Engelbert Humperdinck

Engelbert Humperdinck ( born September 1, 1854 in Siegburg, † September 27, 1921 in Neustrelitz ) was a German composer of the late Romantic period.


Humperdinck was born the son of a school teacher and a cantor daughter in Siegburg. After graduating from high school in Paderborn Theodorianum he studied from 1872 Music at the Conservatory of Cologne. For a short time he worked as a conductor at Cologne's City Theatre. But he fell out with the management of the theater and went to Munich, where he studied as a composition student of Josef Rheinberger and Franz Lachner from 1879 at the Royal School of Music.

Humperdinck was very successful as a student. In 1876 he won the Mozart Prize of the City of Frankfurt am Main, 1879, he was the first winner of the Mendelssohn Prize in Berlin, which earned him a scholarship to Italy, where he met Richard Wagner. In Berlin him in 1881 and the Meyerbeer Prize. From 1880 on, he had a 1 1/2 year stay in the Villa Wahnfried as an assistant to Richard Wagner at the premiere of Parsifal (1882 ) in Bayreuth. After Wagner's death he worked until 1884 as a musical assistant at the Bayreuth Festival with. He also taught Wagner's son Siegfried in composition teaching. In 1883 he received a composition agreement and a commitment as second Kapellmeister at the Cologne Opera House in 1884 offered him Franz Wüllner again a teaching job at the Cologne Conservatory in 1885, he became the musical partner of the Krupp family in the Villa Hügel in Essen. During this time, Humperdinck resulted in the ballroom Gurzenich his choral work of Heine- ballad " The pilgrimage to Kevlaar " at the end of 1885 and had a short-term teaching of composition and theory at the Conservatory in Barcelona. 1887/1888 he was concertmaster of the Bonn newspaper critic and editor of the music publishing house B. Schott 's Söhne in Mainz. In 1890 he moved to Frankfurt and became a lecturer at the local Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt am Main ( until 1897 ) and was an opera Speaker of the Frankfurter Zeitung. Among his friends was one of Hugo Wolf. In 1897 he moved to Boppard and to Berlin in 1901. From 1900 to 1920 he directed the Master School of musical composition at the Royal Academy of Arts and composed incidental music for Max Reinhard at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. In appearance, he also worked as arranger of popular songs for the so-called Emperor Songbook ', first published for the 1906 Volksliederbuch for male choir. In 1909 he was editor of song and sound for the Children's Heart, a collection of the most beautiful children's songs, illustrated by Paul Hey.

The Berlin University made ​​him an honorary doctorate and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, an honorary member (1914 ).

Humperdinck had traveled in September 1921, Neustrelitz to experience in the local theater, the samples and the premiere of Der Freischütz, which staged his son tungsten there. He died suddenly of a stroke. The Engelbert Humperdinck's grave is located in a common grave lay with his wife Hedwig Humperdinck ( born Taxer ) in the block Savior, Field 5, 10 family vault, as an honorary grave in the West Stahnsdorf near Berlin.

His first listed in Weimar on December 23, 1893 opera Hansel and Gretel was a worldwide success and brought him fame and financial independence. The premiere took place under the direction of Richard Strauss. Some of the tunes contained therein ( brother come dance with me) were to preserve folk songs with the opera; in other cases ( A little man stands in the forest, Suse Suse love what rustling in the straw ) grabbed Humperdinck artfully existing ways of looking at. Also the rest of his work is characterized by an inspired folk tune. Humperdinck has created six operas, his oeuvre includes 170 compositions, which are Engelbert Humperdinck - index ( EHWV ), edited by his granddaughter Eva Humperdinck, documented.

On 9 September 2004 the German Post AG honored him on the occasion of his 150th birthday with its own stamp to 45 euro cents ( Michel Nr 2420). Humperdinck's birth town of Siegburg organized for the anniversary a hard week with lectures and concerts, as well as the publication of a scientific Festschrift on Humperdinck's opera royal children.

In September 2007, an approximately life-sized sculpture group Engelbert Humperdinck with Hansel and Gretel created by sculptor Jutta Reiss on the mayor - Syree Square in Boppard was erected. Initiated this, the person established in Boppard Humperdinck society.

His final resting he found in a grave of honor in the field 5, 10 family vault, on the West Cemetery Stahnsdorf.


