Haack [Haacke, Haak, Haake], Friedrich Wilhelm

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Huber, Hans

(b Eppenburg, Solothurn, 28 June 1852; d Locarno, 25 Dec 1921). Swiss composer, pianist and teacher. He learnt music from early childhood and at the age of ten became a choirboy at the collegiate church of St Ursula in Solothurn, at the same time attending the local Gymnasium. He had musical instruction from Carl Munzinger, accompanied at the piano in concerts of the choral union and played the organ at church services. Encouraged to become a professional musician, he went to Leipzig in 1870 for four years of study at the conservatory. His compositions soon met with public approval and his works began to appear in print. On completing his studies he became a private music tutor to the families of French industrialists in Wesserling, Alsace. He was the organist of the Protestant church there and shared in the teaching at the Thann music school. During his three years in Alsace he was able to compose to his heart's content, and his many new works met with increasing recognition. He wrote chiefly piano music and performed his works in recitals, many of which he gave in Basle.

Huber finally settled in Basle in 1877. His works were readily published, and he was soon active as a music teacher, pianist and composer, receiving commissions for new works. His openness and friendly character brought him wide popularity; his works were frequently performed (especially by the Allgemeine Musikalische Gesellschaft in Basle) and highly praised, the ‘Tell’ Symphony (no.1) and the choral work Pandora bringing him renown throughout Switzerland. Huber continued to perform as a pianist, and he was often joined in recitals by his wife, the singer Ida Petzold. From 1889 he taught at the music school in Basle, and in 1896 he was appointed its director; under his leadership the school attained a far-reaching significance and the conservatory which he founded was amalgamated with it. He also directed the Gesangverein in Basle from 1899 to 1902 and was active as an accompanist in his vocal quartet and in song and violin recitals until 1915. Illness forced him to take leave of absence from the music school in 1917, and the following year he retired from all public duties and moved to Locarno. In the last years of his life he composed mainly sacred music.

Uninfluenced by the conservative tendencies of the Leipzig Conservatory, Huber was a thoroughly Romantic composer. His first model was Schumann; later he followed Liszt, Brahms and Richard Strauss. He composed in every musical genre rather than restricting himself, like almost every Swiss composer who preceded him, to writing for male chorus or for the piano; and it is for this reason that he can perhaps be regarded as the most important Swiss composer of the 19th century.


Theatrical and large choral (first perf. in Basle, Stadttheater, unless otherwise stated): Festspiel der Kleinbasler Gedenkfeier, 1892; Weltfrühling (Liederspiel, 3, R. Wackernagel), 28 March 1894; Kudrun (op, 3, S. Born), 29 Jan 1896; Festspiel der Basler Bundesfeier, 1901; Der heilige Hain, orat, 1910; Der Simplicius (op, 3, A.M. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy), 1899, 21 Feb 1912; Weissagung und Erfüllung, orat, 1913; Der Weihnachtsstern (M. Lienert), incid music, 1916, unperf.; Die schöne Belinda (romantische Oper, 3, G. Bundi), Berne, Stadt, 2 April 1916; Frutta di mare (op, F. Kamin), 24 Nov 1918; Mass, D, 1919, unperf.; Festive Mass, E, Einsiedeln, 1920; Mass in Honour of St Ursula, Solothurn, 1921

Other vocal: cants.; other masses; choruses for male, female and mixed vv, orch, pf and org acc. and a cappella, incl. Pandora; vv, orch, qts, duets, numerous solo songs, pf acc.

Inst: 9 syms., 5 pubd; 4 pf concs.; Vn Conc.; Suite, vc, orch; Sextet, pf, winds; Qnt, pf, winds; 2 pf qnts; 2 pf qts; Str Qt; 5 pf trios; 9 sonatas, vn, pf; 4 sonatas, vc, pf; 3 pf sonatas


W. Merian, ed.: Gedenkschrift zum 50jährigen Bestehen der Allgemeinen Musikschule in Basel (Basle, 1917)

G. Bundi: Hans Huber: die Persönlichkeit nach Briefen und Erinnerungen (Basle, 1925)

E. Refardt: Hans Huber: Leben und Wirken eines Schweizer Musikers (Zürich, 1944)


Huber, Jenő.

