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BRANDEIS, FREDERICK:

Musician; born at Vienna July 5, 1832; died at New York May 14, 1899. He studied at the University of Vienna, and received instruction in the piano from Fischhof, Czerny, and Pyrkert, and in composition from Rufinatscha. During the Revolution of 1848 Frederick's father, Emanuel Brandeis (afterward a prominent teacher in New York; died 1873), lost his fortune and emigrated to America. There the son was at once thrown upon his own resources. His talents, however, secured for him the recognition of artists; and he soon received engagements as a pianist, in which capacity he made several tours throughout the country, notably one with William Vincent Wallace, the famous violinist, in 1849.

In about the year 1850 Brandeis settled for a short time in Cleveland, Ohio, but a few years later removed to New York, where he devoted himself assiduously to composition. There, also, he formed the friendship of Julius Schuberth, the well-known publisher, who gave him great encouragement, and sent some of his earlier efforts to Schumann and Spohr, both of whom expressed themselves in highly laudatory terms in regard to the young composer. About this time he played a sonata of his own composition at one of the chamber concerts given by Theodore Thomas. In 1860 he received the appointment of organist at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, and, upon the destruction of that church by fire in 1872, a similar position was offered to him at St. James's Roman Catholic Church, which he held until 1886, from which time until his death he was identified with the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. Brandeis was also organist of the synagogue Shaaray Tefila (West 44th St.) from 1879 to 1892, and composed six hymns for the synagogal service. He was a member of the Manuscript Society from its inception; and several of his productions were performed under its auspices, among which the song, "Fly Not Thus, My Brow of Snow" (words by Heine), received the prize offered by the society for the best composition.

Brandeis produced 104 works in all, of which the following are generally considered the most popular; song, "My Love Is Like the Red, Red Rose" (words by Burns), a beautiful composition which immediately became popular upon its publication in the early fifties; trio for violin, piano, and cello; funeral march, "Humpty Dumpty," for orchestra (also arranged for piano); "Danse Héroïque," for orchestra; polonaise for piano, op. 52; gavot for piano, op. 53; "The Ring," op. 58, ballad for soli, chorus, and orchestra; the quartets "Sunken Cloister" and "Echoes," op. 64; song, "Wunsch," op. 36; "Observe When Mother Earth Is Dry," drinking-song from "Anacreon."

The religious music composed by Brandeis includes the above-mentioned "Six Hymn-Anthems," op. 85 (quartet or chorus); "Vespers," op. 92, for soli, chorus, and organ; and "Tantum Ergo," op. 63. Among his other works may be mentioned: "Prelude to Maria Stuart," for orchestra (performed by the Manuscript Society); suite for string orchestra; "Sechs Klavierstücke"; and "The Bards," duet for tenor and bass, with orchestral accompaniment. In conjunction with F. de Sola Mendes as librettist, he was writing an oratorio, "Moses in Egypt," when he died.

Bibliography:
  • Riemann, Musik-Lexikon, 1900.
S. J. So.
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