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Alphons Diepenbrock

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Biography

Alphonsus Johannes Maria Diepenbrock (September 2, 1862 in Amsterdam – April 5, 1921) was a Dutch composer, essayist and classicist.

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. 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.

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