See Hubay, Jenő.

Huber, Klaus

(b Berne, 30 Nov 1924). Swiss composer. While training as a teacher (1940–44), he studied the violin with Theodor Klajnmann. He later attended the Zürich Conservatory, where his teachers included Stefi Geyer (violin, 1947–9) and Willy Burkhard (composition, 1947–55); he continued his composition studies with Boris Blacher in Berlin (1955–6). He taught the violin at the Zürich Conservatory (1950–60), music history at the Lucerne Conservatory (1960–63) and composition at the Basle Music Academy (1964–73) and the Freiburg Musikhochschule (1973–90). He also directed composition seminars at the international competition of the Gaudeamus Foundation (1966, 1968, 1972) and founded the international composition seminar in Boswil (1969). He has served as chair of the Swiss Composers' Association(1979–82), as a member of many ISCM festival juries and as a guest professor at institutions throughout the world.

The first public performances of Huber’s works were given in Bilthoven by the Gaudeamus Foundation (1955, 1957) and in Strasbourg at the 1958 ISCM festival. It was his chamber cantata Des Engels Anredung an die Seele (first performed in Rome in 1959), however, which won first prize in the ISCM competition and gained him recognition as a composer. Noctes intelligibilis lucis was heard at Darmstadt in 1961, and the second, self-contained section of the oratorio Soliloquia (1959–64), which won the Arnold Bax Society medal, was performed at the 1962 ISCM festival in London. His orchestral work Tenebrae (1966–7) received the 1970 Beethoven Prize of the city of Bonn. Other honours and awards include the art prize of the city of Basle (1978), the Premio Italia (1985), membership in the Bavarian Akademie der Schönen Künste, the Berlin Akademie der Künste and the Mannheim Freien Akademie der Künste, and honorary membership in the ISCM (from 1995).

A common denominator in Huber’s diverse creative work is the power of integration. His compositional influences have included Franco-Flemish vocal polyphony, Bach, Mozart, serialism, and the music of Latin American, Arab and Asian cultures. The cultural situation of the war years and the postwar period in which he grew up, however, convinced him to maintain a critical stance with respect to tradition. Critical selectivity and careful analysis of material, sometimes extending over many years, became the methodical basis of his appropriation. He initially observed the development of the avant garde in such centres as Darmstadt and Donaueschingen from a distance; later, when he adopted its innovations himself, he did so without dogmatism. Unimpressed by the taboo of orthodox serialism towards octaves and consonances, he explored the unification of serial structure and consonant intervals in such works as Des Engels Anredung an die Seele (1957) and Auf die ruhige Nacht-Zeit (1958); in Oratio Mechtildis (1956–7) and Cuius legibus rotantur poli (1959–60) he experimented with monumentalized octaves. In these works, structural thinking goes hand in hand with heightened sensitivity to timbre.

Huber’s interest in mysticism, apparent in his fondness for medieval and Baroque texts, has been a constant factor in his work: his tendency towards introspection should not be seen as escapism, but as an acceptance into the sensitive inner being of the richness of the outer world. He resolves the basic tension inherent in his artistic and political views consistently in his work, presenting violent fractures to great dramatic effect. His inclination towards ideological criticism, evident in his musings on the conditions in which art is produced, becomes part of the musical expression. The conflicting duality of the internal and the external, of the aesthetic and the political, is reflected in the great diversity of genres and expressive forms present in his output: in the 1960s, for example, he composed both the subtle string quartet Moteti-Cantiones and the complex religious oratorio Soliloquia. 20 years later, that polarity reappeared with the second string quartet, … von Zeit zu Zeit …, and the political oratorio Erniedrigt-Geknechtet-Verlassen-Verachtet, a work that in its complexity of detail, its interlocking temporal planes and the urgency of its social message can be seen as a summation of his compositions of the 1980s.

