Composers of Today: A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
von der Niebelung, accompanying the singers on the piano while reading the full orchestral score, a feat which aroused considerable awe and amazement.Recognition as a composer first came to him with the performance of a one- act opera, Helfried, produced in Graz in 1893. But it was with his songs, composed during and shortly after this period, that he attracted the attention of all leading critics, who pronounced him a composer of ranking importance."They are," comments A. Walter- Kramer on Hausegger's songs, "in every sense master-songs; not that they conform in style, or manner, or in any other qualification to the set way in which masters of days gone by have written, but because they have a style of their own; because they speak their message in a way that is as distinctive as anything that has come out of Germany in the last two decades. . . . There is a lovely fragrance about Mondnacht, much eloquence in Bleib, mein Trauter . . . imagination of rare order in Winter, and a placid calm that soothes in Abendwolke, a song that could be made as popular as are the songs of Brahms and Schumann. . . . Here, von Hausegger hs solved the secret of writing a pure melody for voice, while attaining an independent accompaniment." Hausegger has also produced works for orchestra--including Dionysiac Fantasy and Barbarossa--which have been performed frequently by leading symphony orchestras in Europe. In these works, as Arthur Elson informs us, "the composer achieved a surety of orchestral utterance, a full grasp of instrumental resources and, above all, a thoro mastery of melodic charm and harmonic richness.""The symphonic poetry of Hausegger," summarizes Adolf Weissman, "is full of Wagner. His work originates in a resolute will to truth and honesty, and outworn theory cripples his imagination." Siegmund von Hausegger, who lives today in semi-retirement in Munich, has produced little music of value in the past two decades. But his earlier works are still performed periodically thruout Europe, and altho his stature is comparatively small in modern music, he cannot be altogether disregarded. He has produced a few works of great honesty and richness, and for those few works he deserves recognition.Principal works by Siegmund von Hausegger:
OPERA : Helfried; Zinnober; Klein Zaches.
ORCHESTRA : Dionysiac Fantasy; Barbarossa; Wieland der Schmied; Aufklänge.
Songs.

About Siegmund von Hausegger:

Elson Arthur. Modern Composers of Europe; Weissman Adolf. Problems of Modern Music.

Musical America 16:19September 28, 1912.


Sir George Henschel 1850-1934

SIR GEORGE ISIDOR HENSCHEL was born in Breslau, Germany, on February 18, 1850. His life was from the first consecrated to music and to music alone. At the age of five, he joined a class of eight children who were taught to play simultaneously on eight pianos. When he reached his ninth birthday, he joined the choral society of the University of Breslau, and sang soprano in Mendelssohn Hear My Prayer. From 1867 until 1870 he studied at the Leipzig Conservatory of Music, under Moscheles, Reinecke and Richter, and it was here that he revealed the first bright and unmistakable glimmers of musical talent. In 1870, he entered the Royal Conservatory in Berlin, studying singing with Adolphe Schulze. Here, he developed a baritone voice of great purity, range and beauty and, upon graduating, was prepared to enter a career as singer.

His first important appearance as singer was in 1874 when he sang at the Niederrheinische Festival in Cologne. The following year, he made an appearance in Bach St. Matthew Passion. And in 1877 he made his vocal debut in London, with something approaching a sensation. From that day, he was widely accepted as one of the greatest baritones of his time.

In 1879 an attractive offer was given him to teach singing at the Royal College

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