Horn, Charles Edward (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HORN, CHARLES EDWARD (1786–1849), vocalist and composer, was the second son of Karl Friedrich Horn (1762–1830), musician, who came to England from Saxony as a valet (Papendiek) in 1782, and was appointed music-master to Princesses Augusta and Elizabeth about 1789, and organist to St. George's Chapel, Windsor, in 1823. Charles Edward Horn was born in London in 1786. He was taught music by his father, and had a few lessons at Bath from Rauzzini in 1808. He made his début at the English Opera House in King's ‘Up all Night,’ but after composing an unsuccessful melodrama, ‘The Magic Bride,’ he took lessons from Thomas Welch in 1809, and did not again appear on the stage until 1814. He then took the part of the Seraskier in Storace's ‘Siege of Belgrade’ with success; but it was his performance as Caspar in ‘Der Freischütz’ at Drury Lane, 1824, that established his reputation, and made him for many seasons a favourite singer. The compass of his voice enabled him to take tenor or baritone parts at will, and he was a good actor. In 1835, however, the loss of his voice through illness obliged him to quit the stage. He subsequently removed to New York, where he had sung with success in 1827, and entered into a music publisher's business with Mr. Davis as partner. During one of his visits to England, 1843–7, Horn was appointed director of music at the Princess's Theatre, but in 1848 he became conductor of the Haydn and Handel Society at Boston, and died there on 21 Oct. 1849. Horn was twice married; his first wife was Miss Ray, an actress, and his second, Miss Horton, who died in 1887.

Horn's music pleased the public by its simplicity and brightness. Like James Hook [q. v.], he composed one or two airs which may claim a place among national ballads, e.g. ‘Cherry Ripe’ (1825?), and the duet, ‘I know a bank.’ Other of Horn's most popular songs are ‘Child of Earth’ and ‘Through the Wood,’ 1830?; ‘I've been roaming,’ 1835; ‘All things love thee,’ 1844; and ‘The Mermaid's Cave,’ 1855. Of his more elaborate productions the best known were the operas, ‘Magic Bride’ and ‘Tricks upon Travellers’ (with Reeve), 1810; ‘The Beehive’ and ‘The Boarding House,’ 1811; ‘Rich and Poor’ and ‘The Devil's Bridge’ (with Braham), 1812; ‘Godolphin,’ 1813; ‘The Statue’ and ‘The Woodman's Hut,’ 1814; ‘Charles the Bold,’ 1815; ‘The Persian Hunters,’ 1816; ‘Election’ and the ‘Wizard,’ 1817; ‘Dirce,’ 1821; ‘Actors al fresco’ (with Cooke and Blewitt) and ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’ (with S. Webbe, jun., Parry, &c., ‘I know a bank’ introduced), 1823; ‘Philandering,’ 1824; ‘The Death Fetch’ and ‘Peveril of the Peak’ (comic), 1826; ‘Pay to my Order,’ 1827; ‘Honest Frauds’ (with ‘Deep, deep Sea,’ sung by Malibran), 1830; ‘Christmas Bells,’ performed in America. ‘Ahmed al Kamel, the Pilgrim of Love,’ Horn's last opera, was brought out under his direction at the New York National Theatre in 1840. His oratorios were ‘Remission of Sin,’ which a New York paper says was the first oratorio composed in America; ‘Satan,’ performed by the London Melophonic Society, 1845; and ‘Daniel's Prediction,’ given at Hanover Square Rooms in 1848. ‘Lalla Rookh’ (1825) and probably ‘M.P.’ were composed for Dublin. He also wrote glees and pianoforte music, and edited a curious volume of ‘Hindustani Melodies,’ 1813.

[Mrs. Papendiek's Journal, i. 256, ii. 189, 190; Musical World, xxiv. 741; Grove's Dict. i. 752; Dict. of Music, 1827, i. 375; Ireland's Records of the New York Stage, i. 542.]

L. M. M.