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P. Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn OFM (1863-1914): a Tyrolean Franciscan as a musical cosmopolitan and phenomenon in music history.

Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn was accustomed to being regarded as an artist of international fame. From the time of his early youth, he cultivated almost daily contact with high-ranking personalities, not only in religion and politics, but also in the arts. His professionally arranged appearances with hundreds of performers in the world's large concert halls, his steady presence in the media, often in highly visible form, many editions of his own works in stylish packaging with the leading publishers in both Europe and America--all of this brought him an enormous reputation. For centuries it has not been unusual for Franciscans to make a name for themselves as musicians, composers, theorists or instrument makers. However, Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn takes up an unusual place in their ranks. Does it not appear strange that a Franciscan composer from Tyrol, on the occasion of his 50th birthday, was awarded the headline "Men of Today" in the Berlin newspaper Der Tag? Does it not remind us of the gossip columns in today's tabloid press when the Viennese newspaper Neuigkeits-Welt-Blatt in 1902, obviously advertising the performances in the large Musikvereinssaal of An der Lan-Hochbrunn's oratorio Sanct Franciscus, published a report from "Father Hartmann's monastery cell at Aracoeli Abbey in Rome", and even included a picture of his room? (2) What kind of public hero was Father Hartmann that he merited constant press reports in 1907 in newspapers in the U.S.A, where he was living at the time, in Italy, the country where his meteoric career had taken off, and also at home in Austria, giving news of his serious illness, hospital stays, recovery, and finally, the event of his return to Europe? (4)

Until now, no comprehensive study has done justice to the life and work of Father Hartmann. (5) To undertake such a task would be an enormous venture, especially because of his unusually multi-facetted Vita and his large, interestingly diverse oeuvre: the quantity of source materials to be examined is huge. The central question about him is: How it is that a Franciscan monk in the period around 1900, considering his appearance, music, artistic capacities, intelligence, and especially his social networking abilities, could attain such publicity in the secular world? The fact that An der Lan-Hochbrunn became such a celebrity during his lifetime began perhaps in a small way, and then continued on its own accord in ever greater dimensions. In the media one always reads of his modesty, but he must have also understood how to promote himself. He is often depicted wearing his medals: when he conducted his Petrus oratorio at Carnegie Hall in 1907, he was adorned with the "aristocratic Tyrolean eagle insignia". (6)

Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn's Estate

The musical estate of Father Hartmann is preserved in Hall in Tirol, at the provincial archive of the Franciscan province of Austria. (7) It contains music autographs and printed editions of his own compositions, portraits both of himself and of his friends and acquaintances, and also his personal music library with manuscripts and printed works by other composers. (8) Already a brief glance at his music collection reveals the distinguished nature of its former owner: the partially-bound library volumes contain works by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Schubert, and Wagner. It is somewhat surprising that a Franciscan monk owned not the sacred works of Mozart, but rather the piano reductions of his operas. The complete Leipzig edition of Bach's works was given to Father Hartmann in 1905 by Emperor Wilhelm II, and the pocketbook scores of all the Wagner operas were presented to him by the Royal House of Wittelsbach in 1902. The voluminous correspondence of the deceased bears witness to his remarkable presence in the arts and business world, and in high society. Personal documents attest to his professional life and career path. Concert posters and detailed programs for the many international performances of his works are of great documentary value. These also include his appearances as organist. Advertising materials for his concerts and publicity brochures announcing new editions of his works provide a good impression of how he was promoted strategically and successfully as a musician and composer on the contemporary scene. Hundreds of articles published in many languages in both the scholarly and popular presses of the time allow us to form a very impressive, direct picture of Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn and the music scene that surrounded him. And, this image is not only verbal, but also visual: countless portraits and photographs that were taken of Father Hartmann over the course of his career by famous painters and art photographers--supplied by his circle of friends and admirers, as well as the press--are preserved at the Franciscan provincial archive in Hall. Reproductions were made into postcards, pictures were used as advertisements, or were distributed, signed with his autograph, to participants at his concerts.

