R. Eitner: ‘Allerlei alte Neuigkeiten’, MMg, xii (1880), 144–9
R.E. Wates: Karl Ludwig Junker (1748–1797), Sentimental Music Critic (diss., Yale U., 1965)
ROYE E. WATES
See Giunta family.
Juon [Yuon], Paul [Pavel Fedorovich]
(b Moscow, 23 Feb/6 March 1872; d Vevey, 21 Aug 1940). German composer of Russian birth and Swiss and German descent. He attended a German school in Moscow, and in 1889 entered the Imperial Conservatory to study the violin with Hřímaly and composition with Arensky and Taneyev. From 1894 to 1895 he studied in Berlin with Woldemar Bargiel at the Hochschule für Musik, where he won the Mendelssohn Prize. For a year he taught the violin and theory at the Baku Conservatory, but he came back to Berlin in 1897 and settled there. He taught composition at the Hochschule from 1906, becoming professor in 1911. Among his pupils were Philipp Jarnach, Hans Chemin-Petit, Heinrich Kaminski and Stefan Wolpe. In 1919 he was elected to the Prussian Academy of Arts. Ill-health forced him to retire to Vevey in 1934.
Juon’s major works are orchestral and chamber pieces in traditional genres. The orchestration and musical style of his early works, such as the Symphony in A op.23 with its cyclic form, suggest a combined Germanic-Slavonic heritage from Tchaikovsky and Dvořák. It was probably his numerous chamber works for strings with or without piano that earned him the label of ‘the Russian Brahms’. Although the large-scale conception of his works is Germanic, Russian influences are clearly evident in the themes, where devices common to Russian folksong, such as 5/4 metre and diatonic melodies constructed primarily from 2nds and 3rds, are often found. He was also strongly influenced by Scandinavian music, having revised a great number of works by Sibelius for his Berlin publishers.
Juon’s training as a violinist led him to prefer that instrument: his three violin concertos are conventional in form, while his small pieces for violin and piano are sentimental concert or parlour pieces in ternary, rounded binary or dance forms. A number of Juon’s later works, such as the Piano Trio op.70, the Clarinet Sonata op.82 and the orchestral Burletta op.97, telescope four-movement form into a single movement with internal sections corresponding to the scherzo and slow movement. Although Juon’s style remained Romantic throughout his career, a few late works, such as the fifth movement of the Suite op.89 for piano trio, show a tentative adoption of neo-classical techniques, in this case a non-functional modal harmony. In addition, Juon’s idiosyncratic arrangement of asymmetrical types of metre, manifested in these works, foreshadows the ‘variable metre’ techniques initiated by another Berlin-based composer, Boris Blacher, during the 1950s.