Walter Rabl, classical music composer

Walter Rabl


Walter Rabl (1873–1940) was a Viennese composer, conductor, and teacher of vocal music. Largely forgotten today, Rabl left only a small number of works, all of them early ones, from the twilight of the Romantic era. At the age of 30 he stopped composing entirely and devoted himself to conducting and vocal coaching the rest of his life.

Walter Rabl was born in Vienna and as a child became an excellent pianist. He went to Salzburg and there studied music theory and composition with J. F. Hummel, director of the Mozarteum. He graduated with honours from the Kaiserlich und Königlich Staatsgymnasium (Royal and Imperial State School) in Salzburg in 1892.

Rabl returned to Vienna to study with Karl Navratil and then enrolled in the doctoral program at the German University in Prague as a student of the musicologist Guido Adler. At 25, he completed his doctorate and soon after accepted a position at the Royal Opera of Dresden as coach and chorus master.

Beginning in 1903 Rabl conducted throughout Germany and championed works by progressive composers such as Gustav Mahler, Karl Goldmark, Franz Schreker, Erich Korngold, and Richard Strauss. In 1905, Rabl married the soprano Hermine von Kriesten and conducted her in major Wagnerian roles such as Brünnhilde and Elektra.

After his retirement from conducting in 1924, he continued to use his impressive piano skills in accompanying and coaching many notable singers.

Composer Title Date Action
Walter Rabl Quartet in E-flat Major for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano, Op. 1 04/02/2009 Play Add to playlist