Hyperion Records

Herz, Henri (1803-1888)  

Henri Herz

born: 6 January 1803
died: 5 January 1888
country: Austria

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Heinrich (Henri) Herz was born in Vienna on 6 January 1803. A child prodigy who had his first lessons from his father, he was giving concerts by the age of eight, among which was an appearance in Coblenz when he played Hummel’s Variations on an ‘oberländische Melodie’ Op 8. After studies with Daniel Hünten, the organist father of the more famous Franz, Herz won admission to the Paris Conservatoire in April 1816. His first compositions—Air Tyrolien varié Op 1 and Rondo alla Cosacca Op 2—appeared two years later.

During the 1820s and ’30s he established himself as one of the most brilliant pianists and sought-after teachers of the day. His music was ubiquitous, outselling all his peers, Liszt and Chopin included; he built a 500-seat concert hall, Salle Henri Herz, in the Rue de la Victoire (long since vanished), and went into partnership with a piano manufacturer named Klepfa producing about 400 instruments a year. This last venture proved a costly failure. In order to obtain more capital and recoup his losses Herz headed for America, becoming the first important European pianist to tour the country, recording his travels in an entertaining memoir eventually published in 1866 as Mes voyages en Amérique. He remained there until 1851, returning home, like many pianists after him, an extremely wealthy man.

By the early 1850s, however, musical tastes had changed. The public had heard more of Liszt and Chopin, virtuosos like Clara Schumann had dropped bravura display pieces from their programmes in favour of Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schumann. Herz’s heyday was over and, though he continued to compose, his energies were directed to his (now successful) piano business and teaching at the Paris Conservatory. Among his pupils were Adolphe Fétis, Berthe Goldschmidt, Henri Rosellen, Marie Jaëll, Charles Salaman and Maria Roger-Miclos (1860–1950), the latter being the only Herz pupil to have made any recordings. In 1874 Herz relinquished the post he had held since 1842 as professor of piano at the Paris Conservatoire. He died in 1888.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas ©

Albums
'Herz: Piano Concertos Nos 1, 7 & 8' (CDA67465)
Herz: Piano Concertos Nos 1, 7 & 8
'Herz: Piano Concertos Nos 3, 4 & 5' (CDA67537)
Herz: Piano Concertos Nos 3, 4 & 5
'Herz: Piano Music' (CDA67606)
Herz: Piano Music
'Liszt: Complete Piano Music' (CDS44501/98)
Liszt: Complete Piano Music
MP3 £160.00FLAC £160.00ALAC £160.00Buy by post £200.00 CDS44501/98  99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)  
'Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 10 – Hexaméron & Symphonie fantastique' (CDA66433)
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 10 – Hexaméron & Symphonie fantastique
'Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 53 – Music for piano & orchestra I' (CDA67401/2)
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 53 – Music for piano & orchestra I
MP3 £10.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00Buy by post £10.00 CDA67401/2  2CDs Please, someone, buy me …  
Complete works available for download
Deuxième ballade, Op 117 No 2 Philip Martin (piano)
Deuxième thème original avec introduction et variations, Op 81 Philip Martin (piano)
Fantaisie dramatique, Op 89 Philip Martin (piano)
Fantaisie et variations sur der airs nationaux américains variés, Op 158 Philip Martin (piano)
Le mouvement perpétuel, Op 91 No 3 Philip Martin (piano)
Piano Concerto No 1 in A major, Op 34 Howard Shelley (piano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 3 in D minor, Op 87 Howard Shelley (piano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 4 in E major, Op 131 Howard Shelley (piano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 5 in F minor, Op 180 Howard Shelley (piano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 7 in B minor, Op 207 Howard Shelley (piano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 8 in A flat major, Op 218 Howard Shelley (piano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (conductor)
Première ballade, Op 117 No 1 Philip Martin (piano)
Trois Nocturnes caractéristiques, Op 45 Philip Martin (piano)
Variations on 'Non più mesta' from Rossini's La Cenerentola, Op 60 Philip Martin (piano)
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
Deuxième ballade, Op 117 No 2 (Herz)
Deuxième thème original avec introduction et variations, Op 81 (Herz)
Fantaisie dramatique, Op 89 (Herz)
Fantaisie et variations sur der airs nationaux américains variés, Op 158 (Herz)
Hexaméron – Morceau de concert 'Grandes Variations de Bravoure pour Piano sur la Marche des Puritains de Bellini', S392 (Liszt/Bellini/Herz)
Hexaméron – Morceau de concert 'Grandes Variations de bravoure sur la marche des Puritains de Bellini', S365a (Liszt/Bellini/Herz)
La dolcezza  No 1 of Trois Nocturnes caractéristiques, Op 45 (Herz)
La melanconia  No 2 of Trois Nocturnes caractéristiques, Op 45 (Herz)
La semplicità  No 3 of Trois Nocturnes caractéristiques, Op 45 (Herz)
Le mouvement perpétuel, Op 91 No 3 (Herz)
Piano Concerto No 1 in A major, Op 34 (Herz)
Piano Concerto No 3 in D minor, Op 87 (Herz)
Piano Concerto No 4 in E major, Op 131 (Herz)
Piano Concerto No 5 in F minor, Op 180 (Herz)
Piano Concerto No 7 in B minor, Op 207 (Herz)
Piano Concerto No 8 in A flat major, Op 218 (Herz)
Première ballade, Op 117 No 1 (Herz)
Trois Nocturnes caractéristiques, Op 45 (Herz)
Un portrait en musique de la Marquise de Blocqueville, S190 (Liszt/Herz)
Variations on 'Non più mesta' from Rossini's La Cenerentola, Op 60 (Herz/Rossini)
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