Johanna Müller-Hermann

Composer

Johanna Müller-Hermann

1878 - 1941 Forgotten Voices

Study event exploring the life and work of Johanna Müller-Hermann. 
Filmed in 2022 by TallWall Media. 

COMPOSER BIOGRAPHY

Johanna Müller-Hermann (1868 -1941), also called Müller-Martini, was an Austrian composer who studied with Guido Adler and Zemlinsky. Although she received a good musical education, in keeping with her comfortably middle-class background, she was not allowed to progress but was trained as a teacher. Her marriage in 1893 to the Verkehrsfachmanns Otto Müller-Martini freed her to concentrate again on her music, studying piano, violin, theory and composition.

Her work was performed at Vienna’s Musikverein and in evenings dedicated to women composers. In 1918, she was appointed Professor of Music Theory at the New Vienna Konservatorium. Much of her music was published by Universal Edition. Müller-Hermann left a substantial number of works ranging from songs to orchestral works. A few of these have been recorded since the 1990s.

Her early string quartet in E-flat major, Op. 6, reveals her ease with a harmony-driven architecture, alongside a deep sense of lyricism. At present, there is no complete catalogue of her works and she is missing from some major encyclopaedias. The best resource is the website Unsung Composers.

Müller-Hermann’s songs deserve to be better known. They include Op. 1 Sieben Lieder (1904), Op. 2 Fünf Lieder, Op. 4 Vier Lieder. Her Op. 11 is two settings of Goethe, published in 1939. She also wrote two duets, Op. 15. Her Eight Songs Op. 18 exists in a version for piano (1915) and orchestra (1916).

She set much contemporary poetry, including many by the great historian and writer Ricarda Huch, who was nominated seven times for the Nobel Prize (see her Op. 19).

SELECTED WORKS

- Three songs Op.19 /1. Sehnsucht. 2. Liebesreim. 3. Geheimnis. voice, piano). words: Ricarda Huch. Vienna, UE 1940.

- Autumn songs Op.28 /1. Herbstabend. 2. Minnelied. 3. Intermezzo. 4. Regenlied. 5. In memoriam. words: J.A. Rinaldini. pub. by UE

- Three songs Op.32 /1. Am Strand. 2. Du schlank und rein. 3. Im Traum und Gesang. (High voice, piano). words: St. George, R.A. Schröder. pub. by UE 1939.

- Three songs Op.33 /1. Vorfrühling. 2. Trauminsel. 3. Liebeshymnus). Soprano, orchestra/ piano.words: Tona v. Hermann. pub. by UE 1939.

- Five Zwiegesänge duets  ‘Beatrix und der Sänger’ Op.36 /1. Begegnung. 2. Verstehen. 3. Geständnis. 4. Vision. 5. Abschied. (Soprano, baritone, string quintet, harp). words: W. Calé.1936

© Natasha Loges, 2022


 

Where can I listen to Johanna Müller-Hermann's songs?

Listen to Kitty Whately and Joseph Middleton perform songs by Johanna Müller-Hermann here, on their album 'Befreit - A Soul Surrendered' released in February 2023. 

Johanna Müller-Hermann's 'Zwei Gedichte von Goethe' performed by Robyn Parton and Simon Lepper. Listen here on Spotify. 

'Nähe des Geliebten', recorded at the 2022 Spring Song Festival. 

'An die Entfernte', recorded at the 2022 Spring Song Festival. 

SCORES

Many scores for Müller-Hermann's work are available to view here.


Song List

This list is likely to be of songs that have been performed at Oxford International Song Festivals and Oxford Song events, and may not be comprehensive of this composer's compositions. This database is ever growing as a work in progress, with further songs regularly being added.

An die Entfernte (1914) Op. 11 no.2 Johanna Müller-Hermann
Der letzte Abend Op. 2 no.4 Johanna Müller-Hermann
Die stille Stadt (1904) Op. 4 no.1 Johanna Müller-Hermann
Herbst (1828) Op. 20 no.2 Johanna Müller-Hermann
Im Memoriam Op. 28 no.5 Johanna Müller-Hermann
Nähe des Geliebten (1914) Op. 11 no.1 Johanna Müller-Hermann
Wie eine Vollmondnacht Op. 20 no.4 Johanna Müller-Hermann
Zwei Gedichte von Goethe (1914) Op. 11 Johanna Müller-Hermann

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