Heinrich Hofmann

Heinrich Hofmann was a German composer who lived in the 19th century from January 13 1842  when he was born in Berlin until July 16 1902  when he died in Grob – Tabarz, Thuringia.    He was very popular during his lifetime and his music was greatly sought after, not only in his home country Germany, but in Austria, England, Switzerland and America.  He was widely known for his wonderful piano duets, often referred to as poetic novellas, feelings described in sound.   At the age of 9 he was already singing in the  Berlin Cathedral choir.   He went on to study with some great teachers at  the Neue Akademie der Tonkunst.  His comic opera “Cartouche(1869) was. a great success, and it was this that encouraged him to devote his life to music, composing, performing , and teaching.

In addition to his  wonderful piano duets and his comic opera,  he composed several chamber works that were greatly. appreciated including his piano trio opus 18, a string sextet opus 25, a piano  quartet opus 50 , this Serenade for flute and string quartet and double bass, opus 65, and an Octet  opus 80

At the end of the nineteenth century before we had cell phones, and movies and TVs and before sports. had become popular,  music loving patrons would  often commission  chamber music pieces  tailored to their  desires.   The Philharmonic Club in New York City  in the late 19th century, asked several composers, including Friedrich Gernsheim, Theodore, Gouvy, Edmund, Kretchmer, Salomon Jadassohn Arnold Krug, and Heinrich Hofmann to compose  sextets for flute, 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass with serenade type  character and  with the feeling of a choral work.   Many wonderful works were produced and delivered to these New Yorkers and they were all published in 1884 and this sextet we hope to include in our programs in 2021  was one of them.  It was received with great enthusiasm and greatly enjoyed. It was sometimes referred to as in the style of Mendlessohn.

Heinrich Hofmannm  often referred to as “this mightily striving artistic talent whose works are (were)  sought after by the best publishers” unfortunately   his wonderful  works   went into slumber  after he died in 1902 and are waiting  in publishing houses and archives for people to discover them once again.  This sextet for flute , string quartet and double bass that we hope to perform in  2021 is really a wonderful composition that should get performed far more than it does.

Carl Amand Mangold


In our video the Charles River Sinfonietta made on September 22, 2020 to be put on Cable TV in many towns we’d gotten grants and support to give concerts this year, the first piece on the program was a septet by Carl Amand Mangold written in 1855. It appears that previous to our video this piece didn’t seem to have been recorded anywhere and was only recently published for the first time in 2008.

Carl Amand Mangold was born October 8 1813 at Darmstadt into a very musical family where his father , George Mangold(1767-1835) was director of the music for the court and his brother Wilhelm Mangold(1796-1878) was the local conductor and his sister Charlotte Mangold(1794-1870) was also involved. Carl was an unpaid member of the court orchestra starting at a pretty young age, and appeared as a singer as well.



With financial help from the grand duke, Carl studied violin, composition and singing from 1836-1839 in Paris where he made good friends with Hector Berlioz, Giacoma Meyenbeer, Franz Liszt and Clara Wieck. After those three years he returned to Darmstadt and was very busy directing several orchestras and choruses, teaching at the local highs school and upper secondary school , and composing. His compositions were very numerous including 6 operas, 3 oratorios, 5 concert dramas, cantatas with and without orchestra, arias and scenes, several hundred lieder, 8 symphonies, 2 violin concertos piano works, and chamber music. Most of his compositions remain unpublished and the manuscripts wait for their musical reanimation.

This septet he composed in 1855 because of two paintings that were temporarily exhibited in the music hall of the grand ducal castle from February 18th till March 10th in 1844 in Darmstadt, which had been commissioned by the Belgian government and which led to a fierce discussion among the top politicians about to what extent the portrayal of historical paintings expressing political opinions should be allowed.

The two pictures were “The resignation of the emperor Karl V in favor of his son Philipp II at Brussels the 23rd of October 1555” and “The signing of the Flemish nobility’s compromise on 16th February 1566” These occasions were both important events that led to national independence, for prior to this the Netherlands were part of the Spanish kingdom, reined by a governor..

