Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/742

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730
HÉROLD.
HENSELT.

any rhythmical accentuation, depends in the main upon the widespread position of chords and arpeggii, the component notes of which are made to extend beyond the limits of an octave, Henselt's way of holding the keys down as much as possible with the fingers, over and above keeping the dampers raised by means of the pedals, does not seem the most practical; for it necessitates a continuous straining of the muscles such as only hands of abnormal construction or fingers stretched to the utmost by incessant and tortuous practice can stand. We have the testimony of Mendelssohn[1] that his speciality in 1838 was 'playing wide-spread chords, and that he went on all day stretching his fingers over arpeggios played prestissimo.' And even up to the present time, he is said to waste an hour daily upon mere Dehnungs-studien, i.e. studies of his own invention for extending the stretch of the hand, and training the fingers to work independently. Nevertheless, be his method of touch needlessly cumbrous or not, if applied to effects à la Chopin and Liszt, the result under his own hands is grand; so grand indeed, that though his appearances in public have been fewer than those of any other celebrated pianist, he has been hailed by judges like Robert Schumann and Herr von Lenz as one of the greatest players. His representative works are two sets of twelve Etudes each, op. 2 and 5, which, though not so surprisingly original, deserve to be ranked near Chopin's, inasmuch as they are true lyrical effusions of considerable musical value, over and above their setting forth some specially characteristic or difficult pianoforte effect. Henselt has also published a Concerto (in F minor op. 16), likely to survive, a trio, stillborn, and a number of smaller salon pieces, like 'Frühlingslied,' 'Wiegenlied,' Impromptu in C minor, 'La Gondola,' etc.—gems in their way.

Henselt's success in 1838 at St. Petersburg was unprecedented. He was at once made Court pianist and teacher to the Imperial children, and soon after Inspector of 'the Imperial Russian female seminaries,' in which latter capacity his firmness and disinterested zeal has borne good fruit. An uniform edition of Henselt's works would be a boon, as some pieces are published in Russia only, others appear under different designations, etc. His arrangements for two pianofortes of Weber's Duo in E♭ for pianoforte and clarinet, and of selections from Cramer's Etudes, to which he has added a second pianoforte part; his transcription of Weber's Ouvertures, bits from Weber's operas, and above all his edition of Weber's principal pianoforte works with variantes, are masterly. Henselt visited England in 1867 [App. p.671 "in 1852 and 1867"], but did not play in public.

[ E. D. ]

HENSTRIDGE, Daniel, on the death of Nicholas Wootton in 1700 was appointed his successor as organist of Canterbury Cathedral, and held that post until his death in 1730. The organ parts of some of his compositions are still extant, but the voice parts are mostly lost. He seems to have been an imitator of Purcell.

[ W. H. H. ]

HERBECK, Johann, court capellmeister, born at Vienna Dec. 25, 1831. He had a few months' instruction in harmony from Rotter, but was virtually a self-made man. His ambition was high, he worked hard, and his progress was rapid and steady. In 1852 he was Choirmaster to the Piarists in the Josephstadt; in 56 choirmaster to the first Männergesangverein; in 58 professor at the Conservatorium, and choir-master of the Singverein of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde; in 59 professional conductor of the Gesellschaft concerts; in 66 chief court capelimeister; and in 71 director of the court opera. The intrigues and annoyances inseparable from this post were insupportable to Herbeck's nature: in 1875 he resigned it, and resumed the conductorship of the Gesellschaft concerts. He died, after a short illness, on the 28th of Oct. 1877. As a conductor he has left a permanent mark on music in Vienna. The numerous choral societies in particular owe their prosperity in great measure to him. As a composer he was equally ambitious and industrious, although in this branch less remarkable for invention than for his power of assimilating, rather than imitating, the strong points of his favourites, especially Schubert, of whose works he was an indefatigable exponent. His most successful compositions are his part-songs, which are admirable for simplicity and effect. His published works include:—songs for a single voice; part-songs for men's voices, and choruses, both mixed and harmonised; 'Lied und Reigen' for chorus and orchestra, etc.; 'Tanzi momente'; 'Künstlerfahrt'; 'Symphonische variationen,' and Symphony in D minor—all for full orchestra, the last with organ; string-quartet in F. op. 9. In MS. a grand mass in E, and a small ditto in F; a Te Deum; graduales; a string-quartet in D minor. Herbeck possessed several orders, including the 3rd division of the Iron Crown, which raised him to the rank of knighthood.

[ C. F. P. ]

HERCULANUM. Opera in 4 acts; libretto by Méry and Hadot, music by Félicien David; given at the Académie, March 4, 1859. The drama was originally intended to deal with a more tremendous catastrophe than that of Herculaneum—viz. 'La fin du monde.' Herculanum obtained for its author the Institut's prize of 20,000 frs.

[ G. ]

HERCULES, by Handel; the words by Rev. Thos. Broughton; composed between July 19 and Aug. 17, 1744. Announced as a 'musical drama'; performed and published as an 'oratorio.' First given at the King's Theatre, Haymarket, Jan. 5, 1745; at the Lower Rhine Festival, Düsseldorf, May 17, 1875; and by H. Leslie, JuneS, 1877.

[ G. ]

HÉROLD, Louis Joseph Ferdinand, born in Paris Wednesday Jan. 28, 1791, at 30 Rue des Vieux Augustins, now 10 Rue d'Argout; only child of François Joseph Hérold, an able pianist of the school of Emmanuel Bach. Louis's gifts for music were soon apparent. He was educated at the Institution Hix, where he distinguished himself, and at the same time worked at

  1. Hiller's 'Mendelssohn,' p.112.