Wolfgang Bottenberg | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Wolfgang Bottenberg

Wolfgang (Heinz Otto) Bottenberg. Composer, teacher, b Frankfurt-am-Main 9 May 1930, naturalized Canadian 1964; B MUS (Alberta) 1961, M MUS (Cincinnati) 1962, DMA composition (Cincinnati) 1970. He trained as a carpenter before entering the Jesuit order in 1952.

Bottenberg, Wolfgang

Wolfgang (Heinz Otto) Bottenberg. Composer, teacher, b Frankfurt-am-Main 9 May 1930, naturalized Canadian 1964; B MUS (Alberta) 1961, M MUS (Cincinnati) 1962, DMA composition (Cincinnati) 1970. He trained as a carpenter before entering the Jesuit order in 1952. Self-taught in the rudiments of theory and organ, he did not study music formally until 1958. He graduated in 1957 from the Theologische Hochschule Vallendar, and moved to Canada in 1958. He produced a number of chamber works while attending the University of Alberta and the University of Cincinnati. He taught 1963-5 in Alberta and British Columbia schools and 1965-73 at Acadia University, Wolfville, NS. He joined the music teaching staff of Concordia University, Montreal, in 1973 and continued to teach there in 1991.

Bottenberg has been influenced by Hindemith and medieval music. He employs strict contrapuntal control within an expanded tonal-modal idiom but never at the expense of expressive values. The Triptych for organ and the Fantasia Serena for chamber orchestra, for instance, evince a sustained introspective lyricism. He shares with Hindemith an interest in composing for the gifted amateur, and his works in this manner include parts for such instruments as harpsichord and recorder. His interest in early instruments led him to form in 1971 and direct until 1973 the Acadia Medieval Ensemble of Wolfville and to found the Collegium Ferialis in Montreal in 1974. In 1981, to assist performers interested in playing and singing from original scores, he compiled a two-volume Florilegium Cantionum Mensuralium: facsimiles of original music prints from the 16th and 17th centuries in mensural notation with a guide for reading such notation. Bottenberg's papers are deposited at the University of Calgary library. He is an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.

Selected Compositions

Sinfonietta. 1961 (orch 1970). Ms

Duino Cantata (Rilke). 1962. Bar, SATB, orch. Ms

A Suite of Carols. 1963-7. Med orch. Ms

Fantasia. 1966. Tpt, small orch. Ms

Ritual (Bottenberg). 1970. SATB, orch. Ms

Fantasia Serena. 1973. Sm orch. Ms

Concerto for Organ and Small Orchestra. 1975. Ms

Concertino for Tenor Saxophone and String Orchestra. 1989. Ms

Festival Overture. 1990. Ms


Wolfgang Bottenberg, 'Music and creativity in school,' Halifax J of Education, vol 17, Feb 1968

Building a Treble Viola da Gamba (Montreal 1980)

- ed. Florilegium Cantionum Mensuralium, 2 vols (Montreal 1981)

Reading Early Music in Original Notation (Montreal 1983)


Quartet. 1960. Fl, 2 clarinet, bassoon. Ms

Trio for Flute, Clarinet and Bassoon. 1963. Ms

Trio. 1963-4. Fl, clarinet, piano. Ms

Trio for Three Recorders. 1964. Apogee 1970

Divertimento for Flute Quartet. 1968. Ms

First String Quartet. 1968. Ms

Variables. 1969. Rec, woodwind quartet, string quintet. Ms

Dialogue. 1971 (rev 1972). Alto recorder (fl), harpsichord (piano). Ms

Octet. 1972. Ww quartet, trumpet, 2 horn, trombone. Ms

Fa So La Ti Do Re. 1972. Sop saxophone (clarinet), string quartet. Ms

Ciacona. 1977. Alto recorder, harpsichord. Ms

Partita. 1978. Rec quartet, guitar, voice da gamba (violoncello). Ms

Sonata Modalis. 1979. Cl (viola), piano. Ms. SNE 538 (Bartlett piano)

Overture for Broken Consort. 1981. Fl, clarinet, violin, violoncello, guitar. Ms

Fanfare. 1982. Brass quintet. Ms

Five for Five. 1983. Ww quintet. Ms

Recitative and Allegro. 1985. Cl, violoncello. Ms

Canzona Festiva 'O Canada'. 16 hns. Ms

Suite for Recorder Quartet. 1989. Ms


Sonata for Piano Duet. 1961 (rev 1967). Ms

Moods of the Modes. Ca 1967. Pf. Wat 197573

Triptych. 1967. Org. Ms

6 other works for organ. 1963-9. WLSM 1963-9

Pieces for Piano Duet. 1988. Ms

Piano arrs of Three English Carols (Apogee 1970) and other piano works

Choir and Voice

Three Amerindian Songs (Inuit, Peruvian, Hopi, transl Clavert, Astrov). 1961 (rev 1968, 1979). 3 versions: 1/ten, 2 recorder, guitar; 2/ mezzo(bar), fl, clarinet, harpsichord; 3/sop, fl, guitar. Ms. RCI 497 (P. Vaillancourt)

The World Is a Rainbow (Beissel). 1968. Sop, tenor, SATB, woodwind quintet. Ms

My Funny Little Clock (Beissel). 1969. V, alto recorder (fl), harpsichord (piano). Ms

'The Law of Love' (Evers). 1969. 2 voices, organ. Apogee 1969

'The Power of Prayer' (Evers). 1969. 2vs, organ. Apogee 1969

EineWeihnachtliche Hausmusik (traditional, Rilke, Möricke). 1973. V, 2 alto recorder, piano. Ms

Canadian Madrigals (Finch). 1983. SATB. Ms

The Mysterious Flute (Li-Tai-Po). 1984. Sop, fl, viola, horn, violoncello. Ms

Vier Lieder (Touzin-Bauer). 1984. Bass, piano. Ms

Also one opera, Inook (1986)