Each of the 4 movements of this septet represent things having to do with the Dutch getting their independence. In the first movement it is supposed to represent the Spanish and the Dutch. In the Andante , the 2nd movement, this represents Goethe’s Egmond and Klarchen, an episode. In the Scherzo this represents when the Count of the Flemish nobility and his people handed over a petition to the Spanish governess Margarethe of Parma. At this time the Flemish were considered “gueux’ or beggars. During a feast the word “Geusen” was assigned to all those people associated with the revolutions, Then the fourth movement quotes a chorale “Who leaves everything to God and always hopes for him that one GOD will miraculously save in all affliction and grief”

This piece clearly shows how Carl Amand Mangold was a musician with many political concerns. In this piece he portrayed how music could be connected to other art works like these paintings.

Carl Amand Mangold composed many pieces for several more decades before he finally passed away on August 4 1889. Hopefully more of his beautiful works will be pulled from their manuscripts and published, but he sure had lots of competition with the big composers of the time like Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner.

Charles RIver Sinfoinietta video made on 9/22/20 in Quincy Library, Quincy, MA to take the place of some of our concerts

This is a video made by members of the Charles River Sinfonietta on September 22, 2020. It is to take the place of some of the concerts we’d gotten grants and support for. It is two septets for violin, viola, cello, bass, clarinet , bassoon and french horn. The first one we played is 4 movements and composed in 1855 by a composer from the Netherlands called Carl Amand Mangold. The next six movements are Beethoven’s septet opus 20 in honor of his 250th birthday being this year since he was born in 1770. I hope you enjoy these

Edwin York Bowen the composer of a quintet for bass clarinet and string quartet that we hope to do soon

📷Edwin York Bowen was born February 22, 1884 in Crouch Hill , London and died November 23, 1961 after several decades as a talented musician and composing over 160 musical works many of which remained unpublished and unperformed until after his death. His music falls in the category of Romantic with rich harmonic language. He composed an amazing amount of piano music at this time. His quintet for bass clarinet and string quartet is one of the pieces the Charles River Sinfonietta hopes to perform soon if concerts start to take place again in the near future.As the youngest of 3 sons to a father who was the owner of the whisky distillers Bowen and McKechnie he started piano lessons with his mom at an early age and showed very promising signs of talent and continued studying piano at the North Metropolitan College of Music and at the Blackheath Conservatoire of Music. Then in 1898 at the age of 14 he got a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where he studied till 1905 winning many awards and prizes during his time there. Just two years later he was awarded a fellowship to the Royal Academy of Music, and then in 1909 was appointed a professor there.
In 1912 he married a singer, Sylvia Dalton, and they had their first son. In WW1 he played in the Scottish band as a horn and viola player. After the war he continued his professorship at the Royal Academy of Music where he remained until his death in 1961. He also taught for over 40 years at the Tobias Matthay Piano School. As a performer he was admired for his talent as a pianist and was always giving concerts at the Queen’s Hall and Royal Albert Hall. He performed all four of his piano concertos he composed as the soloist. Lots. of his compositions he dedicated to renowned musicians who would perform them. Yes Fritz Kreisler was one who premiered York Bowen’s suite for violin and piano opus 28, in 1910 That piece also got performed by some other well known violinists including Joseph Szigetti, Michael Zacherewitsch, and Efrem Zimbalist. in 1920 a celebrated violinist Majorie Haward performed Bowen’s violin concerto opus 33. And the first performances of his sonata for Horn and piano opus 101, and his concerto for horn , strings and timpani opus 150 were premiered and performed by the famous. horn players Aubrey Brain and Dennis Brain. As a piano soloist he gave the world premiere of William Walton’s Sinfonia Concertante for Orchestra and piano and he along with Henry Wood and Frederick Kiddie gave the first British performance of Mozart’s concerto for 3 pianos and orchestra k 242. York Bowen made the first recording of Beethoven’s piano concerto #4 in G.

Bowen’s really had great success in his early career as a pianist and composer before WW1. However by 1929 his romantic style was starting to be considered to old fashioned and out dated. While his first piano concerto composed in 1903 got great compliments from Saint Saens and other world famous composers then, later in his life many people felt he did not get. the real attention he and lots of his works deserved. Many compositions from his later years remained unpublished during his lifetime , and despite efforts of the York Bowen Society there are still many works of his that have not been published yet that deserve to become known and heard, and his orchestral and chamber music works are rarely performed today.
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A New Grant We Just Got

We just got a notice that we got our grant in Weston MA for giving a chamber music concert there too this year.

