Bungert, August


High talented German composer. Born at Mühlheim and had his first musical instruction there under Ferdinand Kufferath. From 1860 to 1862 he studied at the Cologne Conservatory and later for four years at the Paris Conservatory. He became musical director at Kreuznach in 1869 and later at Carlsruhe. From 1873 to 1881 he lived at Berlin and studied counterpoint and fugue diligently under Kiel. Since 1882 he has lived at Pegli near Genoa and has devoted himself to composition. In 1878 he won a prize offered by the Florentine Quartet, with his piano quartet. Among Bungert's orchestral works are his overture, Tasso; his symphonic poem, Auf der Wartburg; and his, Hohes Lied der Liebe. He also wrote a comic opera, Die Studenten von Salamanka; many piano pieces and many songs, among which are numerous settings to Carmen Sylva's words. The later years of his life, have been occupied with his series of six operas, dealing with the Homeric legends, as Wagner dealt with the Norse. The work as planned is divided into two groups, the first taken from the Iliad and the second from the Odyssey. The four operas based on the Odyssey are Kirke, Nausikaa, Odysseus Heimkehr and Odysseus Tod, and they have been completed and produced. The group founded on the Iliad comprises Achilles and Klytemnestra, and is partly finished. The entire work has the title Homerische Welt, and what has been produced, is said by competent critics, to have great beauty and power and to be exceedingly melodic, and, in spite of the apparent influence of Wagner, to be characteristic and original.