Alfons Diepenbrock

Diepenbrock, Alfons


Born Sept. 2, 1862, in Amsterdam; died April 5, 1921, in Amsterdam. Self-taught Dutch composer. A founder of the contemporary Dutch school of composition.

Diepenbrock’s most significant works are his vocal-symphonic works, or “symphonic songs.” This genre was introduced by the composer himself. The symphonic songs include Hymns of Night (1899), Hymn to Rembrandt (1906, for chorus and orchestra), and Electra (1919-20 for reader, orchestra, and chorus, based on the play by Sophocles). Diepenbrock also composed a mass and other church music, more than 40 songs set to the words of Dutch, German, and French poetry, and several instrumental pieces. The work of Diepenbrock, highly influenced by Mahler, Wagner, and Debussy and by Dutch national traditions (the polyphonic school of the 15th and 16th centuries and folk melodies), has greatly enriched contemporary Dutch music. Diepenbrock was also a music critic.


Verzamelde geschriften. Utrecht, 1950.


Reeser, E. A. Diepenbrok. Amsterdam, 1935.
Mens en melodie, 1946, June-July. (Special issue devoted to Diepenbrock.)