Woldemar Bargiel

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Woldemar Bargiel. Woldemar Bargiel als Berliner Professor im Jahr 1885.jpg
Woldemar Bargiel.

Woldemar Bargiel (3 October 1828 23 February 1897) was a German composer.



Bargiel was born in Berlin, and was the half brother of Clara Schumann. Bargiel’s father Adolph was a well-known piano and voice teacher while his mother Marianne had previously been unhappily married to Clara’s father, Friedrich Wieck. Clara was nine years older than Woldemar. Throughout their lives, they enjoyed a warm relationship. The initial opportunities which led to the success and recognition he enjoyed were due to Clara, who introduced him to both Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn. Bargiel received his first lessons at home and later with the well-known Berlin teacher of music theory Siegfried Wilhelm Dehn. Upon the suggestion of Schumann and the recommendation of Mendelssohn, Bargiel at age 16 went to study at the famous Leipzig Conservatory with some of the leading men of music: Ignaz Moscheles (piano) and Niels Gade (composition), and also with Julius Rietz. [1]

After leaving Leipzig in 1850, he returned to Berlin where he tried to make ends meet by giving private lessons. Eventually, Clara and Robert were able to arrange for the publication of some of his early works, including his First Piano Trio.

Subsequently, Bargiel held positions at the conservatories in Cologne and Rotterdam (where he met Hermine Tours, his future wife, sister of the composer Berthold Tours) before accepting a position at the prestigious Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin where he taught for the rest of his life. Among his many students were Paul Juon, Waldemar von Baußnern, Alexander Ilyinsky and Leopold Godowsky. Besides teaching and composing, Bargiel served with Brahms as co-editor of the complete editions of Schumann's and Chopin's works. While Bargiel did not write a lot of music, most of what he composed was well thought out and shows solid musical craftsmanship. His chamber music—he wrote four string quartets, a string octet and three piano trios—represents an important part of his output.

Selected list of compositions


  1. Stowell, Robin (2003). The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet at Google Books. Cambridge University Press. page 346. ISBN   0-521-00042-4.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Càceres, Dean. "Bargiel Worklist" (PDF). Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Available in score at IMSLP
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 In the Deutsches Musik-Archiv in Berlin, according to their catalog.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Austrian National Library Musiksammlung digital catalog
  6. First Quartet according to the German Wikipedia and according to Hyperion Records, though third according to some other sources. Second and Third quartets, according to German Wikipedia entry for Bargiel, unprinted/ungedruckt, as of 2008/9.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Information from Bavarian Online Library Catalog.
  8. Upton, p. 311 gives 1861 as date - for composition? - of this symphony.
  9. A review of the symphony's published four-hand reduction, with music examples, can be found in the 1866 Allegemeine musikalische Zeitung. Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung at Google Books, ser. 3 v. 1 1866, p. 103.
  10. Seen in the Dutch Royal Library http://opc4.kb.nl

References and sources

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