Notes & Reports

Excellent recording of the piano works

Grand Piano Records (Naxos) brought out a new CD in May 2017 with recordings of all of Wolfgang Jacobi’s important piano works, some of which were world premières! The distinguished pianists Tatjana Blome (photo) and Holger Groschopp did the recordings and brought out an impressive double CD, presenting a unique opportunity to get to know Jacobi’s compositions for solo piano, two pianos and piano duets.
The CD Jacobi Piano Works is a co-production with BR-Klassik and is available at all the main CD sales and mail-order companies. – Strongly recommended!

See too: Information – CDs

Jacobi film being made

The renowned saxophone player and producer Jazz Hamilton is planning to make a documentary with an American film team about Wolfgang Jacobi and the moving story of his life. »Jacobi Remembered – The Story of German Composer Wolfgang Jacobi« will present the life of the once banned composer, which was typical of that of many artists who were silenced and denied the right to work by the Nazi terrorists and who were almost forgotten afterwards.
The film will throw light on Jacobi’s music and its particular significance in the area of music for the saxophone. Jacobi will thus be brought to the attention of a wider international public on both sides of the Atlantic as one of the first composers to write for the classical saxophone and later also for the classical accordion.
Wanted for the project: collaborators, partners and sponsors!

For more information see: JacobiRememberedSponsorsProposal.pdf

Successful »excavation« of orchestral work

It was generally agreed that it was an impressive concert and a splendid experience to hear the performance of Wolfgang Jacobi’s »Divertimento« given by the Philharmonische Orchester Vorpommern. Jacobi’s grandson, Dr. Andreas Ullrich, travelled to Greifswald to attend; he is seen here with the conductor of the orchestra Golo Berg (photo below). Before the concert on 31 May 2016 in the Greifswald Theatre they gave an introduction to the work together with the music dramaturge Stephanie Langenberg (middle photo) and were very pleased with the successful performance and the full house.
The orchestra performed the »Divertimento« at two further concerts in the Stralsund Theatre the following day and the day after that, thus reviving the work which had not been heard on concert platforms for a very long time and may now have a chance of being performed more frequently.

Photos: Ralf Winter

Prize awarded at the »Akkordeon-Musik-Festival«

Henrik Letzer of Coburg won the Wolfgang Jacobi Special Award at the AMF 2015, the »Akkordeon-Musik-Festival« of the German Accordion Association, the Deutscher Harmonika-Verband e.V. At the competition in Bruchsal at the beginning of June he was awarded 49 out of 50 points in the category Accordion Solo M II/M III mixed, age-group 5. His interpretation of a Jacobi work impressed the composer’s grandson, Dr. Andreas Ullrich, who attended the event and presented Henrik Letzer with the well-deserved prize. This consisted of a medal specially created by Jacobi’s daughter, the sculptor Ursula Ullrich-Jacobi, together with 1,000 Euro (middle photograph).

It is hoped that the prize will give young accordion players a heightened awareness of Wolfgang Jacobi’s accordion compositions. Among the congratulators were Jochen Haußmann, member of the Landtag and president of the Deutscher Harmonika-Verband and Ulli Hockenberger, Mayor of Bruchsal (photo on the right).

Photographs: Manfred Baudisch/DHV

Recognition on a special occasion

On the occasion of Wolfgang Jacobi’s 120 birthday on 25 October 2014, a number of memorial concerts and performances of his works took place. Among these was the first performance of »Studien nach Lully« for alto saxophone and piano, which had been discovered in the USA in spring 2014. Furthermore, at lectures, speeches and podium discussions the life and work of Jacobi were commemorated and his achievement celebrated. For instance in Jacobi’s birthplace Bergen on Rügen, the music critic Ekkehard Ochs delivered a lecture on the composer prior to the opening of a special Jacobi exhibition (photo).
Several articles appeared also in the press, such as for instance the fine appreciation by Dr. Franzpeter Messmer in the music journal neue musikzeitung.

Impressive performance of the »Impromptu«

Iosif Purits of Russia got the highest marks in the Soloist Class (Category IV) of the 50th International Accordion Competition Klingenthal, which took place 5-12 May 2013. He was among the four finalists in this »kingly discipline«, all of whom interpreted the set piece »Impromptu« for Accordion and Chamber Orchestra by Wolfgang Jacobi. Marko Ševarlić of Serbia came second, Hanzhi Wang of China third.
Iosif Purits performed the work again at the final concert of the competition together with the Vogtland Philharmonie Greiz/Reichenbach conducted by Stefan Fraas - to the acclaim of audience and press.

