Othmar Schoeck (1886–1957)

It is primarily Othmar Schoeck's contribution to the German Romantic lied tradition on which his reputation rests. More than three hundred lieder for voice and piano, composed during a period of over fifty years, form the backbone of his output.

Othmar Schoeck was born in Brunnen, a village on the shores of Lake Lucerne, on 1 September 1886. He studied at the Zurich Conservatory and with Max Reger in Leipzig (1907/08). In 1908 he returned to Zurich, where he remained until his death in 1957. Besides composing, Schoeck was active as an accompanist and conductor. In the latter capacity he directed the symphony concerts in St. Gall from 1917 until 1944, when a heart attack caused him to retire from the podium. Schoeck's oeuvre includes eight operas, three of which have enjoyed several successful productions in recent years: "Venus" (191921), "Massimilla Doni" (193436) and, above all, "Penthesilea" (192327). 

(Chris Walton, from the booklet to "Othmar Schoeck - Elegie op. 36", CD cpo, 1997)