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Eduard Hanslick

(1825—1904)


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(b Prague, 1825; d Baden, nr. Vienna, 1904).

Austrian critic and writer of Cz. descent. Deeply impressed by Wagner's Tannhäuser in Dresden, 1845, about which he wrote long critical article. Settled in Vienna 1846, contrib. articles on mus. and in 1848 becoming mus. ed. of Wiener Zeitung, while working as civil servant. Mus. critic Die Presse 1855–64, Die Neue Freie Presse 1864–95. His book Vom Musikalisch‐Schönen (Beauty in Music) was pubd. 1854. Lect. in history and aesthetics of mus., Vienna Univ., 1856–95 (prof. from 1861). His Beauty in Music aligned him with the purist Leipzig school, represented by Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Brahms, against the Weimar school of Liszt and Wagner whose ‘music of the future’ had to comprise elements other than mus. His early admiration of Wagner changed to critical hostility with his review of Lohengrin in Vienna in 1858. Wagner's reaction was such that in the orig. poem of Die Meistersinger the character of Beckmesser was called Veit Hanslich. But those who regard Hanslick merely as the bigoted opponent of Wagner, Strauss, Bruckner, etc. should read his criticism, which is among the best and most penetrating ever written.

Subjects: Music.


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