The Life and Work of Richard Stöhr


For an extensive but not exhaustive list of Richard Stöhr’s compositions, please click on the link at left.

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Richard Stöhr’s compositional career spanned nearly 60 years from the late 1890’s to the mid 1950’s.  He composed prolifically in nearly every major classical genre: 2 operas, 7 symphonies, 4 string quartets plus numerous other chamber works for both traditional and unusual combinations of instruments, 15 violin sonatas as well as the Flute and Cello Sonatas, over 150 lieder as well as solo piano and choral works.  His Trumpet Concerto seems to be the only work he composed for solo instrument and orchestra.

The vast majority of this music is completely unknown to current generations of musicians, scholars and music lovers.  At this writing there are only two commercially available CDs entirely dedicated to Stöhr’s music, plus the Flute Sonata on a CD with works by other composers.  Recent years have seen an increase in performances of other of Stöhr’s works both in Europe and the US.  Hopefully these works and others will be recorded as well so that Stöhr’s reputation will be revived among performers and audiences, and his rightful place among 20th Century composers can be fairly assessed.

We do not know much about most of the works on the list of compositions.  Below are listed some selected works about which we do know something other than name and opus number.

Four Fantasy Pieces for Cello & Piano Op. 17

The Four Fantasy Pieces were composed in 1907 and published in 1909. It seems that owing to the emotional turmoil of the end of his first marriage, this was the only work that he composed that year. These four pieces were published in two miniature suites of two pieces each, and can be performed as such. However, taking all four together, they come full circle via the structure of the first and fourth pieces.

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Chamber Symphony Op. 32

The Chamber Symphony was composed in 1912.  It is scored for String Quartet, Clarinet, Oboe, Horn, Bassoon and Harp.  Stöhr also sometimes referred to it as a Nonet.  The first movement of this work was performed at the 80th birthday celebration in the Vienna Academy of Music in 1954 organized by Hans Sittner, president of […]

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Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 49

The Cello Sonata was composed in 1915, while Stöhr was serving as a doctor in the Austrian Army and was published in 1919. Again, he mentions this work in the Diary Summary of 1915: “My colleagues, including the commandant of the hospital, were very nice to me. They all respected me as an artist and […]

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Flute Sonata Op. 61

The Flute Sonata was composed in 1919.  It is one of the few compositions available on a commercial recording.  It was recorded in 1996 by David Shostac and Antoinette Perry and issued by Harmonie.  To quote the liner notes: “His Flute Sonata Op. 61 is a large-scale work which shows the composer to have been […]

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