Sergei Bortkiewicz

Internet Edition compiled by Onno van Rijen

Updated 2 March 2013


Born

On 16/28 February 1877 in Kharkov (Ukraine). Died on 25 October 1952 in Vienna.

Education

After graduating from the gymnasium in Kharkov, Bortkiewicz went to St. Petersburg to study law and to join the Imperial conservatory of music. At the conservatory Bortkiewicz recieved his musical training from Anatol Liadov and Karl von Arek. In 1900 he left St. Petersburg and travelled to Leipzig, where he studied at the conservatory of music. He became a student of Alfred Reisenauer, who was a pupil of Liszt, Salomon Jadassohn and Karl Piutti. In July 1902 Bortkiewicz completed his studies at de Leipzig Conservatory and was awarded the Schumann prize on graduation.

Style

Bortkiewicz style was very much influenced by Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, early Scriabin, Rachmaninoff and Russian Folklore. He was unaffected by the music trends of the 20th century; the composer never saw himself as a modernist.

Works

Opus 1: Piano Concerto
Destroyed by composer although fragments used in 2nd Piano Concerto.
Opus 2: Six Songs for singer and piano (1904)
1. Jugendtöne after Emmy Destinn
2. Es war einmal after Emmy Destinn
3. Minnelied after Erna Heinemann
4. Glück after Erna Heinemann
5. Wunsch after Heinrich Heine
6. Sie saßen und tranken am Teetisch
Opus 3: Four Pieces for piano (1906)
1. Capriccio in F minor (Con fuoco)
2. Etude in F major (allegro non troppo)
3. Gavotte-Caprice (Allegretto)
4. Primula veris (Con moto)

CD Hyperion CDA 67094: Stephen Coombs (piano)

Opus 4: Impressions, seven pieces for piano (1905)
1. Vieux Portrait
2. Etude D'oiseaux
3. Tempête
4. Après la pluie
5. Bergers et Bergères
6. Au clair de la lune
7. Bal Masqué

CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9742: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-2 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)

Opus 5: "Minuit", two pieces for piano (1907)
Duration: 15 minutes.
CD Erasmus WVH 271-272: Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9719: Jouni Somero (piano)
Opus 6: Three Pieces for piano (1906)
1. Prelude
2. Valse triste
3. Etude

CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9742: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Erasmus WVH 271-272: Klaas Trapman (piano)

Opus 7: Two Pieces for piano (1908)
1. Melodie
2. Menuet-Fantaisie

CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9741: Jouni Somero (piano)

Opus 8: Esquisses de Crimeé (1908)
1. Les roches d'Outche-Coche
2. Caprices de la Mer
3. Les Promenades d'Aloupka: a. Idylle orientale, b. Chaos
Opus 9: Piano Sonata No. 1 in B major (1907)
CD Finn Concert FCRCD 9723: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Hyperion CDA 67094: Stephen Coombs (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-2 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)
Opus 10: Four Pieces for piano (1908)
1. Ballade
2. Mazurka
3. Etude in A (Fontaines Lumineuses)
4. Etude in Eb

CD Finn Concert FCRCD 9736: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-2 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)

Opus 11: Six Lyric Thoughts for piano (1909)
Duration: 19 minutes
CD Erasmus WVH 271-272: Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD FinnConcert Records FCRCD 9714: Jouni Somero (piano)
Opus 12: Three Pieces for piano (1910)
1. Mazurka
2. Gavotte
3. Polonaise

CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9741: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-3 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)

Opus 13: Six Preludes for piano (1910)
CD Erasmus WVH 271-272: Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD Finn Concert FCRCD 9723: Jouni Somero (piano)
Opus 14: From My Childhood, six pieces for piano (1911)
1. Was die Amme sang (What the Nurse sang)
2. Das dunkle Zimmer (The Dark Room)
3. Die Tanzstunde (The Dancing Lesson)
4. Erste Liebe (First Love)
5. Erster Schmerz (First Sorrow)
6. Wenn ich erst groß bin (When I am a Man)

CD Finn Concert FCRCD 9730: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-3 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)