During the 1970s Huber was greatly influenced by the critical theology of Dorothee Sölle and J.B. Metz, and the Latin American liberation theology of Ernesto Cardenal. The religious and existential content of his works intensified to project a political statement based on Christian ethics. This intensification was accompanied by a greater flexibility of form and more complex temporal organizations, such as the superimposition of distinct temporal planes in differing tempos. An emphasis on content did not detract from aesthetic unity or the composer’s high artistic aims, however; extra-musical subjects were structurally assimilated through the concept of ‘structural semantics’ (Haefeli). Senfkorn (1975), for boy soprano and five instruments, centres on the cross motif from Bach’s cantata bwv159, contrasting biblical verses from Isaiah with a politically utopian text by Cardenal. The work was later used as a centre of repose in the oratorio Erniedrigt-Geknechtet-Verlassen-Verachtet.

Having grown up in a country with no significant operatic tradition, the genre of oratorio, closely connected as it is to texts, was the natural place for Huber to explore the confrontation of content and form. The three oratorios composed at ten-year intervals, Soliloquia, … inwendig voller Figur … and Erniedrigt-Geknechtet-Verlassen-Verachtet, represent striking stages in his artistic development. In La terre des hommes (1987–9) he reduced the grand oratorio style to dimensions appropriate for ensemble writing without losing any inner complexity; at the same time, setting texts by Simone Weil and Ossip Mandelstam, he placed greater emphasis on mysticism. Mandelstam’s aesthetic of the fragment and metaphor of the horizon (the frontier of perception between the internal and external; for Huber, the horizon of hearing) were crucial sources of inspiration after the end of the 1980s.

From the mid-1980s Huber’s exploration and expansion of musical material was expressed in three ways: through a renewed and deepened interest in medieval and Renaissance music (Cantiones de Circulo Gyrante, Agnus Dei cum recordatione); through the use of spatial acoustics to construct differentiated areas of sound (Die umgepflügte Zeit, Spes contra spem); and through the development of a new system of harmony and tonal polyphony based on modes in third-tones. His first structures in third-tones appear in La terre des hommes; in the string trio Des Dichters Pflug (1989) the system is applied exclusively. Huber’s simple and efficient scordatura for string instruments made works in third-tones quite easy to play.

Attempts to break away from the tonal system continued into the 1990s. Huber studied the writings of classical Arab music theorists and composed works on the basis of the maqām; these include Die Erde bewegt sich auf den Hörnern eines Ochsen for Arab and European musicians, and the orchestral piece Lamentationes de fine vicesimi saeculi. Around the same time, he composed the Chamber Concerto ‘Intarsi’ (1993–4), which relates to Mozart’s concerto k595, the string quintet Ecce homines (1998), which also confronts the legacy of Mozart, and Lamentationes sacrae et profanae ad responsoria Iesualdi, which is based on the responsories of Gesualdo and makes use of the enharmonic differentiation of his tuning system.

Huber’s later works are distinguished by their structural sophistication, their greater intimacy of expression, their search for new consonances beyond diatonic-chromatic tonality and their freer temporal organization. They have all the qualities of a sublimated late style, questioning the classic postulates of the European postwar avant garde under changed historical circumstances in a musical language matured by decades of experience.

Teaching has held a central place in Huber’s concept of art, serving as a form of reflection that relates to practice. His ethical premises – belief in the ability to change the world through the power of utopian ideals – reappear in his teaching methods. In the essay ‘Lässt sich eine Tätigkeit wie Komponieren unterrichten?’ (Musikfest Freiburg-Köln der KGNM, Cologne, 1986, programme book; repr. in Umgepflügelte Zeit, Cologne, 1999), he considers his work at the Freiburg Institute of Contemporary Music, where he, André Richard, Brian Ferneyhough and Arturo Tamayo introduced far-reaching reforms to composition teaching. Doing away with desks and individual study in favour of solidarity, communal learning and practice, they aimed to free composition from its academic fetters. His many pupils have included Ferneyhough, Younghi Pagh-Paan, Wolfgang Rihm, Michael Jarrell, Uroš Rojko and Toshio Hosokawa. His lifelong reflections on the aesthetic and technical aspects of composition and its social implications have been expressed in countless articles and lectures.





