Karel Komzák, Jr.
Karel Komzák II (8 November 1850 – 23 April 1905) was a Bohemian-born Viennese composer famous for his dances and marches. He is known as a composer of 'Erzherzog-Albrecht-Marsch'.
Komzák was born in Prague in 1850. After training under his father, Karel Komzák I, he studied violin, musical theory, and conducting at the Prague Conservatory between 1861 and 1867. In March 1869 he joined his father’s 11th Regiment band at Linz, playing violin and baritone.
When the position of bandmaster to the 7th Infantry Regiment became vacant in 1871, Komzák applied and was successful, taking up his new post at Innsbruck at the age of 21. During this period the so-called Bohemian musician came to know the folk-music of Tyrol, and this showed its influenced in the choruses he wrote for the Innsbruck Liedertafel Choir, of which he was also choirmaster.
Komzák's long-standing desire to come to Vienna was eventually fulfilled in 1882, when he was called to the capital to take over the duties of bandmaster to the 84th Infantry Regiment. It was while he was with this regiment that his fame gradually spread throughout the Austrian Empire. His congenial appearance, friendly nature and energetic conducting soon made him a firm favourite of the Viennese public, who regarded him as one of the leading military composers.
An important contribution of Komzák to the development of Austrian military music was his use of stringed instruments. His band contained no less than fourteen first violins and could therefore be compared favourably with the usual concert orchestra of the period. The frequent and widespread tours undertaken by Komzák with his regimental orchestra were everywhere received with popular acclaim.
In 1892 Komzák was given leave of absence from his regiment on health grounds and the family moved to the spa town of Baden-bei-Wien, some fourteen miles southwest of Vienna, where the following year he took over direction of the Spa Orchestra. In the meantime, on 20 September 1892, he gave a farewell concert in Vienna with the band which was being moved to the regiment’s new garrison at Mostar, Herzegovina, Komzák retained the position of bandmaster until his eventual retirement in 1896, spending the winter months with the regiment in Mostar and returning to Baden in the spring to direct the season’s spa concerts. Probably the climax of his career was the series of concerts he gave with the Wiener Farben Orchestra at the World Exhibition in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904.
Only six months later Komzák died on Easter Sunday, 23 April 1905, aged only 54. In attempting to jump onto a departing train at Baden station he slipped and fell under the wheels. He was buried at Baden, but in the following November his remains were exhumed and transferred to the Central Cemetery of Vienna, where the artist was given an honorable grave by the city authorities. A monument, showing the composer with baton in hand, was erected on his grave in 1907.
His son Karel Komzák III (1878 – 1924) was also a composer.
Birth and Death Data: Born November 8th, 1850 (Prague), Died April 23rd, 1905 (Baden bei Wien)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1909 - 1930
Roles Represented in DAHR: composer
Notes: The Komzák family produced several generations of noted musicians, and at least three bore the same name, Karl/Karel/Carl. The Bohemian-born second-generation Karel was a popular Viennese composer who played violin and baritone, was choirmaster in Innsbruck, and bandmaster and composer for military bands, to which he is noted for adding stringed instruments.
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||C-8341||12-in.||11/4/1909||Joyous Vienna waltz||Victor Dance Orchestra||Orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-9426||10-in.||9/12/1910||Směs narodni pisni||České Trio z Prahy||Instrumental trio||composer|
|Victor||B-10334||10-in.||5/15/1911||Láska a život ve Vidni||Kryl's Bohemian Band||Band||composer|
|Victor||C-10864||12-in.||8/7/1911||Bad'ner Mad'l'n||Victor Dance Orchestra||Orchestra, with extra violin and cornet||composer|
|Victor||B-11837||10-in.||4/9/1912||Kaiser march 1848-1898||Arthur Pryor's Band||Band||composer|
|Victor||B-32249||10-in.||3/25/1925||Love and life in Vienna, part 1||Victor Schrammel-Orchester||Orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-32250||10-in.||3/25/1925||Love and life in Vienna, part 2||Victor Schrammel-Orchester||Orchestra||composer|
|Victor||BVE-49163||10-in.||12/5/1928||Storm galop||Victor Orchestra||Orchestra||composer|
|Victor||BVE-57670||10-in.||12/17/1929||Puss in boots||Jean Warren Hight||Recitation, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||CVE-62746||12-in.||6/24/1930||Girls from Baden||Alfredo Cibelli ; La Vittoria Orchestrina Italiana [Cibelli's Orchestra]||Orchestra||composer|
|Columbia||30216||12-in.||ca. Jan.-Apr. 1909||Bad'ner Made'ln (Walzer)||Prince's Orchestra||Orchestra||composer|
|Columbia||87614||10-in.||approximately July 1921||Dreams and fairy-tale||Gypsy String Quartet||String quartet, with cimbalom||composer|
|Columbia||87615||10-in.||approximately July 1921||Fiora||Gypsy String Quartet||String quartet, with cimbalom||composer|
|Edison||683||Not documented||6/22/1911||Love and life in Vienna||Kryl Bohumir and his Band||Band, with cornet solo||composer|
|Edison||956||Not documented||2/24/1912||Volksliedchen||Hoffman Instrumental Quartet||String quartet||composer|
|Edison||2456||10-in.||9/15/1913||Bad'ner Mad'ln waltz||New York Military Band||Band||composer|
|Gramophone||CWR1300||12-in.||10/31/1927||Viennese potpourri||Marek Weber Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Gramophone||CWR1359||12-in.||11/22/1927||Viennese potpourri||Marek Weber Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Gramophone||2251y||10-in.||11/30/1911||Tarara (Bumm-dieu)||Banda Municipale di Milano||Band||composer|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Komzák, Karel, Jr.," accessed April 15, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104115.
Komzák, Karel, Jr.. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 15, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104115.
"Komzák, Karel, Jr.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 15 April 2021.
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