Franz Mittler


Con Sordino

Die frühe Stunde


Four Songs for Middle Voice and String Quartet

World Premiere Edition

"One of the greats as far as his compositional talent is concerned."---So wrote the respected musicologist Irene Suchy of Franz Mittler for CPO records. Franz Mittler (1893-1970) was born in Vienna. At the Vienna Conservatory, he studied theory with Joseph Labor and composition with Richard Heuberger and Karl Prohaska. Of Jewish extraction, Mittler left Austria for New York in 1938 when the Nazis seized power. In the United States, Mittler enjoyed a varied career, performing chamber music on the radio, teaching, writing for Hollywood and television. Eventually, he returned to Europe in 1964 and spent his final years teaching at the famed Mozarteum in Salzburg. Mittler composed in most genres and was, in his lifetime, perhaps best known for his songs.


His Four Songs for Middle Voice and String Quartet date from 1934 and can be sung either by mezzo soprano or baritone. The texts are taken from four poems by Hermann Hesse. The first is entitled Landstreicherherberge, in English Tramp Hostel. It tells the story of a wayfarer who dreams of his home from many years ago but everything has changed and he no longer recognizes it. The second song is entitled Con Sordino, which of course is a direction to string players to use their mutes. The song is taken from a group of poems which Hesse entitled Der Geiger, the violinist. In this song, the violinist strikes up a tune with which he serenaded his beloved many moons ago. The next song is entitled Die frühe Stunde, The Early Hours. It tells of the time just before daybreak. The forest stirs and a hunter bags his prey. In the final song, Frühling, Spring in English, the poet recounts how he has been longingly waiting for Spring to come, and now, at last, with all its beauty, it has finally arrived.


Our world premiere edition was made possible through the help of Professor Diana Mittler Battipaglia, daughter of the composer, who provided us with parts made from the hand-written manuscript in her possession. We also present it in a version for voice and piano.


(A) Voice and String Quartet-Parts $29.95
(B) Voice and String Quartet-Parts & Score $36.95
(B) Voice and Piano-Parts $17.95



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