The compostitions for bassoon of Georg Junge (1899-1967)



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Texas Tech University


Germany, during the period of time between World War I and World War II, experienced one of the richest periods of cultural growth in its history. The years of 1922 to 1933, commonly known as the Weimar Republic, were particularly exciting. In Berlin alone, there were four opera houses, forty-three theaters, and over twenty orchestras. There were hundreds of individual artists and organizations that were performing in Germany during this time. One of the composers experiencing and participating in this supercharged artistic atmosphere was Georg Junge, the principal bassoonist of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, who, in addition to his symphonic duties, composed and performed music for bassoon and piano. Little is known about these compositions, or about Junge himself, because, after the defeat of the Germans in 1945, the barriers to East Germany put in place by the Russians made access to information about people, events and activities in Leipzig difficult. The reunification of Germany in November of 1989, brought to light many works of art previously unknown or thought lost. Among those unknown were the compositions for bassoon of Georg Junge.

Although his music reflects the creative attitudes of the Weimar Republic, Junge's music was not published until 1938. Unlike much music published in Germany at this time, Junge's works were intended solely for pedagogical and entertainment purposes. Although his music for bassoon and piano was intended to be enjoyed just for the fun it created in both playing and Hstening, his seriousness about the developing of technical skill in order to meet the increasing demands of the orchestral literature is evident in his other compositions. His exercises on double and triple-tonguing are the only readily available sequential exercises written specifically for the bassoon, and his Konzert Studien fiir Fagott offer technical practice for difficult passages such as the solo in the last movement of Beethoven's Svmphony No. 4 as well as some of the newest progressions and passages of composers of the late Romantic and early 20th Century musical style periods.