Stage Works

  • Harzipere (1868; EHWV 3). Music drama. Libretto:?
  • Perla (1868; EHWV 4). Singspiel. Libretto:?
  • Claudine von Villa Bella (1868-1872; EHWV 5). Opera. Libretto: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Fedelma (1883; EHWV 80). Opera fragment. Libretto: Ernst von Wolzogen
  • Snow White (1888; EHWV 9). Liederspiel. Libretto: Adelheid Wette (1858-1916)
  • Hansel and Gretel. Libretto: Adelheid Hermann and bet Liederspiel (1890; EHWV 93.1 )
  • Singspiel ( EHWV 93.2 )
  • Fairy-tale opera in 3 images (1893; EHWV 93.3 ). UA December 23, 1893 Weimar ( Court Theatre, Conductor: Richard Strauss)
  • Melodrama in three acts ( 1895-97; EHWV 106.1 ). UA January 23, 1897 in Munich
  • Fairy-tale opera in 3 acts ( 1908-1910; EHWV 106.2 ). UA December 28, 1910 New York (Metropolitan Opera)

Incidental music

  • To The Frogs by Aristophanes (1879-1881; EHWV 61; fragment)
  • To the judge of Zalamea by Pedro Calderon de la Barca ( EHWV 82). UA November 19, 1883 Cologne
  • To The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (1905; EHWV 133). UA November 9, 1905 Berlin
  • To The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare ( 1906/ 06; EHWV 135). UA September 15, 1906 Berlin
  • To The Tempest by William Shakespeare ( 1906; EHWV 138). UA October 26, 1906 Berlin
  • What do you want to by William Shakespeare (1907; EHWV 140). UA October 17, 1907 Berlin
  • To Lysistrata by Aristophanes (1908; EHWV 141). UA February 17, 1908 Berlin
  • To The Blue Bird by Maurice Maeterlinck (1910; EHWV 150). UA December 23, 1912 Berlin
  • To The Miracle ( The Miracle in 1911; EHWV 151). Mysteries pantomime in two acts by Karl Gustav Vollmoeller and Max Reinhardt (after Caesarius of Heister Bach and Maurice Maeterlinck ). UA December 23, 1911 London
  • On Christmas Eve 1914 (later Christmas in the trenches; EHWV 157). Folk play ( one act play ) by Ludwig Thoma

Orchestral works

  • Overture in E flat major (fragment )
  • Summer evening on the village. Suite ( fragment)
  • Sound images to Schiller's " Song of the Bell "
  • The bell of Siegburg
  • Humoresque in E major
  • Moorish Rhapsody
  • Shakespeare Suites No. 1 and No. 2

Chamber works

  • String Quartet in D minor
  • Minuet in E flat major for string quartet
  • String Quartet in E minor (fragment )
  • Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano
  • Streichquartettsatz C minor
  • Streichquartettsatz C major (fragment )
  • Piano Quintet in G major
  • Piano Trio in G major (fragment )
  • Nocturne in G major for Violin and Piano
  • Salon piece in A minor for cello and piano ( sketch)
  • Album Leaf for Violin and Piano
  • String Quartet in C major
  • Sonatina for Four Violins (fragment )

Vocal compositions

  • The pilgrimage to Kevlaar ( 1878-1887 ). Choral ballad. Text: Heinrich Heine
  • Luck of Eden Hall ( 1879-1883 ). Choral ballad. Text: Ludwig Uhland
  • The fisherwoman. Choral ballad ( fragment). Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Numerous songs with piano accompaniment

Student of Engelbert Humperdinck

  • Aletter Wilhelm (1867-1934), composer, pianist
  • Siegfried Wagner (1869-1930), composer, conductor, director
  • Rainer Simons (1869-1934), singer, director
  • Leo Blech (1871-1958), composer, conductor
  • Oskar Fried (1871-1941), composer, conductor
  • Fritz Zech (1875 -? ) ( 1900-1905 )
  • Walter Niemann (1876-1953), composer, writer on music
  • Hans Jelmoli (1877-1936), composer, pianist
  • Cyril Scott (1879-1970), composer, pianist
  • Carl Schuricht (1880-1967), composer, conductor; (1901-1903? )
  • Robert Stolz (1880-1975), composer, conductor
  • Clemens Schmalstich (1880-1960), composer, conductor
  • Heinz Schwier (1881-1956), composer, conductor
  • Emil Kühnel (1881-1971), composer, conductor
  • Jan van Gilse (1881-1944), composer, conductor
  • Charles Tomlinson Griffes (1884-1920), composer (19? -1907 )
  • Friedrich Frischenschlager (1885-1970)
  • Oskar Hagen (1888-1957), art and music historian
  • Andrés Isasi (1890-1940), composer
  • Manfred Gurlitt (1890-1972), composer, conductor
  • Karl Alwin (1891-1945), conductor
  • Leo Spies (1899-1965), composer, conductor
  • Kurt Weill (1900-1950), composer
  • Richard Bulling (dates not determined )
  • Bumcke Gustav (1876-1963), Berlin composer, saxophonist
  • Adolf Klages (18? -1946 ), Composer, piano teacher
  • Siegfried Kuhn (1893-1915), composer