Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/769

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HUMFREY.
757
HUMMEL.

variety of spelling), was born in 1647. 'He is said to have been a nephew of Col. John Humphrey, a noted Cromwellian, and Bradshaw's sword-bearer.' In 1660 he became one of the first set of Children of the re-established Chapel Royal under Capt. Henry Cooke. Whilst still a chorister he shewed skill in composition, as appears by the 2nd edition of Clifford's 'Divine Services and Anthems,' 1664, which contains the words of five anthems 'composed by Pelham Humfrey, one of the Children of His Majesties Chappel,' the music of two of which is still extant. During the same period he joined Blow and Turner, two of his fellow-choristers, in the composition of what is commonly known as the Club-Anthem.[1] In 1664 he quitted the choir and was sent abroad by Charles II to pursue his studies. He received from the Secret Service money in that year 'to defray the charge of his journey into France and Italy, 200l.'; in the following year from the same source 100l., and in 1666, 150l. His studies were prosecuted chiefly in Paris under Lully. On Jan. 24, 1666–7 ne was during his absence appointed a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in the room of Thomas Hazard, deceased. He returned to England in the following October, and on the 26th was sworn into his place. Anthems by him were at once performed in the Chapel Royal. On the death of Capt. Cooke, July 13, 1672, Humfrey was appointed his successor as Master of the Children. On Aug. 8 following he had a patent (jointly with Thomas Purcell) as 'Composer in Ordinary for the Violins to His Majesty.' Humfrey died at Windsor, July 14, 1674, at the early age of 27, and, three days afterwards, was buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey, near the south-east door. He was the composer of several fine anthems, 7 of which are printed, but without the orchestral parts, in Boyce's 'Cathedral Music.' The greater part of these, together with 6 others and the Club Anthem, also an Evening Service in E minor, are contained in the Tudway Collection (Harl. MS. 7338), and others are extant at Ely, Salisbury, and Windsor. Three Sacred Songs by him, and a Dialogue, composed jointly with Blow, are printed in 'Harmonia Sacra,' book ii. 1714. He composed two Odes for the King's Birthday, 'Smile, smile again,' and 'When from his throne,' and an Ode for New Year's day, 'See, mighty sir.' Many songs by him are included in 'Choice Ayres, Songs and Dialogues,' 1676–84; and on the rare, separately-paged, sheet inserted in some copies of book i. of that publication, containing 'The Ariel's Songs in the Play call'd The Tempest' (Dryden and Davenant's alteration produced in 1670 [App. p.681 "printed. (It had been performed in 1667.)"]), his setting of 'Where the bee sucks' is to be found. His song 'I pass all my hours in a shady old grove' was first printed in the appendix to Hawkins's History. J. S. Smith included 5 songs by Humfrey in his 'Musica Antiqua,' amongst them 'Whereever I am and whatever I do,' composed for Dryden's 'Conquest of Granada,' part i., 1672. Humfrey is said to have been the author of the words of several songs published in the collections of his time, and to have been a fine lutenist. He introduced many new and beautiful effects into his compositions. He was the first to infuse into English church music the new style which he himself had learnt from Lully, and which was carried much farther by Purcell (see Mr. Hullah's 'Modern Music,' Lect. 4). His predilection for minor keys was remarkable.

[ W. H. H. ]

HUMMEL, Johann Nepomuk, a classic of the pianoforte—but a dull classic—was the son of a musician, born at Presburg Nov. 14, 1778, and died at Weimar, Oct. 17, 1837. He is the principal representative of a manner of treating the pianoforte which rested upon the light touch and thin tone of early Viennese instruments, and grew together with the rapid improvements in the manufacture of pianos in Germany from the beginning of the century to about 1830. Hummel is important to pianists as the author of those academical stock-pieces, the Concertos in A minor and B minor, the Septet, op. 74, the Sonatas in F♯ minor, op. 81, and D major, op. 106, and of an elaborate instruction-book, which was published some years too late to make its mark.

Brought up in Mozart's house, deemed the main conservator of Mozartian traditions, an expert conductor and a good teacher, the leading German pianist, a very clever extempore player, and a ready writer of all classes of music from pianoforte solos to masses and operas,—Hummel in his prime, circa 1818, was treated by the mass of professed musicians as the equal of Beethoven! Endowed with curiously little inventive power, rarely warm, and quite incapable of humour or of passion, but fully equipped with every musical virtue that can be acquired by steady plodding, he appears expressly cut out for the hero of respectable mediocrity. The formidable size, conventional shape, and uniformly careful workmanship of his pieces, and particularly the 'brilliant' treatment of the pianoforte part, misled his contemporaries to accept him as a master of the first order.

It was about 1786, whilst Hummel's father was conducting the band at the theatre of Schikaneder,—Mozart's friend and the author of the libretto to Die Zauberflöte—that the boy, who had made considerable progress in singing and piano-playing, became the inmate of Mozart's house, and for two years enjoyed Mozart's instruction. From 1788 to 95 he travelled as a pianist in the care of his father through Germany, Denmark, England and Holland, and on his return to Vienna resumed his studies in counterpoint under Albrechtsberger, and had the advice of Haydn and Salieri regarding composition. From April 1, 1804, to May 1811, he was capellmeister to Prince Esterhazy, doing the work Haydn had formerly done. After teaching and composing

  1. Said by Dr.Tudway to have been competed on a naval victory over the Dutch by the Duke of York; but it cannot have been so, as no such event occurred until June 1665, at which time Humfrey was abroad. The statement of Dr. Boyce and others that it was composed as a memorial of the fraternal esteem and friendship of the authors is much more probable. Humfrey to said to have composed the former, and Blow the latter portion of the anthem, Turuer's share being an intermediate bass solo.