Opus 15: Ten Etudes for piano (1911)
CD Centaur CRC 2096 (Nos. 6, 8 & 10): Pierre Huybregts (piano)
CD Finn Concert FCRCD 9730: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-2 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD Piano 21 P21 004 (Nos. 1 & 6-10): Cyprien Katsaris (piano)
Opus 15A: Berceuse for violin and piano
Arrangement from Etude opus 15 No. 4.
Opus 16: Concerto No. 1 in B flat major for piano and orchestra (1912) )
1. Lento - Allegro deciso
2. Andante sostenuto
3. Molto vivace e con brio

CD Hyperion CDA 66624: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Jerzy Maksymiuk (conductor), Stephen Coombs (piano)

Opus 16A: Concerto No. 1 in B flat major for piano and orchestra, arranged for two pianos (1912)

Opus 17: Lamentations and Consolations, books 1 & 2 for piano (1913)

Duration: 37 minutes.
CD FinnConcert Records FCRCD 9714: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Hyperion CDA 66992: Stephen Coombs (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-3 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD Piano 21 P21 004 (Nos. 3 & 4): Cyprien Katsaris (piano)
Opus 18: Russian Dances for orchestra (1914)
Nos. 1-6.
Opus 18A: Russian Dances, arranged for piano four hands (1914)

Opus 19: Othello, symphonic poem (1914)

Opus 19A: Othello, arranged for two pianos (1914))

Opus 20: Concerto for cello and orchestra (1915)

Opus 20A: Concerto for cello and orchestra, arranged for cello and piano (1915)

Opus 21: "The Little Wanderer" for piano (1922)

1. Preparing His Travel 2. The Sleigh Drive
3. The Farewell
4. The Train Departure
5. Through the Steppes
6. In Poland
7. The little Hungarian Gipsy
8. On the Danube
9. The terrible precipice in the Alps
10. Venice - Song of the Gondelier
11. In Rome
12. Naples - Canzone
13. France - French folk song
14. Spain - Serenade
15. England - Scotch Real
16. Old Germany
17. Norway
18. Back in the Native Land
CD Finn Concert FCRCD 9723: Jouni Somero (piano)
Opus 22: Concerto for violin and orchestra in D major (1922)

Opus 22A: Concerto for violin and orchestra in D major, arranged for violin and piano (1922)

Opus 23: Poems by Paul Verlaine for voice and piano (1918)

1. Ueberdem Walde leuchtet der Mond
2. Grün (Green)
3. Ein schwarzer düst'rer Traum
4. Das Klavier liebkost von dem Händchen
5. Es weinet mein Herz
6. Die Frau und die Katze (The Woman and the Cat)
7. Der Himmel dort über dem Dach (There is the Sky Above the Roof)
Opus 24: Three Pieces for piano (1922 )
1. Nocturne (Diana)
2. Valse grotesque (Satyre)
3. Impromptu (Eros)

CD Erasmus WVH 271-272: Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD Finn Concert FCRCD 9736: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Piano 21 P21 004 (No. 3): Cyprien Katsaris (piano)

Opus 25: Three Pieces for cello and piano (1922)
1. Romance
2. Gavotte
3. Valse
Opus 25A: Three Pieces for cello and piano, orchestrated for cello and orchestra (1922)

Opus 26: Sonata in G minor for violin and piano (1922)

CD APEX Warner Classics 2564-61990-2: Christian Persinaru (violin), Nils Franke (piano)
Opus 27: Three Waltes for piano (1924)
1. La Gracieuse
2. La mélancholique
3. La Viennoise
Duration: 12 minutes.

CD Centaur CRC 2096: Pierre Huybregts (piano)
CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9719: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-2 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)

Opus 28: Concerto No. 2 for piano (left hand) and orchestra (1924)

Opus 28A: Concerto No. 2 for piano (left hand) and orchestra, for piano solo (1924)

Opus 28B: Concerto No. 2 for piano (left hand) and orchestra, arranged for two Pianos (1924)

Opus 29: Twelve Etudes for piano, books 1 & 2 (1924)

1. La blonde
2. La rousse
3. La brune
4. Le philosophe
5. La poète (pour la main gauche seule)
6. Le héros
7. Le mystérieux inconnu
8. Le jongleur
9. Celui qui aime au clair de la lune
10. Don Quichotte
11. Hamlet
12. Falstaff

