The Life and Legacy of Franz Xaver Hauser: A Forgotten Leader in the Nineteenth-Century Bach Movement

The Life and Legacy of Franz Xaver Hauser: A Forgotten Leader in the Nineteenth-Century Bach Movement

The Life and Legacy of Franz Xaver Hauser: A Forgotten Leader in the Nineteenth-Century Bach Movement

The Life and Legacy of Franz Xaver Hauser: A Forgotten Leader in the Nineteenth-Century Bach Movement

Synopsis

Born near Prague, Franz Xaver Hauser (1794-1870) combined his singing and teaching careers with a consuming interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. A colleague of Felix Mendelssohn, Moritz Hauptmann, Robert Schumann, Jenny Lind, and Otto Jahn; the author of a text on vocal pedagogy in print for more than a century; the founder of the Munich Tonal Academy, which is still in existence; and the primary private contributor to the complete edition of Bach's works compiled by the Bach Society, Franz Hauser seems an unlikely candidate for obscurity. Yet throughout the twentieth century, his name and work have met with little recognition. In this remarkable biography, Dale A. Jorgenson discloses the great legacy left by Hauser for future generations. Hauser's finest contribution was his achievement in cataloging all of Bach's known works and his collecting and disseminating for live performance all the original manuscripts and authentic copies of Bach's work he could obtain - materials he than made available to the Bach Society, founded in Leipzig in 1850. These activities provided a meaningful dimension to Hauser's life apart from his stage career, affording him a wide circle of significant friends who loved Bach's music or who were themselves leaders in the arts - Ludwig Tieck, Schumann, the Grimm Brothers, and many others.

Excerpt

The enigmatic element that runs through the story of Franz Hauser's life -- at once the admiring friendships he enjoyed with many of his outstanding contemporaries and the militant dislike for him expressed by some others who disagreed with his ideals -- has pursued the telling of his story into the 1940s and into the research effort of this book. Sofie Hauser and Karl Anton encountered that enigma during the time of the Third Reich when they were endeavoring to create a Hauser memorial and write a Denkschrift at the University of Freiburg. the long-term opposition runs in a rather straight line from Wagner's fulminations against Mendelssohn, Hanslick, and Hauser during the 1860s, through the history of the Munich music school into the 1920s, and then the leadership of the National Socialists during the 1930s and 1940s (Adolf Hitler was an avid admirer of Richard Wagner).

Despite a general acknowledgment that the Bach Movement, during both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, owes much to Hauser's dedicated labors, there remains a vague reluctance to fully honor his achievements in the creation of a major school of music, in the science of vocal pedagogy, and in his cultural leadership during his professional life.

However, requests for information, counsel, and materials directed to various individuals and institutions in the course of carrying out research for this biography have generally been answered with vigor and good will in most quarters. Particular thanks must be expressed to Dr. Oswald Bill of the Music Section, Hessische Landes-und Hochschulbibliothek, in Darmstadt, Dr. Yoshitake Kobayashi of the Bach Institute in Göttingen, and members of the Music Section of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. Walther Anton of Bayreuth, son of Dr. Karl Anton, has been most helpful in providing insight and valuable materials. Father George Sip of Prague has made a great effort to assist in establishing circumstances of Hauser's youth.

In the United States, both the Library of Congress and the libraries . . .

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