He began his music studies with piano lessons from his father, Diederich Krug, who was himself a pianist and composer. Later, he was sent to the Leipzig Conservatory where he studied with Carl Reinecke and then went on to Berlin, where continued with Friedrich Kiel and Eduard Franck. After completing his studies, he taught in Berlin at the Stern conservatory for several years before returning to Hamburg where he remained for the rest of his life, working primarily as a music teacher and choral director.
While he wrote works in several different genres, including symphonies, orchestral overtures, operas, piano works, and chamber music, it is his choral works which received the most attention. However, today he is primarily remembered for his String Sextet in D Major, Op. 68.
This string sextet was known as the “Prize Sextet” because Krug won the Stelzner Prize for chamber music with this composition. The Prize Sextet was originally for 2 Violins, Viola, Violotta, Cello and Cellone, but the publisher of the work (Fritz Kistner) wisely hedged his bets and produced an edition for the standard combination of 2 Violins, 2 Violas and 2 Cellos in addition to the so-called Stelzner version. Of this work, Wilhelm Altmann, the famous chamber music critic, has written:
“If not a masterpiece of the highest order from start to finish, Krug’s Sextet nonetheless comes away with high honors. He uses his themes skillfully and his sonorities are quite successful. The first movement, Allegro, begins with a short but powerful introduction which gives the impression of storms ahead. Instead, the main melody is quite genial and broad. Later, Krug cleverly weaves the introduction into the second theme and uses it as part of the coda. The second movement, Adagio tranquillo, is characterized by a calm, deeply felt melody, which is interrupted by an urgent and highly dramatic middle section. There is no scherzo, but the lively first theme to the finale, Allegro, seems to fill this gap. A quieter and more lyrical second theme provides excellent contrast.”
- Sittard, J., Geschichte des Musik un Concertwesens in Hamburg, Altona 1890
- Altmann, Wilhelm, Handbuch fũr Streichquartettspieler, Wilhelmshaven 1972
- "Arnold Krug String Sextet in D Major, Op.68". Edition Silvertrust. Sound-bites and short biography.
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|Wikisource has the text of a 1905 New International Encyclopedia article about Arnold Krug.|