Huber, Klaus



Jot, oder wann kommt der Herr zurück (dialektische Oper, K. Marti and D. Ritschl, after P. Oxman), 1972–3, Berlin, 1973

Im Paradies, oder Der Alte vom Berge (5 schematische Opernakte, A. Jarry, Ger. trans. E. Helmlé), 1973–5, Basle, 1975


Inventionen und Choral, 1957; Litania instrumentalis, 1957; Terzen-Studie, 1958 [after the finale of Brahms: Vn Conc.]; Cantio-Moteti-Interventiones, str, 1963; James Joyce Chbr Music, hp, hn, chbr orch, 1966–7; Tenebrae, 1966–7; Alveare vernat, fl, str, 1967; Tempora, conc., vn, orch, 1969–70; Turnus, 1973–4; … ohne Grenze und Rand … , va, chbr orch, 1976–7; Beati pauperes II, small orch, 1979; Protuberanzen, 3 pieces, 1985–6; Zwischenspiel, 1986; Lamentationes de fine vicesimi saeculi, Sufi singer ad lib, orch, 1992–4


With orch: Antiphonische Kantate (Ps cxxxvi), chorus 1–4vv, unison chorus, orch, 1956 [rev. chorus 1–4vv, unison chorus, brass, perc, org, 1956–7]; Soliloquia (orat, Augustine of Hippo), S, A, T, Bar, B, 2 choruses, orch, 1959–64 [Pt II: Cuius legibus rotantur poli, 1959–60]; Musik zu einem Johannes-der-Täufer-Gottesdienst, chorus, congregation, org, orch ad lib, 1965; … inwendig voller figur … (Bible: Revelation, A. Dürer), chorus, orch, tape, 1970–71; Erniedrigt-Geknechtet-Verlassen-Verachtet (E. Cardenal, F. Knobloch, C.M. de Jesús and others), Tr, Mez, T + spkr, B-Bar, 16vv, SATB, orch, tape, video/slide projections, 1975–8, rev. 1981–2; Beati pauperes II (Cardenal, Bergpredigt), S, Mez, A, 2 T, Bar, B, orch, 1979; Die umgepflügte Zeit (O. Mandelstam), spkr, Mez, T, chorus, va d'amore, orch, 1990; Umkehr – im Licht sein (Mandelstam, M. Frisch, E. Canetti, M. Buber), Mez, chorus, small orch, 1997

Other: Das Te Deum laudamus deutsch (T. Müntzer, M. Weisse), A, 2 T, chorus 3–5vv, 1955–6; Quem terra (V. Fortunatus), A, T, SATB, 6 insts, 1955; Ps cxxxi, chorus 3vv, 1956; Kleine deutsche Messe, (chorus, org)/(chorus, congregation, str trio, hp, org, perc ad lib)/chorus, 1969; Hiob xix, chorus, 9 insts, 1971; Traumgesicht (Bible: Revelation), men's vv, 1971; Kanon zum Jahresbeginn, SATB, 1977; Sonne der Gerechtigkeit, spkrs, Bar, 2 choruses, org, wind, perc, 1979; Ñudo que ansí juntáis (Teresa of Avila, P. Neruda), 16vv, 1984; Cantiones de Circulo Gyrante (H. Böll, Hildegard of Bingen), spkr, S, A, Bar, chorus, 11 insts, perc, 1985; Quia clamavi ad te: miserere (Bible: Jeremiah, Huber), 6 solo vv, 1993; Kleines Requiem für Heinrich Böll (Hildegard of Bingen), B-Bar, SATB, 1994; A Prayer on a Prayer, women’s vv, a fl, basset-horn/A-cl, tpt, hp [third-tones], perc, str qt, db, 1996

