Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/706

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694
HASSE.
HASLINGER.

Haslinger prepared a complete copy of Beethoven's compositions in full score, beautifully written by a single copyist. This was purchased by the Archduke Rudolph, and bequeathed by him to the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, in whose library it now is. He was one of the 36 torch-bearers who surrounded the bier of his great friend, and it fell to his lot to hand the three laurel wreaths to Hummel, by whom they were placed on the coffin before the closing of the grave. He died at Vienna, June 18, 1842, and the business came into the hands of his son Karl [App. p.669 "date of birth June 11, 1816"], a pupil of Czerny and Seyfried, a remarkable pianoforte-player, and an industrious composer. His soirées were well known and much frequented, and many a young musician has made his first appearance there. He died Dec. 26, 1868, leaving as many as 100 published works of all classes and dimensions. The concern was carried on by his widow till Jan. 1875, when it was bought by the firm of Schlesinger of Berlin, by whom it is maintained under the style of 'Carl Haslinger, quondam Tobias.' Among the works published by this establishment may be named Schubert's 'Winterreise' and 'Schwanengesang'; Beethoven's Symphonies 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, Overtures to Coriolan, Ruins of Athens, op. 115, King Stephen, Leonora 'No. 1,' Violin Concerto, Battle Symphony, P.F. Concertos 1, 3, 4, 5, Trio in B♭, Sonatas and Variations, Liederkreis, etc.; Spohr's Symphonies 4 (Weihe der Töne) and 5; Liszt's Concerto in E♭; Moscheles' ditto 2, 3, 5, 6, 7; Hummel's ditto in C, G, A minor, and A♭, 4 Sonatas, etc. The dance music of Lanner and the Strausses forms an important part of the repertoire of the firm, which under the new proprietorship has received a great impulse.

[ C. F. P. ]

HASSE, Johann Adolph, who for a third part of the 18th century was the most popular dramatic composer in Europe, was born on March 25, 1699, at [1]Bergedorf, Hamburg, where his father was organist and schoolmaster. At 18 years of age he went to Hamburg, where his musical talent and fine tenor voice attracted the notice of Ulrich König, a German poet attached to the Polish court, through whose recommendation he was engaged as tenor singer by Keiser, director of the Hamburg Opera, and the most famous dramatic composer of the day. At the end of four years König procured for Hasse a like engagement at the Brunswick theatre, where, a year later, was produced his first opera, 'Antigonus.' This (the only opera he ever composed to a German libretto) was very well received, but as, while evincing great natural facility in composition, it also betrayed a profound ignorance of the grammar of his art, it was decided that he must go to Italy, then the musical centre of Europe, for the purpose of serious study. Accordingly, in 1724, he repaired to Naples, and became the pupil of Porpora, for whom, however, he had neither liking nor sympathy, and whom he soon deserted for the veteran Alessandro Scarlatti. In 1725 he received the commission to compose a serenade for two voices. In this work, which had the advantage of being performed by two great singers, Farinelli and Signora Tesi, Hasse acquitted himself so well that he was entrusted with the composition of the new opera for the next year. This was 'Sesostrato,' performed at Naples in 1726, and which extended its composer's fame over the whole of Italy. In 1727 he went to Venice, where he was appointed professor at the Scuola degl' Incurabili, for which he wrote a 'Miserere' for two soprani and two contralti, with accompaniment of stringed instruments, a piece which long enjoyed a great celebrity. He was now the most popular composer of the day. His fine person and agreeable manners, his beautiful voice and great proficiency on the clavecin caused him to be much sought after in society, and he was known throughout Italy by the name of Il caro Sassone. In 1728 he produced, at Naples, another opera, 'Attalo, re di Bitinia,' as successful as its predecessor. In 1729 he returned to Venice, where he met with the famous cantatrice, Faustina Bordoni (see next article), then at the zenith of her powers and her charms, who shortly afterwards became his wife. For her he composed the operas 'Dalisa' and 'Artaserse' (No. 1), the latter of which is one of his best works.

In 1731 this celebrated couple were summoned to Dresden, where August II. reigned over a brilliant court. Hasse was appointed Capellmeister and Director of the Opera. His first opera produced in Dresden, 'Alessandro nell' Indie,' had an unprecedented success, owing not only to its own merits, but to the splendid performance by Faustina of the principal part. Hasse's position, however, as the husband of the most fascinating prima donna of the day, was, at this time, far from being an easy one. His life was embittered also by his enmity to his old master, Porpora, whom he found established in Dresden, and patronised by some members of the royal family, and by jealousy of Porpora's pupil, Regina Mingotti. This excellent singer was a dangerous rival to Faustina, and Hasse neglected no opportunity of manifesting his spite against her. In 'Demofoonte' he introduced into her part an air written entirely in what he thought a defective part of her voice, while the accompaniment was artfully contrived to destroy all effect while giving no support. Mingotti was obliged to sing it, but like the great artist that she was, she acquitted herself in such a manner as to disappoint Hasse, and this very air became one of her most successful show-pieces. This combination of causes seems to have made Hasse's footing in Dresden uncertain, and up to 1740 he absented himself as much as possible, while Faustina remained behind. He revisited Venice, Milan, and Naples, and also went to London, where he was pressed to undertake the direction of the opera established in opposition to Handel. His 'Artaserse' met with a brilliant reception, but he had no wish to support the rivalry with Handel; besides which he disliked England, and

  1. Now the residence of Dr. Chrysander.