Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/750

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738
HILLER.
 

Canone' for P.F. and violin; Serenade for P.F. and cello; 'Moderne Suite' for P.F.; and a mass of other pianoforte compositions, including 24 Etudes, 'rhythmische Studien,' Impromptu 'zur Guitarre,' operettas without words, etc. etc. Orchestral works—4 overtures, including that to 'Demetrius'; a Festival March for the opening of the Albert Hall; 3 symphonies, including that with the motto 'Es muss doch Frühling werden'; etc. etc. Vocal compositions—2 oratorios, 'Die Zerstörung Jerusalems' and 'Saul'; 5 operas, including 'Die Katacomben,' 'Der Deserteur,' and many smaller works; Lieder; choruses, mixed and for men's voices only; motets, psalms, etc.; a number of cantatas for soli, chorus, and orchestra, especially 'O weint um Sie' from Byron's Hebrew Melodies, op. 49, 'Ver sacrum,' op. 75; 'Nala und Damajanti,' written for Birmingham; 'Israels Siegesgesang,' op. 151; and his 'Prometheus,' op. 175, and 'Rebecca,' op. 182. His literary works include a crowd of interesting articles, biographical, critical, and miscellaneous, contributed to the 'Kölnische Zeitung,' many of them republished under the title 'Aus dem Tonleben unserer Zeit,' 2 volumes in 1867, with a 'Neue Folge' in 1871, and a 4th vol. 'Persönliches und Musikalisches' in 1876. He has also published his recollections of Mendelssohn—which appeared in Macmillan's Magazine, and were reprinted separately with a dedication to Queen Victoria—and a very interesting paper on Cherubini, first printed in the same periodical. He has recently edited a volume of letters by Hauptmann to Spohr and other well-known musicians. To complete the list, we may add—additional accompaniments for Handel's 'Deborah' (for the Lower Rhine Festival 1834), and 'Theodora'; and an instruction book 'Uebungen zum Studium der Harmonie und des Contrapuncts' (2nd ed. 1860).

Hiller occupies in some respect the same position which Spohr held before his death, as the 'Altmeister,' the representative of the old classical school. His pleasant genial personality, and his great intelligence and wide range of knowledge, make him welcome wherever he goes. In England he has many friends, who are always glad to see him, and hear his delicate legato style of playing, soon, alas, to be numbered with the things of the past.

Being throughout his life in easy circumstances, he has been always able to indulge his taste for a variety of intellectual interests, to the neglect perhaps of that concentration of the whole powers which is necessary to stamp any mental production as a work of genius. But the advantages of such an education were not lost upon him. He gained from it a general ease and flexibility of mind, and a refined taste for all that is intellectual. These are the qualities which, combined with his avoidance of all mere dilettanteism, and his grasp of that which is sterling, grave, and essential, have enabled him to accomplish something of value in each department he has touched. It is not easy to point out the special characteristics of his work, as it possesses few of those prominent traits which catch the eye at once. Although he has been constantly attracted by the classical period, his talent is essentially modern, as his elegant and well-chosen melody, his piquant rhythm, and his interesting harmony, never trivial, sufficiently prove. Humorous and graceful, rather than profound, his mode of expression is always elevated, pleasing, and clever, and with a delicate polish of each separate part which is very characteristic. Facility of invention, and mastery of the technicalities of composition may have sometimes supplied the place of true creative instinct; but give him a really important theme, and he produces music that will undoubtedly live. His 'Destruction of Jerusalem,' his Spring Symphony in E minor (already mentioned), his Pianoforte Concerto in F♯ minor, and more than one of his pianoforte works, are surely destined to survive. All his writings, both in music and literature, show real talent and thought, a genuine artistic turn of mind, and often a very happy mode of expression. He forms one of that circle of musicians, a few of whom are still living, who have made it the object of their lives to extend the knowledge of classical music. At a time when Italian opera, and a brilliant and important though somewhat barren devotion to mere execution, exercised an undue influence on the minds of musicians, these men upheld the standard of serious and solid music, and it is largely owing to their indefatigable exertions that Bach's deep thought and Beethoven's passionate energy are appreciated as they now are. Brought up and living to old age in this classical atmosphere, a friend of Mendelssohn and Schumann, and thinking with them on these subjects, Hiller has naturally but little sympathy with the so-called new German school. He has never concealed his sentiments on this point, but we may confidently say that he has never expressed them in a manner unworthy of him as a man or an artist.

[ A. M. ]

HILLER, Johann Adam, whose real name was Hüller, born Dec. 25, 1728 (4 years before Joseph Haydn), at Wendisch-Ossig near Gerlitz in Prussia, the son of a school-master and parishclerk. He lost his father when barely six, and had a hard struggle to obtain his education. He possessed a fine treble voice, and had already acquired considerable facility on various instruments, and he quickly turned these talents to account. He passed from the Gymnasium at Gorlitz to the Kreuzschule at Dresden, where he studied the harpsichord and thorough-bass under Homilius. It was however the operas and sacred compositions of Hasse and Graun which exercised the most lasting influence upon him. Hasse's operas, of which he had the opportunity of hearing excellent performances, had a special attraction for him, and he copied the scores of several. In 1751 he went to the University of Leipsic, where, besides his legal studies, he devoted much attention to music, 'partly from choice, partly from necessity,' as he himself relates. He took part in the so-called 'Grosses Concert ' both as flutist and singer, and began to