Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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‘Die Augsburger Singschulbewegung’, ZfM, Jg.112 (1951), 459–61

‘Werkstatt der Musikpädagogik’, Musicus–Magister: Festgabe für Theobald Schrems (Regensburg, 1963), 215


MGG1 (W. Falcke)

E. Valentin: ‘Otto Jochum’, ZfM, Jg.101 (1934), 717–23

T. Troll: Otto Jochum: eine Biographie mit Werkverzeichnis (Augsburg, 1973)


(2) Eugen Jochum

(b Babenhausen, Bavaria, 1 Nov 1902; d Munich, 26 March 1987). Conductor, brother of (1) Otto Jochum. He showed musical aptitude from early childhood and played the organ at church services from the age of eight. After attending the Musikschule, Augsburg, until 1922 he went to the Akademie der Tonkunst, Munich, chiefly as a composition student of Waltershausen, but later he studied conducting with von Hausegger and worked as répétiteur at the Nationaltheater, Munich and at Mönchen-Gladbach. His successful concert début as a conductor at Munich (1926) led to his appointment to the Kiel Opera, where he was soon made first conductor. He remained there until 1929, acquiring a repertory of more than 50 operas and also conducting concerts at Lübeck. He moved to Mannheim for a season (1929–30), and to Duisburg as Generalmusikdirektor (1930–32). A performance of Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony led to his appointment as musical director for Berlin radio before his 30th birthday in 1932, and to a guest association with the Berlin PO which continued throughout his career. In 1934 he succeeded Muck and Böhm as Generalmusikdirektor at the Hamburg Staatsoper and principal conductor of the Hamburg PO. He remained there until 1949, avoiding much of the political pressure of the Nazi regime and continuing to perform the works of Bartók, Hindemith and Stravinsky at a time when they were banned elsewhere in Germany. Jochum was also engaged to conduct the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra in the occupied Netherlands, which brought about a continuing association in the postwar years. He returned to Munich in 1949 as musical director for Bavarian radio, and formed the Bavarian RSO which he trained to international standard and with which he appeared at the 1957 Edinburgh Festival. With the orchestra he gave several premières, including Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s Symphony no.6 (1953). During the 1950s he widened his reputation as a guest conductor; he first appeared at Bayreuth in 1953, conducting Tristan und Isolde. He shared with Haitink the conductorship of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, 1961–4, and (having turned down an invitation to conduct 15 concerts with the New York PO in the 1930s, believing he had insufficient experience) made his American début with the Dutch orchestra in 1961. From 1969 to 1973 he was principal conductor of the Bamberg SO and from 1975 conductor laureate of the LSO.

Jochum’s approach to performance was an act of dedication, drawing from his players a warm, luminous response to the inner vision he sought to communicate. It gave him a pre-eminent reputation as a Bruckner conductor; he favoured the Nowak edition of the symphonies and wrote articles on Bruckner interpretation in music journals and programme books. His notably spacious, romantic approach to Bruckner, with liberal tempo variations within movements, was tempered by a keen feeling for underlying pulse. His recordings include two outstanding sets of Bruckner’s symphonies, three sets each of the Brahms and Beethoven symphonies, Bach’s major choral works, the late Mozart symphonies and the 12 London symphonies of Haydn. His Bach recordings, while taking relatively little account of authentic performing practice, are marked by their intense spiritual conviction; and his refined, athletic readings of Haydn and Mozart are among the most distinguished of their time. Jochum’s strengths as an opera conductor can be heard in his recordings of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Così fan tutte, Der Freischütz and, especially, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (with Fischer-Dieskau and Domingo). He was awarded the Brahms Medal of the City of Hamburg, and the Bruckner Medal of the International Bruckner Society, of whose German section he was president from 1950 until his death.

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