Felix Draeseke: A chronicle of his life (1863-1876)
Part II: Years in Switzerland

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1863 YverdonDraeseke settles in Yverdon; finishes sketches for the first version of the cantata on his own text "Der Schwur im Rütli" (WoO 9), for soprano, male chorus and wind orchestra, as well as a first version of the "Osterscene aus Goethes Faust", (Easter Scene from Goethe's "Faust") for baritone, mixed choir and orchestra which only much later appears in reworked form as Op. 39.
1864 During a summer visit in Germany Draeseke begins his text to "Christus". On his return to Yverdon Draeseke completes his Polonaise in D major for Piano, WoO 10; moves to Lausanne at the end of the year and finishes the second part of the "Frithjof" symphonic poem WoO 7. 
1865 Felix Draeseke in 1865. Draeseke attends the premiere of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" in Munich in May.In the hope of a production of "König Sigurd" in Weimar, Draeseke revises the opera. In August Draeseke undertakes a second and final revision of the symphonic poem "Julius Caesar", WoO 6. 

By year's end he completes the Lacrimosa, for soloists, chorus and orchestra, published separately as Op. 10, but later incorporated into the Requiem in B minor, Op. 22.

1866 Draeseke's only completed work from this year is the Fantasie über Motive aus Boieldieus "Weisse Dame" (Fantasy on Motives from Boieldieu's "La Dame blanche" for piano, published as Op. 8). Draeseke witnesses the collapse of the marriage between Hans and Cosima von Bülow.
1867 Aside from the Ballad for Cello and Piano, Op. 7, Draeseke produces the final revision of his Piano Sonata in C# minor, "Sonata quasi fantasia",Op. 6 and dedicates it to his friend Hans von Bülow, who ironically never plays the work publicly. A "Valse Rhapsodie" in E-flat minor and a "Valse-Scherzo" in C# minor for piano, appear as Opp. 4 and 5 respectively.
1868 Draeseke revises his cantata "Der Schwur im Rütli", WoO 9, replacing the wind orchestra with a normal symphony orchestra. Thereafter most of the year is spent in Munich where he produces the three piano pieces which constitute his "Petite Histoire" (Little History), Op. 9 and the "Valse-Impromptu" in D-flat major, Op. 4, No. 2 for piano. Draeseke begins the composition of his Symphony No. 1 in G major, Op. 12 and the symphonic prelude to Calderon's "Das Leben ein Traum" (Life is a Dream), Op. 45. 
1869  For most of the year Draeseke is on the traditional grand tour of an artist, visiting Paris and the Mediterranean lands, including North African as well as European. Little work is accomplished, though the finale of the first symphony is sketched.
1870 Felix Draeseke in Lausanne, 1869 In February, Draeseke announces his engagement to one of his Lausanne students, Louisa de Trey. Because of anti-German sentiment caused by the Franco-Prussian War, the family intervenes, and the engagement is canceled and Draeseke continues bachelorhood. Promised performances of either the "Frithjof" symphonic poem and/or the "Rütli" cantata at the Beethoven centennial celebrations of the Allgemeine Deutsche Tonkünstlerverein (General Union of German Musicians) do not materialize, though Draeseke's Lacrimosa is given its premiere. In December, Draeseke's father passes away.
1871 Draeseke begins sketching a second symphony, in F major, as well as an "Adventlied" (Song for Advent) after Rückert for soloists, chorus and orchestra, his later Op. 30. The Germania Ode after Kleist, WoO 3a, is revised.
1872 In February Draeseke finishes his Ballad in B minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 11, but his major enterprise for the year is the completion of the Symphony No. 1 in G major, Op. 12.
1873 Draeseke's Symphony No. 1 in G major, Op. 12 is premiered in Dresden by his former teacher Julius Rietz. No new works are completed during the year.
1874 Draeseke's major effort for the year is not one of musical composition, but his essay for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik following the death of his colleague and friend Peter Cornelius, "Peter Cornelius und seine hinterlassenen Werke" (Peter Cornelius and the Works He Left Behind). 
1875 Draeseke writes his first pedagogical treatise, "Anweisung zum kunstegerechten Modulieren" (Instruction in the Art of Proper Modulation) and in November he finishes his "Adventlied", Op. 30.

Concert Program, January 1875 Lausanne. Felix Draeseke composer and pianist. Click for larger versionIn February, Draeseke completes his Symphonic Andante in E minor for Cello and Orchestra, WoO 11 and soon thereafter decides to leave Switzerland.

Before moving to his new home, Dresden, Draeseke completes his Symphony No. 2 in F major, Op. 25 in his hometown Coburg. His first completed works in Dresden are two piano pieces, "Rote Blätter fallen" (Red Leaves Are Falling) and "Sternennacht" (Starry Night) which are later incorporated into the collection "Dämmerungsträume" (Twilight Reveries), Op. 14, and the Agnus Dei of the now fully projected Requiem in B minor, Op. 22.

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