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Martin Scherber Orchestral Works & Songs



Martin Scherber was born in 1907 in Nuremberg. He was a confirmed loner and little is known about his career. At the age of just five he played the violin and started to imitate things he had heard on the piano. He showed great reluctance to learn to read music, but soon acquired remarkable skill at piano improvisation. At the age of thirteen he started to compose. He appeared in public for the first time as a pianist in Nuremberg in 1922, and first presented compositions of his own the following year. During the Second World War he served as a soldier, and following the war he devoted himself to teaching and composition.

Martin Scherber’s oeuvre is modest in size. He worked for years on each of his symphonies. In addition, between 1930 and 1937 he composed several song cycles (including 27 children’s songs) and individual songs to texts by Goethe, Morgenstern, Novalis and himself.

Observations by Scherber himself about his music are very rare, and no comments about the First Symphony have survived from the period during which it was being written. The only remarks that we have come from the time of the work’s revision after the first performance in March 1952. On 1 August 1953, for example, Scherber tells us: ‘The world of the First Symphony is close to my heart. In fact I am more at one with these worlds than with everything in this world. It was my wish that we should both hear it the way it was intended.’

Martin Scherber Orchestral Works & Songs