Alphons Diepenbrock (1862-1921).

  • Residences: Amsterdam.
  • Relation to Mahler: Friend.
  • Correspondence with Mahler: 
  • Born: 02-09-1862 Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Died: 05-04-1921 Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Aged 58.
  • Buried: 09-04-1921 Amsterdam, the Netherlands, RK Begraafplaats Buitenveldert, grave A-I-238.

Son of Ferdinand Hubert Aloys Diepenbrock and Johanna Josephina Kuijtenbrouwer. Married to Jonkvrouwe Wilhelmina "Elisabeth" Petronella Cornelia de Jong van Beek en Donk (1895-1921). Father of Dorothea Anna Maria Diepenbrock and Joanna Diepenbrock.

08-03-1906: See Zuiderzee and House Diepenbrock.

Alphonsus Johannes Maria Diepenbrock was a Dutch composer, essayist and classicist. Diepenbrock was not a musician by training. Brought up in a prosperous Catholic family, although he showed musical ability as a child, the expectation was that he would enter a university rather than a conservatory. And so he studied classics at the University of Amsterdam, gaining his doctorate cum laude in 1888 with a dissertation in Latin on the life of Seneca. The same year he became a teacher, a job which he held until 1894, and his decision to devote himself to music. As a composer, he had been completely self-taught from an early age.

He created a musical idiom which, in a highly personal manner, combined 16th-century polyphony with Wagnerian chromaticism, to which in later years was added the impressionistic refinement that he encountered in Debussy's music. His predominantly vocal output is distinguished by the high quality of the texts used. Apart from the Ancient Greek dramatists and Latin liturgy, he was inspired by, among others, Goethe, Novalis, Vondel, Brentano, Hölderlin, Heine, Nietzsche, Baudelaire and Verlaine.

As a conductor, he performed many contemporary works, including Gustav Mahler's Fourth Symphony (at the Concertgebouw) as well as works by Fauré and Debussy.

Throughout his life, Diepenbrock continued his interests in the wider cultural sphere, remaining a classics tutor and publishing works on literature, painting, politics, philosophy and religion. Indeed during his lifetime his musical skills were often overlooked. Nonetheless, Diepenbrock was very much a respected figure within musical circles. He counted amongst his friends Mahler, Richard Strauss and Arnold Schoenberg. Alphons Diepenbrock is related to Cardinal Melchior von Diepenbrock, who was his great uncle, as well as to a branch of the family that immigrated to America in 1879.

Friend of Gerard Zalsman (1871-1949).

Some works:

  • Missa in die festo (1891).
  • Te Deum (1897).
  • Ik ben in eenzaamheid niet meer alleen (1898).
  • Hymne an die Nacht (1899).
  • Vondels vaart naar Agrippine (1903).
  • Im Grossen Schweigen (1906).
  • Die Nacht (1911).
  • Marsyas (1910).
  • Gijsbreght van Aemstel (1912).
  • De Vogels (1917).
  • Elektra (1920).

Alphons Diepenbrock with his wife Elisabeth and their daughters Dorothea and Joanna. Bredius forest, Laren (North Holland), The Netherlands (1912). 

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