Felix Draeseke: A chronicle of his life (1900-1913)
Part IV: Into the new century
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1900 Partial performances of the complete "Christus" Mysterium highlight the year for Draeseke and he completes no new compositions, though he writes the text for a new opera, "Merlin", and begins the composition of his Quintet in F major for Two Violins, Viola, and Two Celli, Op. 77  
1901    Draeseke circa 1901.In February Draeseke completes his String Quintet in F major, Op. 77.   This is followed by the Melodrama, "Der Monch von Bonifazio" (The Monk from Bonifacio, for Recitation with Piano) Op. 74 and Drei geistliche Gesänge (Three Spiritual Songs for Voice and Piano), Op. 75. The Overture to "Bertran de Born" is premiered in Dresden (O. Hermann).
1902  Begun in October 1901, Draeseke's Sonata No. 2 in F major for Viola alta and Piano, WoO 26 is finished in the second week of January. Draeseke writes an essay on Berlioz for "Die Musik" (Music) and a textbook, Der gebundene Styl: Lehrbuch f'ür Kontrapunkt und Fuge" (The Strict Style: A Textbook for Counterpoint and Fugue). At his own expense Draeseke subsidizes the printing of the vocal scores for the Mysterium: "Christus". 
1903 Draeseke's symphonic poem "Thuner See" (Lake Thun), WoO 27 is completed in April. For the remainder of the year his compositional powers are concentrated on the opera "Merlin", WoO 30, though a short work for four-part women's chorus, "Getrennte Wege" (Parted Ways after Baumbach), WoO 28 is written and published without a catalog number in a collection (ed. Bernhard Schneider)
1904  Grillparzer's "Der Traum ein Leben" (Dream is Life) is the subject for Draeseke's symphonic prelude of the same title, WoO 29, completed in January. 
1905 Frida & Felix Draeseke on the composer's 70th birthday.Felix Draeseke's 70th birthday year is greeted with great notice in music publications and the press. Innumerable performances mark the event, notably the premieres of the opera "Fischer und Kalif" (Fisher and Caliph), WoO 24 (Prague/Pollak) and the symphonic prelude for Grillparzer's "Der Traum ein Leben" (Dream is Life), WoO 29 (Dresden/Schuch). The instrumentation for the opera "Merlin", WoO 30 is completed and Draeseke's declares it finished in August. 
1906 The "Trauermarsch " (Funeral March for Orchestra) Op. 79, written in memory of the German soldiers fallen in colonial combat, "Frühlingsgruß" (Spring's Greeting, for Voice and Piano after G. Haebler), Op. 78, "Der traurige König" (The Sad King, for Voice and Piano after Mörike), Op. 80 and Four Songs for Voice and Piano after Mörike, Op. 81 are Draeseke's sole compositions for the year. "Merlin" is premiered in Gotha, but later revised somewhat in August. Draeseke is named "Geheim Hofrat" (Privy Councilor) by the King of Saxony. Outraged by the "immorality" of Richard Strauss' new opera "Salome", Draeseke pens his polemic "Konfusion in der Musik" (Confusion in Music). 
1907  The year might be called the "Goethe year" for Draeseke since his only completed compositions, aside from a setting of Psalm 57 for Baritone, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra, WoO 31, are on Goethe texts: "Faust im Schlaf Gesungen - Geistergesang aus 'Faust'" (Sung to Faust in His Sleep - Song of the Spirits from "Faust", for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra), WoO 32 and "Parzengesang aus Gothes 'Iphigenie'" (Parzen Song from Goethe's "Iphigenie on Tauris" for Alto and Orchestra), WoO 33. 
1908  The composer's WoO 34, "Wunder" (Marvel, Song for Voice and Piano after F.T. Vischer) is published. Draeseke spends most of his time composing his Grand Mass in A minor for a-capella Mixed Chorus, Op. 85, which he finishes the following year.
1909  Draeseke in 1909In January, Draeseke completes his Grand Mass in A minor for a-capella Chorus, Op. 85. It is premiered in Chemnitz (Stolz) in October.  

Draeseke is already composing his second Requiem Mass, the Requiem, in E minor, for a-capella chorus.

1910  In the first week of his 75th birthday year Draeseke completes his Requiem in E minor for A-capella Chorus, WoO 35 and at the end of the year, the Konzertstück "Feenzauber" (Concert Piece, "Fairy Magic" for Harp and Orchestra), WoO 36. Many performances in honor of his birthday.
1911 Draeseke composes his last chamber works: the Kleine Suite (Little Suite) for English Horn and Piano, Op. 87, and the Suite for Two Violins, Op 86. A collection of four fugues for unspecified ensemble are completed (WoO 37). Draeseke finishes dictating to his wife his "Lebenserinnerungen" (Memoirs), which remain unpublished to this day.
1912  Draeseke in 1912

In February Draeseke hears the first full performance, on three evenings, of his Mysterium in a Prologue and Three Oratorios, "Christus".There is original material regarding this event in the Ebert collection. Click to view these pages.

Draeseke completes his last orchestral work, the, Symphony No. 4 in E minor, "Sinfonia Comica", WoO 38 in late August.

In September he finishes his last compositions, Four Songs on Texts of Grete Ihle for Voice and Piano, WoO 39. 

In November Draeseke, now almost completely deaf, takes ill, and never again leaves his house. 

1913  Draeseke on his death bed (portrait of Beethoven in background).On 26 February, Draeseke suffers a stroke and dies. He is buried on 1 March in the Tolkewitz cemetery in Dresden.There is original material regarding this event in the Ebert collection. Click to view these pages.  

It is known that before his death Draeseke had planned yet another opera, "Die Weiber von Weinsberg" (The Women of Weinsberg), a sextet for strings, and a second piano sonata, though no sketches have survived.

1935 Felix Draeseke's centenary - The National Socialists promote Draeseke with Festivals held in Coburg, Dresden, and other cities throughout Germany.There is original material regarding this event in the Ebert collection. Click to view these pages.
1942 Felix Draeseke's widow, Frida, follows him to the grave on 14 November.There is original material regarding this event in the Ebert collection. Click to view these pages.
Note Ebert Collection icon: This icon indicates that there is original material regarding this event in the Ebert collection. Click the icon to view those pages.
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