P. Hartmann Von an der Lan-Hochbrunn OFM (1863-1914): A Tyrolean Franciscan as a Musical Cosmopolitan and Phenomenon in Music History

By Herrmann-Schneider, Hildegard | Fontes Artis Musicae, July-September 2015 | Go to article overview

P. Hartmann Von an der Lan-Hochbrunn OFM (1863-1914): A Tyrolean Franciscan as a Musical Cosmopolitan and Phenomenon in Music History


Herrmann-Schneider, Hildegard, Fontes Artis Musicae


Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn was accustomed to being regarded as an artist of international fame. From the time of his early youth, he cultivated almost daily contact with high-ranking personalities, not only in religion and politics, but also in the arts. His professionally arranged appearances with hundreds of performers in the world's large concert halls, his steady presence in the media, often in highly visible form, many editions of his own works in stylish packaging with the leading publishers in both Europe and America--all of this brought him an enormous reputation. For centuries it has not been unusual for Franciscans to make a name for themselves as musicians, composers, theorists or instrument makers. However, Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn takes up an unusual place in their ranks. Does it not appear strange that a Franciscan composer from Tyrol, on the occasion of his 50th birthday, was awarded the headline "Men of Today" in the Berlin newspaper Der Tag? Does it not remind us of the gossip columns in today's tabloid press when the Viennese newspaper Neuigkeits-Welt-Blatt in 1902, obviously advertising the performances in the large Musikvereinssaal of An der Lan-Hochbrunn's oratorio Sanct Franciscus, published a report from "Father Hartmann's monastery cell at Aracoeli Abbey in Rome", and even included a picture of his room? (2) What kind of public hero was Father Hartmann that he merited constant press reports in 1907 in newspapers in the U.S.A, where he was living at the time, in Italy, the country where his meteoric career had taken off, and also at home in Austria, giving news of his serious illness, hospital stays, recovery, and finally, the event of his return to Europe? (4)

Until now, no comprehensive study has done justice to the life and work of Father Hartmann. (5) To undertake such a task would be an enormous venture, especially because of his unusually multi-facetted Vita and his large, interestingly diverse oeuvre: the quantity of source materials to be examined is huge. The central question about him is: How it is that a Franciscan monk in the period around 1900, considering his appearance, music, artistic capacities, intelligence, and especially his social networking abilities, could attain such publicity in the secular world? The fact that An der Lan-Hochbrunn became such a celebrity during his lifetime began perhaps in a small way, and then continued on its own accord in ever greater dimensions. In the media one always reads of his modesty, but he must have also understood how to promote himself. He is often depicted wearing his medals: when he conducted his Petrus oratorio at Carnegie Hall in 1907, he was adorned with the "aristocratic Tyrolean eagle insignia". (6)

Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn's Estate

The musical estate of Father Hartmann is preserved in Hall in Tirol, at the provincial archive of the Franciscan province of Austria. (7) It contains music autographs and printed editions of his own compositions, portraits both of himself and of his friends and acquaintances, and also his personal music library with manuscripts and printed works by other composers. (8) Already a brief glance at his music collection reveals the distinguished nature of its former owner: the partially-bound library volumes contain works by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Schubert, and Wagner. It is somewhat surprising that a Franciscan monk owned not the sacred works of Mozart, but rather the piano reductions of his operas. The complete Leipzig edition of Bach's works was given to Father Hartmann in 1905 by Emperor Wilhelm II, and the pocketbook scores of all the Wagner operas were presented to him by the Royal House of Wittelsbach in 1902. The voluminous correspondence of the deceased bears witness to his remarkable presence in the arts and business world, and in high society. Personal documents attest to his professional life and career path. Concert posters and detailed programs for the many international performances of his works are of great documentary value. …

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