A Cult Figure

For the whole of his life, Father Hartmann had a fascinating effect on his surroundings, achieving for himself the status of a cult figure. This was no doubt owing to his noble ancestry, his elegant appearance, his decidedly different status in the world of the arts and aristocrats as a Franciscan--usually wearing monk's garb--but also owing to his versatile abilities and his glamorous concert tours, so built up by the media. The fact that he placed his noble family's coat of arms on most of his autographs, and later inserted the "Dr" title before his name on his older autographs (after he had been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Theological Faculty at the University of Wurzburg in 1905) shows that he obviously enjoyed the high position he had attained. He was widely admired as an organist and organ-expert, in demand for his services, and he must have also possessed virtuoso capabilities on the violin. He was absolutely idolized, and received gifts as a sign of respect. Music instrument companies took advantage of his reputation, as did the Steinway firm in New York in an advertising brochure from 1906 for their "Concert-Salon-Organ". The respectable organ firm "Gebruder Rieger" gave him a "magnificent" organ in 1902. (9)

Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn's Ancestry and Early Years

Father Hartmann came from a family that had existed in Salurn, South Tyrol, since the beginning of the 15th century. (10) He was born in Salurn in 1863 and christened Paul Eugen Josef. (11) Music was highly cultivated by his family. Thus it is not surprising that little Paul, already as a six-year-old, received formal music instruction at the Music School in Bozen. After attending the Franciscan High School there, he entered the Franciscan order in Salzburg, at the early age of 15 (on August 25, 1879). Apparently one of the reasons for this move was to be taught by the legendary Franciscan organist, composer, instrument maker, scholar and writer, Peter Singer. However, the study of "Organ and Composition" with Father Singer, who also served as the novice master, was terminated after just two-and-a-half years by Singer's death. Nevertheless, this period obviously had a great influence on the later life of Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn. The universal talent of Peter Singer, who never left Salzburg over the course of four decades, was so phenomenal that it drew people from all walks of life to come from far and wide to visit him in his monastery cell and hear and admire his music making. Hartmann, in contrast to his mentor, formed his elite public by going out into the wide world. (12)

Nobility and the Franciscan Ideals

No matter where Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn was visiting, he always stayed at the local Franciscan monastery. He was invited several times to dine at the Munich Court, and a royal coach fetched him from the Franciscan Abbey of Munich-St. Anna for the trip to the Nymphenburg Palace. On September 12, 1908, at a banquet at this palace, he sat next to Infanta Theresia, the daughter of the Spanish King Alfons XIII. The dedication to this Spanish king of von An der Lan-Hochbrunn's oratorio The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross, is apparently connected with this meeting, and on 29 September 1908, Father Hartmann was invited to an audience at Nymphenburg Palace with King Alfons, who accepted this dedication with gratitude. In 1902, after the second performance of the oratorio San Francesco in Bozen, Father Hartmann was provided with a special train car for a trip to Meran. But he chose the modest third class for the train ride from Munich to Ingolstadt. In the course of his 14-month stay in New York in 1906 to 1907, he wore secular garb in public for the first time while on a visit to his friend, the painter Alexander Schroter, and purchased a top hat for his outfit. However, he caused a sensation in the New York press with headlines about his upcoming appearances as a conductor "in friar's garb". (13)

This contrast between secular and sacred was not only evident in Father Hartmann's lifestyle but also in how he staged his compositions. In his oratorios, which are primary theological announcements intended to affect the listeners in a religious and musical way, he wrote for large orchestral forces, often setting long stretches for double choir. By performing these works for thousands of listeners in the world's largest concert halls, he created a dialogue between religion and worldliness, producing a mutual penetration of the sacred and profane. His priority was not to create a progressive compositional style, but to write music that was approachable. In his sacred compositions based on the liturgy, he consistently followed the Franciscan pattern of setting voices accompanied by the organ alone.

His Diary--an Autobiographical Sketch

The diary that Father Hartmann kept is a centerpiece in all of the documents for him housed in the provincial Franciscan Archive. It provides a marvelous compendium for his biography as a person and artist, for his compositional and literary oeuvre, for the contemporary reception of his creative work, and for the general world of music in the period around 1900.

The diary handles the period of his youth in a retrospective way. He began the systematic chronological entries on 11 August 1888 in Lienz, East Tyrol, where he had been called to serve as the official organist. This was his first appointment, and he stayed in Lienz until 5 August 1891. The foundation was already laid here for his future activities: he composed, concertized as organist and violinist, taught music, organized concerts for his pupils, attended the concerts available at that time in this small city, held performances of his own compositions, made contacts with organ makers, and became the main expert in approving organs.

In August 1891, Father Hartmann began serving at the Franciscan Abbey in Reutte, Tyrol, in the usual capacities assigned by his Order, that is, as organist, preacher, and master for guests. After receiving the honorable calling to work in Jerusalem as "Direttore della Filarmonica", he arrived there in September 1893. He was in contact with the notable superiors of his Order and celebrated Mass in the "Vestment of the Austrian Emperor". His appointment as "Organist of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre" in 1894 must have filled him with great satisfaction.

