Possibly drink was not his only failing, if we may so interpret the 'Monsieur terrible amoureux' of another letter of Beethoven's.
In 1826 Beethoven informed him by letter that he had chosen him for his biographer, in the confidence that whatever information might be given him for that purpose would be accurately communicated to the world. According to Schindler, Beethoven afterwards repented of this arrangement. In 1843 Holz made over his rights to Gassner of Carlsruhe, but nothing has been done. Holz died at Vienna, Nov. 9, 1858.
One of the last times that Beethoven's pen touched the paper before he took to his death-bed was to add his signature and a line of music (in a strange scale) to a note of his dictation to Holz, 'Dec. 1826' (Nohl, 'Letters,' 385):—
Wie immer Ihr Freund Beethoven.
[ C. F. P. ]
HOLZBAUER, Ignaz, composer, born at Vienna in 1711. He was destined for the bar, but devoted all his spare time to music, and by study of Fux's 'Gradus' made himself a good contrapuntist. On Fux's advice he went to Italy, running away from the Prince of Tour and Taxis to whom he was secretary at Laybach; but a fever caught at Venice obliged him to return. He next became Capellmeister to Count Rottal in Moravia, and while there married. Returning to Vienna in 1745, the court-theatre engaged him as director of music, and his wife as singer. In 1747 they started on a tour in Italy, and in 1750 he became first Capellmeister to the Duke of Würtemberg at Stuttgart. In 1753 his pastoral opera 'Il Figlio delle Selve' (Schwetzingen) procured him the appointment of Capellmeister to the Elector Palatine at Mannheim. It was during his time that the Mannheim orchestra attained that excellence of performance which made it so famous, though it is difficult to say how much of this was due to Holzbauer and how much to Cannabich the leader. In 1757 he produced 'Nitteti' at Turin with great success, and in the following year his best work, 'Alessandro nell' Indie' was well received at Milan. In 1776 he composed his only German opera, 'Günther von Schwarzburg' (Mannheim), which was brilliantly successful. He was entirely deaf for some years before his death, which took place at Mannheim, April 7, 1783. He composed other operas besides those mentioned, and church and instrumental music, all now forgotten, though not without value in its day, as we may judge from the testimony of Mozart, no lenient critic: 'I heard to-day a mass of Holzbauer's, which is still good although 26 years old. He writes very well, in a good church style; the vocal and instrumental parts go well together, and his fugues are good.' (Letter, Nov. 4, 1777.) And again—'Holzbauer's music' (in Günther) 'is very beautiful—too good for the libretto. It is wonderful that so old a man has so much spirit, for you can't imagine how much fire there is in the music.' (Nov. 14–16, 1777.) He evidently behaved well to Mozart, without any of the jealousy which he too often generated.
[ M. C. C. ]
HOME, SWEET HOME. This favourite melody occurs in Bishop's opera of 'Clari, or the Maid of Milan,' brought out at Covent Garden May 8, 1823. In the published music it is called a 'Sicilian air,' but is not impossibly Bishop's own.
[App. p.679 "Add that the fact of its introduction into 'Anna Bolena' has given rise to an idea, among certain continental authorities, that Donizetti wrote it; but that opera was not written till 1831, while 'Clari' was produced in 1823. Mr. Charles Mackay stated in the 'Daily Telegraph' of March 19, 1887, that Bishop, in an action for piracy and breach of copyright, made oath to the fact of his having composed the tune. The words are by Howard Payne."]
[ G. ]
HOMILIUS, Gottfried August, born Feb. 2, 1714, at Rosenthal in Saxony. Beyond the facts that he was a pupil of J. S. Bach, and master of Adam Hiller, little is known of his life or circumstances. In 1742 he became organist of the Frauenkirche in Dresden, and in 1755 director of the music in the three principal churches there, and Cantor of the Kreuzschule, the choir of which he brought to a high pitch of perfection. He led a simple modest life, entirely occupied with his duties, and died June 1, 1785. He enjoyed a considerable reputation among his contemporaries as an organist, especially for his skill in combining and arranging the stops. He was an industrious composer, and in the latter part of last century his larger church works were ranked very high. Although we cannot now endorse that verdict, we must still allow Homilius to have been no unworthy pupil of J. S. Bach's. His numerous sacred compositions are characterised by a peculiarly happy vein of melody, and, in accordance with the taste of the day, an avoidance of polyphonic treatment of the parts. On the other hand, it is difficult to compare his music with more modern homophone [App. p.679 "homophonic"] compositions. His treatment of his themes as is the case throughout this period in which Bach's influence was paramount is always interesting, and sometimes masterly. His most important works are his motets, model compositions of the kind. Little of his music has been printed, but he was very liberal in allowing copies of his works to be taken. Of his 32 motets some excellent examples are to be found in his pupil J. A. Hitler's 'Vierstimmige Motetten,' in Sander's 'Heilige Cæcilia' (Berlin 1818–19), Weeber's 'Kirchliche Chorgesänge' (Stuttgart 1857), and Trautwein's 'Auswahl.' Specimens of his organ works are to be found in Körner's Orgelvirtuos. A Pater noster for 4 voices, fully bearing out the description of his style just given, is printed in Mr. Hullah's 'Vocal Scores.' His published works include, a 'Passions-Cantata' (1775); a Christmas oratorio, 'Die Freude der Hirten über die Geburt Jesu' (1777); and 'Sechs Deutsche Arien fur Freunde ernsthafter Gesänge' (1786). Those still in MS. are much more numerous, and comprise a course of church music for Sundays and festivals; several Passions, including one according to St. Mark, perhaps his best work; a 'Choralbuch' containing 107 chorales; and finally organ music, consisting of fugues, chorales with variations, and trios.
[ A. M. ]
- Nohl, No. 380.
- Aug. 30