CD Finn Concert FCRCD 9736: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Piano 21 P21 004 (Nos. 1-3 & 5-6): Cyprien Katsaris (piano)

Opus 30: "From Andersen's Fairy Tales" for piano (1925)
1. Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse (The Princess and the Pea)
2. Die Glocke (The Clock)
3. Der standhafte Zinnsoldat (The Hardy Tin Soldier)
4. Der Engel (The Angel)
5. Die Blumen der kleinen Ida (Little Ida's Flowers)
6. Die Nachtigall (The Nightingale)
7. Es ist ganz gewiß (It is Quite Certain)
8. Das Kind im Grabe (The Child in the Grave)
9. Der Schmetterling (The Butterfly)
10. Das häßliche junge Entelein (The Ugly Duckling)
11. Goldschatz (Golden Treasure)
12. Das eherne Schwein (The Metal Pig)

CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9741: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Hyperion CDA 66992: Stephen Coombs (piano)

Opus 31: Russian Melodies and Dances for two pianos (1925)

Opus 32: Concerto No. 3 in C minor for piano and orchestra "Per Aspera ad Astra" (1926)

Opus 32A: Concerto No. 3 in C minor for piano and orchestra, arranged for two pianos (1926)

Opus 33: Ten Preludes for piano (1927)

Duration: 29 minutes.
CD Centaur CRC 2096 (Nos. 3, 5, 6 & 10): Pierre Huybregts (piano)
CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9719: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Hyperion CDA 66992: Stephen Coombs (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-3 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD Piano 21 P21 004 (Nos. 1, 5, 7, 8 & 10): Cyprien Katsaris (piano)
Opus 34: A Nightpiece for orchestra "Nox erat, et coelo fulgebat luna sereno" (1927)

Opus 35: Roman for piano (1928)

1. Begegnung
2. Plauderei
3. Erwachende Liebe
4. Auf dem Ball
5. Enttäuschung
6. Vorwurfe
7. Ein Brief
8. Höchstes Glück

CD Erasmus WVH 271-272: Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9742: Jouni Somero (piano)

Opus 36: Sonata for cello and piano (1924)
1. Allegro moderato
2. Allegro con molto
3. Theme can variezione
Opus 37: Tausend und eine Nacht (1001 Nights), ballet (1926)
1. Der Kalif Harun-al-Raschid
2. Geschichte des armen Fischers
3. Tanz der jungen Mädchen
4. Orientalische Tanz
5. Das verzauberte Schloss
6. Zobeïde
7. Tanz der Trauer
8. Tanz der drei Schwestern
9. Bacchanale
10. Der böse Zauberer entschlupft der Flasche
Opus 37A: Tausend und eine Nacht (1001 Nights), ballet, reduced score for salon orchestra and piano solo (1926)

Opus 38: Trio for piano, violin and cello (1928)

Opus 39: "Kindheit", fourteen easy pieces for piano after Leo Tolstoy's book (1930)

CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9742: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-2 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)
Opus 39A: "Kindheit", arrangement for string quartet and piano

Opus 39B: "Kindheit", arrangement of six pieces for string orchestra

Opus 40: Seven Preludes for piano (1931)

CD Erasmus WVH 271-272: Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD Centaur CRC 2096: Pierre Huybregts (piano)
CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9741: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Piano 21 P21 004 (Nos. 1 & 4-6): Cyprien Katsaris (piano)
Opus 41: Suite for cello solo
1. Praludium
2. Russicaia I
3. Mazurka
4. Walzer
5. Tango
6. Russicaia II
Opus 42: Ballade for piano (1931)
Duration: 7 minutes.
CD Centaur CRC 2096: Pierre Huybregts (piano)
CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9719: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-2 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD Hyperion CDA 67094: Stephen Coombs (piano)
Opus 43: "Hafis Songs" after Hans Bethge for singer and orchestra or organ/piano (1931)
1. Das Grab des Hafis
2. Die Himmelsbogen
3. Die Jugend der späten Tage
4. Längst gekannt
5. Jugend im Alter
6. Unberührt und stolz
7. Trinklied
Opus 44: Lyrical Intermezzo for violin and orchestra (1934)

