Alexander Krein

Alexander Krein

Alexander Krein (born 20 October 1883 in Nizhny Novgorod - died April 1951 in Staraya Ruza) was a Soviet composer of Jewish heritage.


The Krein family was steeped in the klezmer tradition; his father Abram (who moved to Russia from Lithuania in 1870) was a noted violinist . All of the seven Krein brothers received their first musical training from him and became musicians; Alexander and Grigori made names for themselves as composers, David gained a strong reputation as a violinist. Of the three Krein family composers, Alexander, his brother Grigori, and Grigori's son Julian, it is Alexander who composed the most music and thus to whom the most attention has been paid. After decades of posthumous neglect, however, his very name seems to have disappeared from international reference books.

tudies and Career

In 1896, at the early age of 14, Alexander Krein entered the Moscow Conservatory where his studies included cello classes with Alexander von Glehn and composition lessons with Sergei Taneyev and Boleslav Yavorsky. His first works were published by Jürgenson in 1901. During the years immediately prior to the 1917 Revolution, he was on the faculty of the People's Conservatory in Moscow. In 1917, he was appointed as director of the artistic wing of the Muzo-Narkompros, the music section of a newly formed ministry of arts and aducation. Throughout the 1920s, Krein was widely regarded as the leader of a Jewish national school in Russia (which included his brother Grigori and his nephew Julian). After the formation of the Soviet Union, he held a variety of official and semi-official music administration posts. He died April 1951 in Staraya Ruza.


Krein's pioneering spirit had lead him to incorporate the intonations and styles of both sacred and secular Jewish music into a relatively advanced idiom that was as influended by French impressionism as it was by the music of his friend Alexander Scriabin. [ Jonathan Powell. 2003. Liner notes of the CD "Songs from the Ghetto" on ASV / Sancturay Classics DCA1154. ] Krein's own Jewish heritage was a constant source of inspiration; there are a number of instrumental works whose titles bear quite obvious witness to this, such as the Caprice Hebraique, Op. 24, and the Jewish Sketches for clarinet and string quartet. In 1921, he composed Kaddish for tenor soloist, choir, and orchestra. From the mid-'20s on, he also wrote music for plays given by Moscow's Jewish Drama Theater. There is also a large amount of music that is either purely classical in design or Soviet in nature. In the latter category are works like the revolutionary opera Zagmuk (1930), the Threnody in Memory of Lenin (1925), and the somewhat amusingly titled U.S.S.R., Shock Brigade of the World Proletariat (1925).

A Selection of Krein's works:

* Prologue, op. 2a, for viola and piano (1902-1911/1927)
* Five Préludes, op. 3, for piano (1903-1906)
* Poème Quator, op.9, for string quartet (1909)
* Jewish Sketches, op.12, for clarinet and string quartet (1909)
* Elegy, op. 16, for violin, cello and piano (1913)
* 3 Lieder des Ghetto (Songs from the Ghetto), op. 23, for soprano and piano : Sei mir Schwesterlein (1916), Wo bist du? (1917), Eine Träne (1915-16)
* Caprice Hebraique, Op. 24
* Kaddisch, op. 33, Symphonic Cantata, for tenor, mixed choir and large orchestra (1921-1922)
* Symphony No.1 op. 35, for large orchestra (1922-1925)
* Piano sonata (1925)
* 2 Hebräische Lieder (2 Hebrew Songs), op. 39, for voice and piano (1926)
* Trauer-Ode, op. 40, for large orchestra (1925-1926)
* Aria, op. 41, for violin and piano (1927)
* Ornamente, op. 42, 3 Songs without words, for voice and piano (1924/1927)
* Jewish melody, op. 43, for cello and piano (1928)
* Zagmuk, opera (1929-1930)


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alexander Krein — Alexander Abramovitch Krein (en russe Александр Абрамович Крейн), né le 20 octobre 1883 à Nijny Novgorod et mort le 25 avril 1951 à Staraïa Roussa, est un compositeur soviétique d’héritage juif. Il était l’ami d’Alexandre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alexander Abramowitsch Krein — (russisch Александр Абрамович Крейн; * 8.jul./ 20. Oktober 1883greg. in Nischni Nowgorod; † 21. April 1951 in Staraja Russa) war ein russischer Komponist jüdischer Abstammung. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Familie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • KREIN, ALEXANDER ABRAMOVICH — (1883–1951), composer. After Krein completed his studies at the Moscow Conservatory in 1908 (cello and composition), he was named professor at the same institution (1912–17). He was also secretary of the Russian Board of Education (1918–20), and… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Krein —  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie des personnes (réelles ou fictives) partageant un même patronyme. Alexander Krein (1883 1951), compositeur soviétique Mark Krein (1907 1989), mathématicien ukrainien Voir aussi Théorème de Krein Milman… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Krein, Grigori — (1885 1955)    Russian composer and violinist, brother of Alexander Krein. He studied in Moscow and later in Leipzig. From 1926 to 1934 he lived in Paris and later in Tashkent. A number of his compositions have a Jewish content …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Krein — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alexander Abramowitsch Krein, (1883 1951) russischer Komponist jüdischer Abstammung Grigori Abramowitsch Krein, russischer Komponist Mark Grigorjewitsch Krein, ukrainischer Mathematiker Selim… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Krein, Alexander — (1883 1951)    Russian composer, brother of Grigori Krein. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory, where he served as professor (1912 17). He was then secretary of the Russian Board of Education (1918 20), and a member of the board of the State… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Tannaka–Krein duality — In mathematics, Tannaka–Krein duality theory concerns the interaction of a compact topological group and its category of linear representations. Its natural extension to the non Abelian case is the Grothendieck duality theory. It extends an… …   Wikipedia

  • Tannaka-Krein duality — In mathematics, Tannaka Krein duality theory concerns the interaction of a compact topological group and its category of linear representations. It extends an important mathematical duality between compact and discrete commutative topological… …   Wikipedia

  • Grigori Krein — Grigori Abramowitsch Krein (russisch Григорий Абрамович Крейн; * 6.jul./ 18. März 1879greg. in Nischni Nowgorod; † 6. Januar 1957 in Komarowo) war ein russischer Komponist. Krein studierte in Moskau bei Jan Hřimalý, Paul Juon und Reinhold Glière… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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