Giselher Klebe

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Giselher Klebe
Giselher Klebe 2008.jpg
The composer at his desk in April 2008
Born(1925-06-28)28 June 1925
Mannheim, Germany
Died5 October 2009(2009-10-05) (aged 84)
Detmold, Germany
  • Composer
  • Academic teacher
Organization Hochschule für Musik Detmold
Spouse(s)Lore Klebe
Awards Academy of Arts

Giselher Wolfgang Klebe (28 June 1925 5 October 2009) was a German composer, and an academic teacher. He composed more than 140 works, among them 14 literary operas, eight symphonies, 15 solo concerts, chamber music, piano works, and sacred music.



Giselher Klebe was born in Mannheim, Germany. He received musical tuition early in his life from his mother, the violinist Gertrud Klebe. The family relocated in 1932 to Munich, where his mother's sister, Melanie Michaelis, continued the training. His father's profession required a further relocation in 1936 to Rostock. [1]

Following the separation of his parents, Klebe moved with his mother and sister to Berlin. During 1938, the 13-year-old sketched his first compositions. In 1940, he began studies in violin, viola, and composition, supported by a grant from the city of Berlin.

After serving his Reichsarbeitsdienst (labour service), Klebe was conscripted to military service as signalman. After the German surrender, he was taken prisoner of war by the Russian forces. Due to ill health, he was soon released.

Having convalesced, Klebe continued his music studies in Berlin (19461951), first under Joseph Rufer, then in master classes by Boris Blacher. He worked for the radio station Berliner Rundfunk until 1948, when he began to work full-time as a composer.

Klebe was inspired and influenced by works of authors and artists, especially his contemporaries. In 1951 he composed Die Zwitschermaschine Op. 7, (The Twittering Machine), based on the well-known painting by Paul Klee. [2] His first opera, based on Friedrich Schiller's play Die Räuber ( The Robbers ), was produced in 1957. [2] He composed two operas based on plays by Ödön von Horváth.

In 1957, Klebe succeeded Wolfgang Fortner as docent for the subjects of Composition and Music Theory at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold. He was appointed professor in 1962 and, over the years, taught many students who went on to become well-known composers: Theo Brandmüller, Peter Michael Braun  [ de ], Hans Martin Corrinth  [ de ], Matthias Pintscher, and Lars Woldt  [ de ]. [1]

Honors and legacy

Marriage and family

On 10 September 1946 Klebe married the violinist Lore Schiller. They had two daughters, Sonja Katharina and Annette Marianne. Lore Klebe wrote the librettos for some of his operas, including Der Jüngste Tag (Doomsday). [1]

Klebe died on 5 October 2009 in Detmold at the age of 84 after a long illness. [3]


4Piano sonataPiano sonata
7Die ZwitschermaschineOrchestral
13Wiegenlieder für ChristinchenPiano
22Elegia appassionataPiano trio
25 Die Räuber The RobbersOpera
264 InventionsPiano
27 Die tödlichen Wünsche The Deadly WishesOpera
29Cello Concerto No. 1Cello concerto
32 Die Ermordung Cäsars The Murder of CaesarOpera
36 Alkmene Opera
37Adagio and Fugue with a motif from Wagner's Die Walküre Orchestral
399 Duettini per pianoforte e flautoDuo
40 Figaro läßt sich scheiden Figaro Gets DivorcedOpera
49 Jacobowsky und der Oberst Jacobovsky and the ColonelOpera
50Concerto a cinqueConcerto
53Symphony No. 3 (1966)Symphony
55 Das Märchen von der schönen Lilie The Fairy Tale of the Fair LilyOpera
61Das TestamentOrchestral
69 Ein wahrer Held A True HeroOpera
70NeniaChamber music
72 Das Mädchen aus Domrémy The Girl from DomrémyOpera
75Symphony No. 5 (197677)Symphony
769 Piano pieces for SonjaPiano
78 Das Rendezvous Opera
82 Der Jüngste Tag DoomsdayOpera
87String Quartet No. 3String quartet
90 Die Fastnachtsbeichte Carnival ConfessionOpera
119 Gervaise Macquart Opera
120Symphony No. 6 (1996)Symphony
133MignonViolin concerto
149 Chlestakows Wiederkehr Khlestakov's ReturnOpera

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<i>Die tödlichen Wünsche</i> opera

Die tödlichen Wünsche, Op. 27, is an opera by Giselher Klebe who also wrote the libretto based on La Peau de chagrin by Honoré de Balzac. It consists of fifteen lyrical scenes in three acts. It premiered on 14 June 1959 at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, conducted by Reinhard Peters, and was published by Boosey & Hawkes. The opera was revived in 2006 at the Landestheater Detmold on the occasion of the composer's 80th birthday.

<i>Alkmene</i> (opera) opera by Giselher Klebe

Alkmene (Alcmene), op. 36, is an opera in three acts, with music and libretto by Giselher Klebe. Klebe based the libretto on Amphitryon by Heinrich von Kleist, which in turn was based on Molière's play of the same name. The composer dedicated the work to his mother, the violinist Gertrud Klebe.

<i>Jacobowsky und der Oberst</i> (opera) opera

Jacobowsky und der Oberst, Op. 49, is an opera in four acts by Giselher Klebe who also wrote the libretto based on the 1944 play of the Jacobowsky und der Oberst by Franz Werfel.

<i>Das Märchen von der schönen Lilie</i> German opera

Das Märchen von der schönen Lilie, Op. 55, is an opera in two acts by Giselher Klebe, with a libretto by Lore Klebe, based on Goethe's fairy tale Das Märchen. On a commission by the SWR for the Schwetzingen Festival, it was premiered on 15 May 1969 at the Schlosstheater Schwetzingen, staged by Oscar Fritz Schuh and conducted by Hans Zender. The opera was published by Bärenreiter.

<i>Der Jüngste Tag</i> opera

Der Jüngste Tag, op.82, is an opera in three acts composed by Giselher Klebe. His wife, Lore Klebe, wrote the libretto based on the play of the same name by Ödön von Horváth.

<i>Chlestakows Wiederkehr</i> opera

Chlestakows Wiederkehr, op.149, is an opera in three acts by Giselher Klebe. He also wrote the libretto, based on the play Der Revisor by Nikolai Gogol. The work lasts about 70 minutes.

<i>Gervaise Macquart</i> opera

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  1. 1 2 3 Schäfer, Brigitte (28 June 2005). "Giselher Klebe" (in German). Archived from the original on 2012-11-20. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Giselher Klebe", Naxos, accessed 13 Feb 2010
  3. 1 2 Giselher Klebe, profile, City of Detmold (in German)