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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » K » Kletzki, Paul



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Paul Kletzki (3/21/1900 - 3/05/1973)

Born in 1900 in Łódž as Pavel Klecki, Paul Kletzki (the Germanicized form of his name) became famous after the Second World War as a distinguished conductor. From about 1921 to about 1942, however, Kletzki was primarily active as a composer—although he did conduct his own music—and, within this approximately twenty-year period, created a remarkable series of works of just over thirty opus numbers. After about 1942 he fell silent as a composer, somewhat like Sibelius, and in Kletzki’s case, as in Sibelius’s, it is difficult to ascertain the reasons for his silence. He later explained that his post-war cessation from composition emanated from “The shock of all that Hitlerism meant [which] destroyed also in me the spirit and will to compose”. But there may have been other contributing factors. Perhaps he perceived a “disconnect” between his compositional development and the larger evolution of art-music after the war. It is noteworthy that he did little to advertise or conduct his own music after 1942; indeed, he acted as if his music had totally ceased to exist, although major libraries had preserved the published scores of at least some of his works.

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