Opus 44A: Lyrical Intermezzo for violin and orchestra, arranged for violin and piano

Opus 45: Russian Rhapsody for piano and orchestra (1935)

Opus 45A: Russian Rhapsody for piano and orchestra, arranged f or two pianos

Opus 46: Elegy for piano (1932)

Duration: 6 minutes.
CD Centaur CRC 2096: Pierre Huybregts (piano)
CD FinnConcert FCRCD 9719: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Hyperion CDA 67094: Stephen Coombs (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-2 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD Piano 21 P21 004: Cyprien Katsaris (piano)
Opus 46A: Elegy for piano, arranged for cello and piano (1932)

Opus 47: Russian Poems on German texts for singer and piano (1932)

1. Gebet
2. Das Segel
3. Heimatsbild
4. Nirvana
5. "Du" und "Sie"
6. Oh glaub ' mir nicht, mein Freund
Without Opusnumber: Preludium for piano (1934)
Dedicated to his wife Mies.
Opus 48: Six Pieces in 3/4 Takt for piano (1933)
CD Erasmus WVH 271-272: Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD Piano 21 P21 004 (No. 2): Cyprien Katsaris (piano)
Opus 48A: Six Pieces for piano in 3/4 Takt, arrangement of Nos. 2 and 5 for violin and piano

Opus 49: Two Pieces for piano (1933)

1. Albumblatt
2. Epithalame (Romance)
Opus 50: "Acrobats", opera in three acts (1938)

Opus 51: Austrian Suite for string orchestra (1939)

Opus 51A: Austrian Suite for string orchestra, arranged for piano four hands (1939)

Opus 51B: Austrian Suite for string orchestra, arrangement of No. 3 (Vienna Waltzes) for piano solo (1939)

Opus 52: Symphony No. 1 in D major "From my Homeland" (1945)

1. Un poco sostenuto – Allegro
2. Scherzo: Vivace
3. Adagio
4. Allegro vivace

CD Hyperion CDA 67338: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)

Opus 52A: Symphony No. 1 in D major, arranged for piano four hands (1945)

Opus 53: Overture to a Fairytale Opera (1946)

Opus 53A: Overture to a Fairytale Opera, arranged for piano four hands (1946)

Opus 54: "Marionettes", nine pieces for piano (1938)

CD Finn Concert FCRCD 9723: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-3 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)
Opus 55: Symphony No. 2 in E flat major (1947)
1. Allegro ma non troppo
2. Vivace
3. Andante sostenuto
4. Vivace (alla breve)

CD Hyperion CDA 67338: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)

Opus 55A: Symphony No. 2 in Eb major, arranged for piano four hands (1947)

Opus 56: "In the Park", song cycle after Curt Bohmer (1946)

1. Parkkapelle
2. Im Park
3. Parklaube
4. Nachtschatten
5. Sternfall im Park
6. Weinlaube
Opus 57: "Heitere Suite" for large orchestra (1939)
1. Walzer
2. Polka humoristique
3. Walzer
4. Siegermarsch
Opus 57A: "Heitere Suite", transcription for piano solo (1939)
Part of waltz No. 3 and complete Siegermarsch No. 4
Opus 58: "Adria" (Yugoslav) Suite for orchestra (1940)

Opus 58A: Adria Suite, arrangement for piano solo

Opus 59: Lyrica Nova for piano (1940)

CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-2 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)
Opus 60: Piano Sonata No. 2 in C minor (1941)
CD Erasmus WVH 271-272: Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD Finn Concert FCRCD 9730: Jouni Somero (piano)
Opus 61: "Miscellana", six pieces for piano (1941)
1. Warum (Why)
2. Ein Traum und....... (A Dream and ......)
3. Das Erwachen (The Awakening)
4. Humoreske (Humoresque)
5. Sie tanzt (She is Dancing)
6. Serenade
Opus 62: "Sternflug des Herzens", seven songs after texts of Grete Korber for singer and piano (1942)
1. Allein
2. Einsame Wanderung
3. In die Ferne gesungen
4. Der Stein
5. Vision
6. Wiedersehen
7. Zu zweit
Opus 63: Four Pieces, suite for violin and piano (1945)
1. Album Leaf
2. Waltzes
3. Meditation
4. Espana