other vocal

With orch or large ens: Oratio Mechtildis (Mechthild von Magdeburg), A, chbr orch, 1956–7; … ausgespannt … (St John of the Cross, Bible: Job, J. de Fiore and others), Bar, 5 ens, tape, org, 1972; Spes contra spem (R. Luxemburg, E. Canetti, G. Herwegh and others), 5 spkrs, 2 S, Mez, T, B-Bar, orch, tape, 1986–9; La terre des hommes (S. Weil, Mandelstam), Mez, Ct + spkr, 18 insts, 1987–9; Plainte – Die umgepflügte Zeit II (Mandelstam), Mez, T, va d'amore [third-tones], 13 insts, 1990

With 6 or more insts: Grabschrift (N. Sachs), Bar, 7 insts, 1967; Psalm of Christ (Ps xxii), Bar, 8 insts, 1967;

With 1–5 insts: Abendkantate (A. Gryphius), B, 2 fl, va, vc, hpd, 1952; Kleine Taufkantate für Christoph (Bible), S, fl, va/vn, 1952; Der Abend ist mein Buch (R.M. Rilke), A, pf, 1955; Das kleine Leid (R.G. von Sparr), A, va, 1955; 6 kleine Vokalisen, A, vn, vc, 1955; 3 Lieder nach Gedichten aus dem Mittelhochdeutschen (Der Kürenberg, D. von Eist), low v, pf, 1956; Des Engels Anredung an die Seele (chbr cant., J.G. Albini), T, fl, cl, hn, hp, 1957; Auf die ruhige Nach-Zeit (C.R. von Greiffenberg), S, fl, va, vc, 1958; Askese (G. Grass), spkr, fl, tape, 1966;

Der Mensch (F. Hölderlin), low v, pf, 1968; Senfkorn (E. Cardenal, Bible: Jesse xi. 6–7), Tr, ob, vn, va, vc, hpd, 1975; Ein Hauch von Unzeit IV (G.W.F. Hegel, M. Bense), S, accdn ad lib, 1976; Fragmente aus Frühling (B. Schulz), Mez, va, pf, 1987; Agnus Dei cum recordatione (G. Neuwirth), Ct, 2 T, B-Bar, lute, 2 vn/(gui, 2 va), 1990–91; Die Erde bewegt sich auf den Hörnern eines Ochsen (M. Doulatabadi), Sufi singer, nay, qanun, riqq/mazhar, va, gui, tape, 1992–3; … Ruhe sanft …, 1v, 4 vc, 1992; Lamentationes sacrae et profanae ad responsoria Iesualdi (Bible: Jeremiah, Huber, Cardenal, Doulatabadi), 6 solo vv, theorbo/gui [third-tones], basset-hn/b cl, 1993, rev. 1996–7; Metanoia, 2 boys' vv, a trbn, org, perc, 1995

chamber and solo instrument

5 or more insts: Conc. per la camerata, rec, fl, ob, vn, vc, hpd, 1954–5; 2 Sätze, 7 brass, 1957–8; 3 Sätze in 2 Teilen, wind qnt, 1958–9; Erinnere dich an G … , db, 18 insts, 1976–7; Ich singe dein Land, das bald geboren wird, 17 insts, 1978–9; Seht den Boden, blutgetränkt, 14 insts, 1983; Agnus Dei in umgepflügter Zeit, 8 insts, 1990–91; Plainte – Die umgepflügte Zeit I, va d’amore [third-tones], 13 insts, 1990; Chbr Conc. ‘Intarsi’, pf, ens, 1993–4; Ecce homines, str qnt, 1998; L’ombre de notre âge, a fl, va d'amore, hp [third-tones], ob, cl, vn, vc, 1999