A Few More Grants We Got For Concerts This Year

It looks like we’ve gotten a few more of our grants for chamber music concerts in the summer of 2020.. We have now gotten the grants not only in Methuen and Watertown, but in Northborough, Milton, Fall River and Quincy. We’re hoping to get it again in Plymouth as well. We should have some wonderful programs this summer.

We Got Our Grant In Methuen MA Again.

We just got a notice that we got our grant once again in Methuen MA from the Methuen LCC and we will be playing a septet concert at the end of this summer again at the Methuen Memorial Concert Hall.

We Just Started Getting Notices About Grants For 2020

We just started getting notices about the grants that we applied for for supporting our concerts for 2020… We haven’t heard from all of them yet… and usually the rejections get sent out first, so hopefully by not having heard yet that means we’ll get most of them. The first town to tell us we got our grant was Watertown MA.. We still hope to do some septets again for some of our
concerts , but in Watertown one of the pieces we hope to play there is the Mendlessohn Octet.. yes . for four violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos. it is a wonderful piece that Mendlessohn composed when he was only 16 . years old in 1825.
Another nice piece for that combination that we may include in that program are Ludwig Spohr’s double quartet opus 65 for the same instrumentation in the Mendlessohn octet. Spohr compsed this in 1823, at the age of 39, 2 years before Mendlessohn composed his octet, but Spohr didn’t publish his double quartet until 1825 at the same time as Mendlessohn published his octet. That was an exciting year for octets.
There is a . wonderful Octet by George Enesco opus 7 written when he was 19 years old in 1900. Now George Enesco’s music is quite a contrast to the Mendelssohn and Spohr for it was composed 75 years later than the Mendlessohn octet and Enesco was from Romania, quite a different place than Germany as one can tell from the music. Enesco’s octet opus 7 is also quite a remarkable piece.
Niels Wilhelm Gade also composed a nice octet opus 17 in 1849 shortly after Mendlessohn’s death. Even though Gade was Danish and not German and he was twice the age that Mendlessohn had been when he wrote his octet, this octet Gade composed at the age of 32 does have many similarities to the Mendlessohn octet . It is also quite charming. It was out of print for many years. but in the last few decades it is among several great pieces brought back to life.
Now a few months ago in September 2019, and in 2018 we performed the wonderful septet by . Adolphe Blanc both years in several concerts. In 2018 we also performed it with the Beethoven Septet opus 20, and in 2019 we played the Blanc septet with the one by Franz Berwald. Those pieces were for the great combination of violin/viola/cello/bass/clarinet/frenchhorn/bassoon. We hope to perform some more septets this year too for that same combination possibly including one by Conradin Kreutzer (1780-1849) opus 62, a septet in F by Carl Amand Mangold(1813-1889), and if we can find the music possibly quitea charming one by Erzherzog Rudolph von Osterreich in E minor written in 1830 at the age of 42 one year before he died. He lived quite a royal life in Austria but managed to compose some wonderful pieces including this septet.
https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/…/septet-op-20-shee…/2727356… — in Millis, Massachusetts.

No Responses Yet…. Usually That’s Good. Rejections Go Out First

Well we’ve sure applied for lots of grants to play several chamber music concerts in several towns next summer… Almost no places have replied yet to the applications we sent in by October 15th.. That is a good sign… for the rejections always get sent out first. so hopefully almost all the grants we applied for we’ll get for 2020. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Unaccompanied Recital For a Groupmuse Concert


On June 22nd at 7:30 I’ll be giving an . unaccompanied recital at a friends house for a Groupmuse concert. I’ll be performing : Friedrich W. Rust’s solo violin sonata in B-flat, Max Reger’s unaccopanied violin sonata opus 42 # 2 in A major, , Jaroslav Vanecek’s Spanish Rhapsody and Arthur Honegger’s Sonata for solo violin. It is $10 for a ticket. I hope you all can come.. It is at 37 Valley Road in Milton MA.

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