From Organist at Santa Maria in Aracoeli to the Academy of 24 Immortals

For over ten years, from August 1895 until his departure in January 1906, Father Hartmann served as the organist at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Rome. It was during this period that he advanced to a legendary figure on the international scene. However, he also experienced envy in Rome and--"in the end tired of Italian intrigues" he left. After an interim period in his beloved Tyrol, he was assigned the Obedience of St. Anna in Munich by the Minister General, and started the post on 1 March 1906. Apart from concert trips and the long stay in New York (from September 1906 to November 1907) he remained in Munich until his death.

While in Rome, he lived at the Franciscan Abbey of Aracoeli. However, one gets the impression that he was viewed now more as a man of the world than as a monk. He apparently became close friends with Pope Leo XIII, dedicating compositions to him, and receiving the pontifical cross of honor "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, first class in gold". His sacred compositions were performed in Rome's churches, also at St. Peter's, under his own direction and that of other conductors. In 1901, he was appointed "Director and Professor at the Scuola musicale cooperativa". Honors piled up: he was made a member of the Regia Accademia di S. Cecilia (1898); and of the Accademia dell'Arcadia (1900); then he was awarded the Pontificia Croce Lateranense in bronze (1903); and no doubt as the high point, he was unanimously elected in 1905 to the Academy of the 24 Immortals.

Father Hartmann's break-through as a star came with the composition and performance of his first "sacred oratorio" San Pietro. He began composing this work, as he himself said, "under the influence" of Cardinal Vicar Parocchi. The premiere of San Pietro, which took place in January 1900 in Rome's mighty church of San Carlo al Corso, was a splendid artistic success and gained enormous prestige for the composer. Beginning with the third performance, on 14 January 1900, Father Hartmann conducted the work himself, for which he earned three laurel wreaths. In the select audience there were, in addition to many high religious personalities, other prominent Romans, distinguished artists, and, above all, Queen Margherita, Siegfried Wagner, Giovanni Sgambati, and the Milan publisher Tito (II) Ricordi. After the performance, Siegfried Wagner told Father Hartmann that "all of his expectations had been greatly exceeded" and the final fugue belonged to "the most beautiful [...] that I have ever heard--that indeed exists". Queen Margherita expressed similar exuberant thoughts. In the same year as the premiere, Ricordi published the score and performing parts of San Pietro, together with a piano reduction.

From Rome and out into the World

Father Hartmann inserted into his diary a brief catalogue of his works, listing his compositions as well as the most important literary publications under numbers 1 to 80. His oeuvre contains sacred and chamber music, songs and choruses. On a separate page, he summarized his "main works":

1) Six oratorios (Sanct Petrus, Sanct Franciscus, Das letzte Abendmahl, Der Tod des Herrn, Die sieben letzten Worte Christi am Kreuze, Te Deum).

2) Requiem for eight-voice a capella men's chorus.

3) Smaller sacred works (Miserere, Oremus and Aperite, Ave Maria, Tota pulchra es).

The oratorios, which Father Hartmann himself regarded as his most important creations, have earned him a unique position in music history. The radius where his works were performed is enormous, extending to more than 40 cities, located in such European countries as Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Hungary, and also in Russia and America. Usually hundreds of musicians, especially first-rate vocal soloists, were involved in the performances.

Success in Vienna and Munich

Father Hartmann's Sanct Franciscus was heard three times in February 1902 in the Great Hall of Vienna's Musikverein, with the composer conducting outstanding performers. He had already arrived in Vienna on January 28, and was met at the train station by the mayor, Dr. Lueger; the president of the Viennese Singakademie; the concert director Rose; representatives of the Viennese music scene; religious authorities; and the press. On 3 February, he had an audience with Emperor Franz Joseph, at which he played excerpts from Sanct Franciscus. The monarch had already accepted the dedication for this oratorio and had, a short time before, sent the "great golden Medal for the Arts and Sciences" to the composer in Rome.

In fact, the second performance of this Franciscus oratorio took place "in the presence of His Majesty the Emperor, who came especially from Budapest" for the occasion. And, on 28 February, Father Hartmann received a letter in Vienna from the Bavarian Princess Maria de la Paz, who suggested a performance of Franciscus in Munich. This took place on 18 June 1902 with a similar course of events as in Vienna: an audience with Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria, travel in a Court carriage, a Court banquet, a select public made up of members of the Court, politicians, artists and important burghers, and a first-class performing ensemble.