Photo: Ralph Beck

»Cantata«-Video on YouTube

During the inspiring concert of December 2012 in Berlin marking the 40th anniversary of Jacobi’s death, a recording was made of the beautiful performance of the »Cantata« (1936). The video with Verena Rein (soprano), Frank Lunte (saxophone) and Tatjana Blome (piano) has recently been placed on the internet and can be seen on YouTube.
Voice and saxophone in this early Jacobi work represent lovers whose liaison is described in erotic Italian texts.

Jacobi and Scharwenka

The Scharwenka Stiftung in Bad Saarow (near Berlin) has been involved for some time in research on the life and work of Xaver Scharwenka (1850–1924), the founder of the once famous Klindworth-Scharwenka-Konservatorium of Berlin.

A cultural forum with a small musicians’ museum is to be established in Scharwenka’s former home in Bad Saarow in which the most distinguished teachers and graduates of the Konservatorium are to be commemorated. Among the eminent members of staff to be included will be Wolfgang Jacobi, who from 1922–1933 taught at the Klindworth-Scharwenka-Konservatorium.

Further information: www.scharwenka-stiftung.de

Festival Performance in Honour of Wolfgang Jacobi

The Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern dedicated one of its concerts to Wolfgang Jacobi, which took place in Stralsund in July 2009.

For the first time the renowned music festival provided a forum for the composer who was born in Bergen on the island of Rügen, presenting him in the series »Music from MV«. The audience was clearly moved by the performance and the concert was received with enthusiastic applause.
A variety of chamber music from different periods of Jacobi’s life was played by members of the outstanding internationally celebrated Fauré Quartett (piano quartet) and by the equally well-known musicians Martin Hummel (baritone) and Ivan Koval (accordion). Through their interpretations they conveyed a splendid impression of Jacobi’s music, which to many in the audience constituted an enthralling discovery.

On the evening of the concert there was a small exhibition on Jacobi’s life and work and a most interesting introductory lecture was given by the Greifswald musicologist Ekkehard Ochs.
It was an extremely successful undertaking, which has given rise to a desire for continuation.

Catalogue of Jacobi’s Compositions Presented to the Press

At the beginning of December 2008 the Bayerisches Musiker-Lexikon Online (BMLO) was presented to the public in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. The unique digital reference book is being compiled by members of staff of the Institute of Musicology at the University of Munich. It contains a comprehensive entry on Wolfgang Jacobi (www.bmlo.lmu.de), a special feature being a multi-media catalogue of his compositions.

The works catalogue can be accessed interactively and is supplemented by a variety of additional information, music illustrations and audio files and provides a wide-ranging survey of Jacobi’s entire oeuvre.

Jacobi’s daughter and grandson – Ursula Ullrich-Jacobi and Dr. Andreas Ullrich (photo: 2nd and 3rd from the left) – attended the press conference in Munich with representatives of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and the Gesellschaft für Bayerische Musikgeschichte.

Jacobi in Online Lexica

The Institute of Musicology at the University of Hamburg is working on a freely accessible online lexicon of musicians who were persecuted during the period of the »Third Reich« and/or whose works were forbidden and whose lives have not yet been adequately researched. The »Lexikon verfolgter Musiker und Musikerinnen der NS-Zeit« also contains a very substantial and informative entry on Wolfgang Jacobi.

Internet: www.LexM.uni-hamburg.de

The Institute of Musicology at the University of Munich is also producing an online lexicon, the »Bayerisches Musiker-Lexikon Online«. Wolfgang Jacobi is included in this comprehensive work on persons of relevance for the history of Bavarian music, which for instance contains a remarkable catalogue of his compositions (see above).

Internet: www.bmlo.uni-muenchen.de

Memorial stone in Bergen on Rügen

On the occasion of his 110th birthday on October 25th 2004, Wolfgang Jacobi was honoured in Bergen, his place of birth, with a memorial stone. The monument outside the house in which he was born in Billrothstraße 6 was unveiled in the presence of Bergen’s mayor, Andrea Köster, and the chairman of the Municipal Council, Manfred Kendziora.

First Performance in Aschaffenburg

An arrangement of Wolfgang Jacobi’s Three Choral Preludes for organ and accordion was given its first performance at a concert in the Aschaffenburg Stiftsbasilika at the end of June 2004. The Aschaffenburg accordion player Stefan Kutscher composed the arrangement; he performed it together with the organist Andreas Unterguggenberger on the occasion of Jacobi’s 110th birthday.

The music of the new arrangement of the Choral Preludes is available as PDF-files on the website of the Deutscher Akkordeonlehrer-Verband www.dalv-online.de where it can be downloaded free of charge.