Reznicek, Emil Nicolaus Freiherr von



Gifted Czechish dramatic composer; born at Vienna; the son of an army officer and of Princess Clarissa Ghika. He first studied law at Gratz, then turned his attention to music, and entered the Leipsic Conservatory. Afterward he became prominent as a conductor of opera at Gratz, Zurich, Mayence, Stettin and Weimar. In 1896 his ability was recognized by the appointment as chief conductor at the Mannheim Court Theatre. His compositions include the operas, Die Jungf rau von Orleans, Santanella, Emmerich Fortunat and Donna Diana. Till Eulenspiegel, produced at Carlsruhe, was commented on by the Musical Times, which stated that Reznicek exhibited such a command of orchestration as to produce the most intense and sonorous effects at times, although the heavier brass instruments were omitted entirely; also that "the general effect of the music at a first earing is the impression of remarkable inventive talent, great mastery of technical resource," and a " rich vein of new combinations," with especial strength in rhythmic devices. Donna Diana is said to have been his greatest success; of this he was librettist as well as composer, adapting the text from a musical comedy by Moreto. His compositions in other lines are a symphonic suite for full orchestra; a string quartet, an overture, Lustspiel, and a number of songs and piano-pieces. In manuscript there are a six-voiced requiem, a tragic symphony, a mass, and a set of four songs entitled Ruhm und Ewigkeit.