Kling, Henri. (1842 -1918)
Popp, Wilhelm. (1828 -1902)
Tillmetz, Rudolf. (1847 -1915)
SERIES ROMANTIC HORN
Horn, Flöte und Klavier
Klavierpartitur und Stimmen
Henri Adrien Louis Kling was born in Paris on February 14, 1842, to a French mother and German father. The family soon returned to the father’s hometown of Karlsruhe, where the young Henri experienced the death of his mother. When the child began to learn the horn he was fortunate enough to study with a master, Jacob Dorn. The artistic highlights of Kling’s teenage years were the innovative Wagner productions mounted by Karlsruhe opera director Eduard Devrient, which made the city’s artistic reputation and turned the young hornist into a great admirer of Wagner (he would later commission a Wagner memorial in Mornex in the Savoy). At nineteen Kling won the solo horn post in Geneva, to which he would add the post of professor at the Conservatoire (horn and solfège, later theory). He also became an adopted son of Geneva, taking Swiss citizenship in 1865.
Kling was a dynamo, and orchestra and conservatory were not enough to keep him occupied. As other notable horn virtuosos have done, he published a horn method (Méthode pour le cor, the autograph of which is housed at the library of the Geneva Conservatoire [Rmg 467] with the author’s inscription “Genève 1865, H. Kling”), etudes, arrangements, and editions of the literature (he made piano reductions of Mozart's concerti and Concert Rondo, and Weber’s Concertino). In fact, Kling went much further, authoring methods, etudes, and solo editions for many other instruments, including flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, viola, bass, piano, guitar, mandolin, zither, banjo, xylophone, snare drum, etc..
Posts as organist, singing teacher and conductor followed, and Kling collected volumes of Swiss folksongs, Christmas carols and children’s songs. He also composed well over 500 works with opus numbers and many more without. These included the Symphony in D major, four operas that were performed in Geneva, a horn concerto and sonata, overtures, chamber music, vocal music (choruses, Lieder) and salon pieces. Contemporary Alfred Remy dismissed the latter as “mediocre,” but they were undeniably popular, and several of them are preserved in early Edison cylinder recordings. The Wedding Serenade for Flute, Horn and Piano was first issued by Louis Oertel of Hanover c. 1890 (plate no. 2901), and also appeared with string quintet or string orchestra accompaniment (plate no. 2902).
Something of a cottage industry, Henri Kling was also a productive writer. In his unique position straddling two cultures and publishing simultaneously in two languages, he had a distinguished reputation in both French and German-speaking lands (English translations would also follow). Books included a biography of Mozart, and influential methods for composition, orchestration, conducting and transposition. Kling contributed many articles to Swiss, French, German and Italian journals, on expected subjects like Giovanni Punto or the hunting horn, but also on folk music, Beethoven, Wagner, and even further afield to Schiller, Rousseau and Martin Luther. At his death in the city on May 2, 1918 artistic Geneva mourned the loss of this remarkable hornist, composer, theorist, historian and Officier d’Académie de France. “Henri Kling,” concluded the scholar Willy Tappolet, “was one of the most fruitful and versatile of those Genevan composers who, performers themselves, composed their music for practical use.”
Wilhelm Albrecht Otto Popp (who sometimes styled himself Guillaume Popp), came into the world on April 29, 1828 in Coburg, which lies in the upper Franconian region of northern Bavaria. He was court pianist and solo flutist in the Hoforchester of Coburg until 1866. Afterwards he was best known as a pedagogue and virtuoso flute soloist, and Popp’s long list of compositions numbered close to six hundred (with over a hundred more under the pseudonym Henry Alberti). The majority of these were works for flute and piano (published chiefly by August Cranz of Hamburg and Leipzig, and Henry Litolff of Braunschweig), but Popp also composed etudes and crafted arrangements of the classic repertoire. In addition he wrote a History of Music (Langensalza: c. 1860) and the flute method Neueste practische und vollständige Methode des Flötenspiels, op. 205 (Berlin: Karl Simon, c. 1880). As well as the Abendlied for Flute, Horn and Piano, op. 306, first issued about 1880 by Leichsenring of Hamburg (plate no. 102), he also published an Album for Horn and Piano: Collection of Classical and Modern Pieces (Zurich: Gebrüder Hug & Co). Wilhelm Popp died in Hamburg on June 25,1903.
Rudolf Tillmetz was born in Munich on April 1, 1847. A prodigy on the flute, he studied with the famous Theobald Böhm, and began his concert career at the age of eleven. In 1864 he joined the Munich Hoforchester as apprentice. Three years later he was awarded the solo flute position in the orchestra, in which he would play world premieres of several of Wagner’s operas and work with master conductors like Hans von Bülow, Hermann Levi and Felix Mottl. Orchestra colleagues included the incomparable hornist Franz Joseph Strauss, with whom Tillmetz established a widely-admired chamber music concert series. Engaged as instructor of flute at the Royal School of Music, Tillmetz composed 59 works that included an influential instructional method (Anleitung zur Erlernung der Theobald Böhm’schen Cylinder- und Ringklappenflöte mit konischer Bohrung [Leipzig: Friedrich Kistner, 1899]), studies for flute and editions of the classical literature.
Tillmetz also composed original compositions for flute and piano - he had studied piano in his youth and was a reliable performer on that instrument. Influenced by virtuoso Munich horn colleagues Franz Strauss, Friedrich Sendelbeck, Josef and Xaver Reiter, and Hermann and Bruno Hoyer, Tillmetz also penned works for horn. The Nocturne for Flute, Horn and Piano, op. 31 (Leipzig: Friedrich Kistner, c. 1900, plate no. 8976) was dedicated to “his friend and colleague Bruno Hoyer,” Strauss’ pupil and successor, and was considered by influential academic Hugo Riemann as one of its composer’s best works. With profiles in the media at home and abroad (including articles in U.S. periodicals The Metronome and Musical Opinion & Trade Review), historian Stephan Hörner stressed that Tillmetz “was overwhelmingly acclaimed as one of the leading flute virtuosos of his time.” In later years he was honored with the titles Kammermusiker and Kammervirtuos, named professor and granted the Royal Ludwig Medal for Science and Art. Tillmetz died in his hometown on January 27, 1915.