clearly thought-out form, idiosyncratic voice leading and pithy harmony.

Reuß died in Munich at the age of 64.[3]


In the years after the First World War, Reuß turned away from future-oriented musical trends. Since then, he has been writing in a simple, transparent style. Especially in pieces for smaller instrumentations he realised his new tonal language, which differed greatly from his early expansive late romantic works, which were strongly based on altered harmonies.

Reuß broke away from the voluptuous, pathetic romanticism of the turn of the century and achieved an independent tonal language of subtle differentiation of means of expression, often overpowering by strong ideas. In the works of the mature period, he also achieved diatonic relaxation of harmony and melody and genuine polyphony. (Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart)[3]

Stage music

  • Herzog Philipps Brautfahrt (after Hanns von Gumppenberg), Opernlustspiel 3 acts (1909 Graz).[2][4][3]
  • Glasbläser und Dogaressa (after Robert Laurency), Romantische Ballettpantomime op. 46 (1926 München).[2][3]
  • Laterne und Mantel, Pantomime op. 47 (1924).[2][3]

Orchestral work

  • Johannisnacht Tondichtung für Orchester, op. 19[3]
  • Judith -Tondichtung für Orchester nach Hebbels gleichnamiger Tragödie, op. 20[2][3]
  • Sommer-Idylle, op. 39[2][3]
  • Serenade für Violine und kleines Orchester, op. 41[2][5][3]
  • Konzert für Klavier und Orchester, op. 48[2][3]

Music for piano

  • Sonate für Klavier, op. 27
  • Fantasie Musikdruck a-Moll; für 2 Klaviere, op. 42[2]
  • Goldammer ein Stimmungsbild für Klavier, op. 43,1
  • Kleine Sonate für Klavier, op. 55

Chamber music

  • Quintett f-Moll,' op. 12[2][3]
  • Quartett d-Moll, op. 25[2][3]
  • Trio für Violine, Violoncello und Klavier, op. 30[2][3]
  • Quartett E-Dur (Frühlings-Quartett), op. 31[2][3]
  • Romantische Sonate für Violine und Klavier, op. 35[2][3]
  • Oktett für 2 Oboen, 2 Klarinetten, 2 Hörner und 2 Fagotte H-Dur, op. 37[2][3]

Vocal music

  • Gotenzug (Felix Dahn) op. 5[2][3]
  • Tag & Nachtgesänge aus Gottfried Keller's Buch der Natur (5 Gesänge) op. 7[2][3]
  • 7 Gedichte op. 17[2][3]
  • Zwei Melodramen (Heinrich Heine) op. 21[2][3]
  • Sechs Gedichte (Hanns von Gumppenberg, Franz Evers, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Ludwig Jacobowski) op. 23
  • 3 Gedichte (Franz Evers, Hans Probst , Gustav Falke) op. 28
  • 4 Gedichte (Marie Itzerott, Ludwig Jacobowski) op. 29
  • Vier Gesänge, op. 32[2]
  • Fünf Gedichte, op. 34
  • Acht Lieder, op. 36
  • Sechs Lieder, op. 44
  • Mehrstimmige Kinderlieder, op. 49
  • Haec dies, op. 50
  • Weihnachtslieder für Jugendchor, op. 58[3]


  1. Schoen, Gerhard (8 April 2012). "Reuß, August (1871–1935), Komponist – BMLO". Bayerisches Musiker-Lexikon Online (in Deutsch). Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 Einstein, Alfred (1929). "Reuß, August". In Einstein, Alfred (ed.). Hugo Riemanns Musik-Lexikon (11 ed.).
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 Hörner, Stephan (2005). "Reuß, August". In Lütteken, Laurenz (ed.). MGG Online. Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart.
  4. Stieger, Franz (1978). "Reuß, August". Opernlexikon/Opera catalogue/Lexique des opéras/Dizionario operistico. II: Komponisten.
  5. Broeker, Tobias (2016). "Reuss, August (1871–1935)". The 20th century violin concertante: A repertoire catalogue.

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