CD APEX Warner Classics 2564-61990-2: Christian Persinaru (violin), Nils Franke (piano)
CD Piano 21 P21 004 (No. 4): Cyprien Katsaris (piano)

Opus 64: Three Mazurkas for piano (1945)

Opus 65: Four Pieces for piano (1946)

1. Chant sans paroles (andante con moto)
2. Etude (allegro vivace)
3. Epithalame (Chant Nuptiale) (Andante con moto)
4. Capriccio alla Polacca (Allegro)
Duration: 15 minutes.

CD FinnConcert Records FCRCD 9714: Jouni Somero (piano)
CD Hyperion CDA 67094: Stephen Coombs (piano)
CD Muziekinstituut Bortkiewicz Pianoworks-2 (2 CD-set): Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD Piano 21 P21 004 (No. 2): Cyprien Katsaris (piano)

Opus 66: Six Preludes (1946-1947)
1. Andante
2. Allegro affectuoso
3. Moderato cantibile
4. Presto
5. Lento e mesto
6. Agitato

CD Erasmus WVH 271-272: (Two Preludes) Klaas Trapman (piano)
CD FinnConcert Records FCRCD 9714: (Nos. 1 & 3) Jouni Somero (piano)

Opus 67: Four Songs for singer and piano after Josef Bubl (1947)
1. Bekenntnis
2. Unter einer Linde
3. Vorfrühling
4. Eros
Opus 68: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, six easy pieces for piano (1947)
1. Tom
2. Aunt Polly
3. Jim the Negro-Boy
4. Becky, his love
5. Die Eroberung der Insel
6. Allgemeine Trauer und glückliches Ende
Opus 69: Three Songs after poems of Arthur Schopenhauer (1948)
1. Sonet
2. Auf die Sixtinische Madonna
3. Morgen im Harz
Opus 70: Five Studies on Women (Cinq Esquisses de Femmes (1950)
1. The Impatient Woman (L'impatiente; Die Ungeduldige)
2. The Innocent Woman (L'innocente; Die Unschuldige)
3. L'irascible (Die Zürnende)
4. La Coquette
5. La tragique (Die Dramatische)
Opus 71: Three Melodramas (1950)
1. Sakjamum after Dimitri Mereschkowsky
2. Wie schön, wie blühend waren jene Rosen after Ivan Turgeniew
3. Die Landstreicher after Grete Korber
Opus 72: Six Songs (1951)
1. Befreiung after S. Bortkiewicz
2. Ich habe dich gerufen after Marie Bienorth-Schmerling (also with string orchestra)
3. Ruinen (Ruins) after Grete Korber
4. Rosen und Zypressen after Grete Korber
5. Traumbild in den Bergen after Grete Korber
6. Im Blütenflor after Grete Korber
Opus 73: Three Songs (1951)
1. Immer du (Always You) after Walter Zorahal
2. Des Sultans Wundergarten after Walter Zorahal
3. Warnung (Warning) after Alexandra Aukwicz
Opus 74: Three Songs after Edmund Schwab (1952)
1. Erlösung (Redemption)
2. Schöner Morgen (Beautiful Morning)
3. Im Rokokogarten
Without Opusnumber: Seven Songs for voice and orchestra
Arrangement from several opus numbers:
1. Auf die Sixtinische Madonna (from opus 69)
2. Sonett (from opus 69)
3. Morgen in Harz (from opus 69)
4. Der Leiermann (from opus 47 No. 1)
5. Der Stein (from opus 62 No. 4)
6. Zu Zweit (from opus 62 No. 7)
7. Befreiung (from opus 72 No. 1)
Without Opusnumber: Olympic Scherzo for orchestra

Without Opusnumber: Symphony No. 3

Unfinished; sketches only
Other works

Thanks to Malcolm Henbury Ballan.
For additional information read "Bortkiewicz, the forgotten romantic" by Bhagwan N. Thadani
and check the Bortkiewicz website.


Return to Onno van Rijen's Soviet Composer's Page

Return to Onno van Rijen's Home Page