Compositions by Ernest Manheim. Editor: The Max Kade Center for German-American Studies

Ernest Manheim always used to have a lot of hobbies. A committed and skilled artisan, he built most of the furniture in his house with his own hands. Another one of his hobbies is hiking, the way he came to know and appreciate America's countryside and which shows his closeness to nature.

Manheim is one of the very few sociologists who is also known as a composer of his own music. Even though composing was never more than a hobby for him, Manheim's musical work is marked by a high degree of professionality. Already back in his student days at the universities of Budapest and Vienna, from 1918 until 1923, he attended the Konservatorium [academy of music]. Around 1922, Manheim composed his "Quintet for Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello and Lute", which he then revised repeatedly in the ensuing years. During his years in Leipzig, especially from 1928 until 1932, he composed mainly choral music in the Protestant tradition, some of it being based on lyrics by Martin Luther (1483-1546).


  Agnus Dei. Text: Nicolaus Decius. Music: Ernst Manheim. 1935
Agnus Dei

Altniederländisches Dankgebet. Text: Martin Luther. Music: Ernst Manheim. 1935
Altniederländisches Dankgebet

Leisure. Text: William H. Davis. Music: Ernest Manheim. 1935

During his London years, especially from 1934 to 1936, he composed choral and chant music based on lyrics taken from Irish and English poets. Most of Manheim's music was composed during his years in Kansas City, Missouri. Some of Manheim's most interesting compositions include his overture to the classical Chinese Drama "Der Kreidekreis" [The Circle of Chalk] based on Klaband's (i.e. Alfred Henschke; 1890-1928) adaptation, which had its debut at the University of Kansas City Playhouse in December 1949; also his "Symphony in B Minor" which was first performed in December 1950 by the Kansas City Philharmonic in the Kansas City City Hall, his "Rhapsody for Four Strings" first performed in 1961 by the Volker Quartet at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, and finally his arrangements of Hungarian folk tunes "Ritkabúza, ritkaárpa, ritkarózs" [Scarce Wheat, Scarce Barley, Scarce Rye] first heard in 1983 at the Falmouth Music Association Concert.


  Excerpt from: Circle of Chalk. Music: Ernest Manheim. 1949
Circle of Chalk

Ritkabúza, ritkaárpa, ritkarózs (Scarce Wheat, Scarce Barley, Scarce Rye). Music: Ernest Manheim. 1983
Ritkabúza, ritkaárpa, ritkarózs