Personalities | Heinz Karl (H.K.) Gruber | Contemporary | Classical
(Hints Kärl Groo-bâr) b. 1943
Gruber studied with Alfred Uhl (1909–92) and Hanns Jelinek (1901–69). He began by working in a serial idiom but soon, along with his composer colleagues Kurt Schwertsik and Otto M. Zykan, devised a more eclectic musical language (under the designation ‘MOB and tone art’ – Tonart being German for tonality), drawing in general on popular music from Johann Strauss to the Beatles and in particular on the cabaret tradition (Weill and Kagel were strong inspirations). His most famous work, Frankenstein!! (1976–77), is essentially a cabaret piece, which the composer has frequently performed himself. His Cello Concerto, written for Yo-Yo Ma, epitomizes the gentler, more nostalgic side of his musical personality.
Frankenstein!!, Nebelsteinmusik, 3 MOB Stücke, Ernst Kovacic, Camerata Academica Salzburg (cond) Franz Welser-Möst (EMI/Warner)
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