Kistler, Cyrill


German composer of the musicdrama, thought by some to be the successor of Wagner. He was humbly born in the village of Grossaitingen, near Augsburg. His parents died when he was young, so he lived with his grandfather, a shoemaker. As a boy he entered the choir and learned to play the flute, and was encouraged in his musical inclination by his grandfather. The old man first wanted Kistler to enter the ministry, but gave up this idea, and had him trained as a school-teacher. He taught from 1867 until 1875. learning as much music as he could by his own efforts, and in 1876 he gave up teaching ana went to the Conservatory at Munich. He studied under Rheinberger, Wullner and Franz Lachner, and was sternly admonished, especially by Lachner, for tendencies towards Wagner, which were already apparent. He began by composing some very light music, such as dance-pieces. In 1883 he produced his first opera, Kunihild, which was thoroughly Wagnerian. Its revival in 1893 was more successful than its first appearance. He taught theory at the Sondershausen Conservatory for two years, then went to Kissengen as a publisher, composer and head of a private school. Kunihild is replete with characteristics of Wagner, such as elaborate "leadingmotives," and harmonic progressions, but this style is interrupted frequently with chorus effects, not like those of Wagner. The story contains the enchanted castle, beautiful princess, brave knight and hermit of mediaeval romance. The opera is a masterly piece of work, but adds nothing original to Wagner's methods. His comic opera, Eulenspiegel, in which the music carries out the humorous effect, shows no traces of Wagner. Others of his works are Baldur's Tod, which greatly resembles Wagner's Die Meistersinger, and has never appeared on the stage; Arm Elslein; Roslein im Hag; Im Honigmond, a stage idyl; Der Vogt von Mühlstein, his latest work; and some harmony methods, based on Wagner's principles.