Ulrich Matthes (photo: Privat)

Philharmonic Discourse

Ulrich Matthes reads Krenek

Not only did Krenek compose a lot – and easily – but also wrote readily and copiously. Ernst Krenek’s autobiography Im Atem der Zeit – Erinnerungen an die Moderne (In the Breath of Time, Memories of the modern age) is a uniquely immoderate book: thick and hugely entertaining, immensely amusing and with typical Viennese grouchiness, it is also fast-paced and refreshingly indiscreet. In this Philharmonic discourse, the actor Ulrich Matthes, who reads extracts from the book, leads us through the composer’s fascinating life with his professional and private successes and failures.

Ulrich Matthes speaker

Andreas Donat piano

Im Atem der Zeit. Ulrich Matthes liest aus Ernst Kreneks »Erinnerungen an die Moderne«.

Andreas Donat spielt Klavierwerke von Erwin Schulhoff u. a.

Dates and Tickets

sales information

Wed, 03 Apr 2019, 20:00

Ausstellungsfoyer Kammermusiksaal / Einführungsbereich

Programme

The composer Ernst Krenek was a very industrious man. When he died of old age in Palm Springs California in December 1991, he left behind a catalogue of works that is unparalleled. In his 91 years, he wrote an incredible total of 370 compositions. Not only did Krenek compose a lot – and easily – but also wrote readily and copiously. It was obviously part of his self-image to always consider himself a man of letters, an intellectual.

Ernst Krenek’s autobiography Im Atem der Zeit – Erinnerungen an die Moderne (In the Breath of Time, Memories of the modern age) is a uniquely immoderate book: thick and hugely enjoyable, immensely amusing, and with typical Viennese grouchiness it is also fast-paced and refreshingly indiscreet. Krenek got married faster than he could fall in love – his first marriage was with Gustav and Alma Mahlerʼs daughter Anna – and divorces usually followed a short time after. The premiere of his jazz opera Johnny spielt auf gave him his longed-for breakthrough and a lot of money, most of which he spent. Krenek preferred to wholeheartedly enjoy the Cologne Carnival with his friend Eduard Erdmann, to indulge in drinking competitions with the pianist, to turn night into day only then to get involved in another adventure or a new marriage shortly after, or to quickly put a full-length symphony to paper.

About his temporary mother-in-law, Alma Mahler-Werfel, he wrote: “She really had what it took to make life a dizzying carousel” – an ability he undoubtedly picked up from her. The reader is the actor Ulrich Matthes.

Ulrich Matthes (photo: Privat)

Andreas Donat (photo: Privat)