Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/87

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
KÜCKEN.
75
KUHLAU.

ganist of Schwerin, for being allowed to follow his bent, which he did under Lürss and Aron in Schwerin, and as flute, viola, and violin player in the Duke's orchestra there. His early compositions, 'Ach wie wärs möglich dann' and others, became so popular that he was taken into the palace as teacher and player. But this did not satisfy him, and he made his way to Berlin, where, while studying hard at counterpoint under Birnbach, he gradually composed the songs which rendered him so famous, and have made his name a household word in his own and other countries. His opera, 'Die Flucht nach den Schweiz' (the Flight to Switzerland) was produced at Berlin in 1839, and proved very successful throughout Germany. In 1841 he went to Vienna to study under Sechter. In 1843 he conducted the great festival of male singers at St. Gall and Appenzel. Thence he went to Paris, where, with characteristic zeal and desire to learn, he studied orchestration with Halévy, and writing for the voice with Bordogni. His stay in Paris lasted for 3½ years; thence he went to Stuttgart, and brought out (April 21, 1847) a new opera, 'Der Prätendent' (the Pretender), with the greatest success, which followed it to Hamburg and elsewhere in Germany. In 1851 he received a call to Stuttgart as joint Kapellmeister with Lindpaintner, filling the place alone after Lindpaintner's death (Aug. 21, 1856) till 1861, when he resigned. In 1863 he joined Abt and Berlioz as judges of a competition in Strassburg, and had an extraordinary reception. He composed sonatas for pianoforte and violin, pianoforte and cello, etc., but his immense popularity sprang from his songs and duets, some of which, such as 'Das Sternelein' and 'O weine nicht,' were extraordinarily beloved in their time. Almost exclusively however by amateurs and the masses; among musicians they found no favour, and are already almost forgotten. They were also very popular in England ('Trab, trab,' 'The Maid of Judah,' 'The Swallows,' duet, etc., etc.), and Kücken had an arrangement with Messrs. Wessel & Co. for the exclusive publication of them. [App. p.693 "date of death, April 3, 1882."]

[ G. ]

KÜHMSTEDT, Friedrich, born at Oldisleben, Saxe-Weimar, Dec. 20, 1809. His gift for music appeared very early and asserted itself against the resistance of his parents, so frequent in these cases. At length, when 19, he left the university of Weimar and walked to Darmstadt (a distance of full 150 miles) to ask the advice of C. H. Rinck. The visit resulted in a course of three years instruction in theoretical and practical music under that great organist. At the end of that time he returned to his family and began to write. His career however was threatened by a paralysis of his right hand, from which he never recovered, and which but for his perseverance and energy would have wrecked him. During several years he remained almost without the means of subsistence, till in 1836 he obtained the post of music-director and professor of the Seminar at Eisenach, with a pittance of £30 per annum. This however was wealth to him: he married, and the day of his wedding his wife was snatched from him by a sudden stroke as they left the church. After a period of deep distress music came to his relief and he began to compose. As he grew older and published his excellent treatises and his good music, he became famed as a teacher, and before his death was in easier circumstances. He died in harness at Eisenach, Jan. 10, 1858. His works extend to op. 49. His oratorios, operas and symphonies are forgotten, but his fame rests on his organ works—his art of preluding, op. 6 (Schotts); his Gradus ad Parnassum or introduction to the works of J. S. Bach, op. 4 (ibid); his Fantasia eroica, op. 29 (Erfurt, Körner); and many preludes, fugues, and other pieces for the organ, which are solid and effective compositions. He also published a treatise on harmony and modulation (Eisenach, Börnker, 1838).

[ G. ]

KUFFERATH, Hubert Ferdinand, one of six brothers, all musicians, born June 10, 1808, at Mülheim, studied under Hartmann of Cologne, and Schneider of Dessau. He played a solo for the violin at the Dusseldorf Festival of 1839 so much to the satisfaction of Mendelssohn, who was conducting, that he invited him to Leipzig. There he formed one of the brilliant class for composition which included Eckert, Verhulst, and C. E. Horsley. At Mendelssohn's suggestion he studied the pianoforte, and he also took lessons on the violin from David. In 1841 he became conductor of the Männergesangverein of Cologne, which has more than once visited England. In 1844 he settled in Brussels, and in 1872 became professor of composition at the Conservatoire, a post he still retains. He has published a symphony for full orchestra; several concertos and other compositions for the Piano, and some expressive Lieder. [App. p.693 "date of death, March 2, 1882."] His daughter Antonie, a pupil of Stockhausen's, was much applauded at the Düsseldorf Festival of 1878, for her fine soprano voice, and artistic singing.

[ F.G. ]

KUHLAU, Friedrich, a musician of some distinction in his day. He was born of poor parents at Uelzen in Hanover, March 13 [App. p.693 "Sept. 11"], 1786, and had the misfortune to lose an eye at an early age. The loss did not however quench his ardour for music. During a wandering life he contrived to learn the piano and the flute, and to acquire a solid foundation of harmony and composition. Germany was at that time under French rule, and to avoid the conscription he escaped to Copenhagen, where he became the first flute in the king's band. He then settled in Denmark, acquired a house in Lyngbye, near Copenhagen, to which he fetched his parents, composed half-a-dozen operas, was made professor of music and court composer, and enjoyed a very great popularity. In the autumn of 1825 he was at Vienna, and Seyfried[1] has preserved a capital story of his expedition to Beethoven at Baden with a circle of choice friends, of the way in which the great composer dragged them at once into the open air, and of the jovial close of the day's proceedings. Kuhlau,

  1. Beethovens Studien. Anhang, p. 25. See also Beethoven's Letters (Nohl), No. 363.