Contemporary Criticism of the Oratorio Performances

Vast numbers of concert reports involving Father Hartmann have survived. A quick glance reveals a tendency to regard his oratorios as dignified works, but that they were not dramatic enough musically and were somewhat old-fashioned because of their Latin texts. A great deal of space in the reviews is always devoted to the social circumstances of the performances and to the composer's appearance.

Eduard Hanslick, who is known for his severe, yet sophisticated criticism, nevertheless treated Father Hartmann with respect. In the Neue Freie Presse (17 February 1902) he reviewed the Viennese performance of Franciscus, writing:

"How was it possible for the composer to achieve in advance such unbelievable interest and high attendance? Apparently it was his Franciscan garb and the exotic expectation to see a monk conduct his own work. With this assumption I of course do not wish to offend the worthy Father Hartmann, whose unpretentious, truly modest works I have learned to appreciate with genuine delight. [...] Let us conclude that we regard Father Hartmann's oratorios without great enthusiasm, but with worthy impressions [...]. But there is more than one asset that makes this oratorio stand out. At first, there is the beautiful and correct handling of voices [...]. Next, the harmonious orchestration [...]. The musical setting is always clean, pleasant and uncomplicated."

Another consideration is found in American newspaper reviews in 1907. After the euphoric announcements about the coming performance of Saint Peter, the reviews afterwards were markedly divergent: some critics wrote about the "undisputedly important work of a genial musician" (New Yorker Staatszeitung, Abendblatt) or about the "deeply moving" piece (New Yorker Morgen-Journal). And yet other reviewers were rather negative, writing that there were "too many dull moments in the work" (New York Herald) or that it was "not truly great" (The New York Times). (14) A tendency can be seen here: the German-language press were mostly positive, while the English-language media were generally negative.

Performances of Father Hartmann's oratorios were to a large extent "social events" for "high society": they stood under the patronage of the upper classes and, above all, the noble protection of the Catholic Church. In America, conditions were different with regard to society, church and performing musicians. Concerning Father Hartmann's reception there, what stood foremost was the craving for sensation about a clergyman who acted outside of the normal sphere.

From the vantage point of our present day, we still lack an adequate expert judgment of Father Hartmann's oratorios. Perhaps a more detailed study will find that they exhibit a "Franciscan style" in this genre also--something that we now recognize exists in other liturgical Franciscan music, such as the Masses: musical settings that concentrate on essential elements.


Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn was a sophisticated artistic personality who felt equally at home in his role both as monk and maestro in the public sphere. He was personally acquainted with Bruckner, Mahler, Mascagni, Reger, Puccini, Eduard Straufi, Verdi, and he associated with the most important performers of his time, such as the organist Paul Homeyer, and the conductor Felix Mottl. He was knowledgeable about Roman sources of vocal polyphony in the 16th and 17th centuries, and was called upon by the highest authorities to answer questions regarding sacred music.

Countless artists have made portraits of Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn, for example, the famous painters Eugenie Biquet, Fritz Bundsdorf, Friedrich Harnisch, Gustav Roland and Alexander Schroter. There must be few composers who were portrayed and photographed as often as Father Hartmann.

There is still another feature that makes his artistic, human and theological field of vision worthy of admiration: he transcribed, as a catholic clergyman, the "Muslim call to prayer of a muezzin near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem"15 and deliberated about how it compared with chorale melodies. In addition, he started the practice that allowed for the first time women to visit the Museum for Father Peter Singer at the Franciscan Monastery in Salzburg. Finally, he was probably the first in music history to take the bold step in setting the role of the evangelist or narrator in his oratorios consistently for a woman's voice.

Hildegard Herrmann-Schneider (1)

(1.) Hildegard Herrmann-Schneider is the head of RISM Tyrol-South Tyrol & OFM Austria at the Institute fur Tyrolean Music Research in Innsbruck. This paper was read at the 2014 IAML Conference in Antwerp. I would like to thank Rita Steblin for her English translation of my paper and Geraldine Duffour for her translation of the abstract into French.

(2.) Hans von Bilguer, 'Die Zelle P Hartmann's im Kloster Aracoeli in Rom', original report in Neuigkeits-Welt-Blatt, 5th sheet of the illustrated edition of February 23, 1902. All the citations from newspaper articles are taken from newspaper clippings in A-SWp, most of which have no page numbers, as is also the case here.

(3.) Information kindly supplied by P. Rupert Schwarzl OFM, Salzburg Monastery. The painter, Frater Lukas OFM, was Lukas Vinzent Mrzyglod (1884-1952), who left the Franciscan order in 1919.