2–4 insts: Sonata da chiesa, vn, org, 1953; Partita, vc, hpd, 1954; Noctes intelligibilis lucis, ob, hpd, 1961; Moteti-Cantiones, str qt, 1962–3; 6 Miniaturen, cl, vn, vc, 1963; Alveare vernat, fl, 2 str, 1965; Sabeth, a fl, eng hn, hp, 1966–7; Ascensus, fl, vc, pf, 1969; 3 kleine Meditationen, str trio, hp, 1969; Ein Hauch von Unzeit II, 2–7 players, 1972; Schattenblätter, b cl, vc, pf, 1975; Lazarus I–II, vc, pf, 1978; Beati pauperes I, fl, va, pf, perc, 1979; … von Zeit zu Zeit … , str qt, 1984–5; Petite pièce, 3 basset-hn, 1986; Des Dichters Pflug, str trio [third-tones], 1989; Plainte – Lieber spaltet mein Herz … , va d'amore [third-tones], gui [third-tones], perc, 1990–92; Luminescenza, mand [third-tones], gui [third-tones], hp [third-tones], 1992; Rauhe Pinselspitze I, kayagum, būq, 1992; Rauhe Pinselspitze II, vc, būq, 1992; Black Paint, sho/accdn [third-tones], perc, 1996; L’âge de notre ombre, a fl, va d’amore, hp [third-tones], 1998

Solo inst: Ciacona, org, 1954; In memoriam Willy Burkhard, org, 1955; La chace, hpd, 1963; In te Domine speravi, org, 1964; Cantus cancricans, org, 1965; To ask the Flutist, fl, 1966; Ein Hauch von Unzeit I, fl/(fl, insts acc.), 1972; Ein Hauch von Unzeit II, pf, 1972; Ein Hauch von Unzeit V, gui; Ein Hauch von Unzeit VI, accdn; Ein Hauch von Unzeit VII, db; Ein Hauch von Unzeit VIII, vc; Blätterlos, pf, 1975; Transpositio ad infinitum, vc, 1976; Oiseaux d’argent, 1/2/3 fl, 1977; … Plainte … , va d'amore [third-tones], 1990; Rauhe Pinselspitze III, vc, 1992; Winter Seeds, accdn, 1993; Metanoia I, org, 1995

MSS in CH-Bps

Principal publisher : Ricordi

Huber, Klaus


Ecrits (Geneva, 1991)

ed.M. Nyffeler: Umgepflügte Zeit: Schriften und Gespräche (Cologne, 1999)

Huber, Klaus


Grove6 (A. Briner) [incl. further bibliography]


MGG1 (J. Stenzl)

H. Oesch: ‘Klaus Huber’, SMz, ci (1961), 12–19

E.H. Flammer: ‘Form und Gehalt (II): eine Analyse von Klause Hubers “Tenebrae”’, Melos/NZM, iv (1978), 294–304

R. Oehlschlägel: ‘Etwas gegen die Gedächtnislosigkeit tun: zu Klaus Hubers “Erniedrigt-Geknechtet-Verlassen-Verachtet … ”’, MusikTexte, no.1 (1983), 12–16 [interview]

M. Nyffeler: ‘Klaus Huber: “Erniedrigt-Geknechtet-Verlassen-Verachtet ”’, Melos, xlvi/1 (1984), 17–43

K. Schweizer: ‘Geschichte, eingespannt in Gegenwart: Choräle in Partituren von Klaus Huber’, NZM, Jg.146, nos.7–8 (1985), 32–8

Entretemps, no.7 (1988) [Huber issue]

U. Dibelius: ‘Klaus Huber’, Neue Musik II: 1965–1985 (Munich, 1988), 206–12

M. Nyffeler and T. Meyer, eds.: Klaus Huber (Berne, 1989)

A. Haefeli: ‘Der Schrei. Zur Genese “struktureller Semantik” in Klaus Hubers Erniedrigt’, Zwölf Komponisten des 20. jh. