A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Dörffel, Alfred

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DÖRFFEL, Alfred, born Jan. 24, 1821, at Waldenburg in Saxony, received his first musical education from the organist Joh. Trube. In 1835 he entered the Leipzig Conservatorium, where he received instruction from Karl Kloss, G. W. Fink, C. G. Müller, Mendelssohn and Schumann. In 1837 he made a successful appearance as a pianist, and soon afterwards attained to a high position as a musical critic. In the 'Neue Zeitschrift für Musik' he wrote some reviews of Schumann's works, which anticipated the verdict of posterity, although they did not correspond with contemporary opinion concerning that master's greatness. His criticism of 'Genoveva' gave the composer great pleasure. From 1865 to 1881 he contributed to the 'Leipzige Nachrichten,' and in 1860 was appointed custodian of the musical department of the town library. In the following year he established a music lending library together with a music-selling business, in both of which he was succeeded in 1885 by his son, Balduin Dörffel. He has undertaken much work for the firm of Breitkopf & Härtel, whose critical editions of the classics, and especially that of Beethoven, have been chiefly corrected by him. For the edition of Peters he has edited the pianoforte works of Schumann, and other compositions, and several of the Bach-Gesellschaft volumes have been issued under his direction. In 1887 he edited the 'St. Luke Passion' for the first-named firm. To the literature of music he has contributed an edition of Berlioz's treatise on instrumentation, the second edition of Schumann's 'Gesammelte Schriften,' and has published an invaluable history of the Gewandhaus concerts from 1781 to 1881 ('Festschrift zur hundertjahrigen Jubelfeier, etc. Leipzig, 1884), in recognition of which the University of Leipzig conferred upon him the degree of Doctor.

[ H. B. ]