(4.) See, for example: 'P. Hartmann's Krankheif, New Yorker Staatszeitung, October 13, 1907; 'Dr. Hartmann ill in Sanitarium, completes a new Oratorio', New York Herald, November 10, 1907; P[ater] A[rsenius] N[oggler], 'Dr. P. Hartmann v. An der Lan [-Hochbrunn]', Der Tiroler, November 23, 1907.

(5.) Many contemporary articles in newspapers, magazines or concert programs deal with Father Hartmann, not only with his biography, but also with his works. These contributions originate in part from Hartmann himself or from his circle of friends. They are often found in religious papers, and usually include his photo. Claudio Tomasini (Salurn) recently completed a thesis (Tesi di laurea in Storia della musica II) at Bologna University entitled 'Padre Hartmann (1863-1914): Vita e Opere di un compositore francescano' (unpublished manuscript, 2009/10). This study presents a biographical chronology of facts, Italian translations of various texts, a list of the oratorios, without however attempting to deal with the place of these musical works in the history of the oratorio genre.

(6.) For his appearance wearing the 'Adler der Tiroler Adels-Matrikel', see 'Oratorium St. Petrus', New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung, Morgenausgabe, November 4, 1907, p. 11.

(7.) The RISM-Sigla for the provincial archive of the Franciscan province of Austria is A-SWp, because it was located at Schwaz Monastery (SW) in the period 1982-2010. Today, A-SWp forms part of the music holdings of the Franciscan Monastery at Hall (A-HALf).

(8.) A small selection of sources on Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn in A-SWp is classified in RISMOPAC (, status as of July 2014: ca. 170 titles (his own compositions, copies of works by other composers, concert programs).

(9.) See the report on the installation of the Rieger organ presented to Father Hartmann in Rome, S. Maria in Aracoeli, Tiroler Volksblatt, May 5, 1902.

(10.) See, for example, Hans Hueber, 'Salurner Adelsgeschlechter', Salurner Buchl. Beitrage zur Heimatkunde von Salurn und Umgebung (Schlern-Schriften; 155) Innsbruck: Wagner 1956, p. 70 f. In 1694, Emperor Leopold I had issued a patent of nobility to Anton An der Lan (earlier also: Anderlan), authorizing him and his descendants to use the name von Hochbrunn. This explains the double name von An der Lan-Hochbrunn.

(11.) The later monastic name Hartmann goes back to the Blessed Bishop Hartmann of Brixen (1090/911164, in office from 1140).

(12.) For Hartmann's biography, see, for example, Hans von Bilguer, P. Hartmann (Paul von An der LanHochbrunn) undsein Oratorium St. Franciscus, Vienna: Opitz, 1902, p. 5 f., and especially his diary entries (in ASWp, see below). For Peter Singer OFM, see Manfred Schneider, 'Pater Peter Singer (1810-1882). Ein Aufierferner Franziskaner als Salzburger Attraktion', in Kunstler Handler Handwerker. Tiroler Schwaben in Europa. Tiroler Landesausstellung [Reutte 1989] (Innsbruck: Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, 1989), pp. 335-357; and also: Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn, P. Peter Singer. Ein Gedenkblatt zum Hundertsten Geburtstage des Kunstlers. Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Musikgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts, Innsbruck: Wagner, 1910.

(13.) See, for example, 'Dr. Hartmann's Oratorio St. Peter To Be Given in Carnegie Hall, the Composer Conducting in His Friar Robes', New York Herald, March 17, 1907; 'Leads Oratorio in Friar's Garb', The World, April 4, 1907. All the facts about Father Hartmann's life and works, here and below, as well as citations when not otherwise indicated, are taken from his Tagebuch in A-SWp, where they can be found under the respective date.

(14.) All four newspapers mentioned here are dated 4 April 1907.

(15.) Original Melodien aus dem Orient. No 1 & 2 arabisch, No 3 turkisch nach den Original-Manuscripten zu handen des Kapellmeisters der Militarmusik in Jerusalem gesammelt und wiedergegeben von P Hartmann von An der Lan-Hochbrunn. Ord. fr. min. z[ur] Z[eit] Organist an der hl. Grabesbasilica in Jerusalem, Ms. Fr. Hartmann 1894c (I-Rama A-Ms-1503).
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Author:Herrmann-Schneider, Hildegard
Publication:Fontes Artis Musicae
Article Type:Biography
Geographic Code:4EUAU
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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