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.

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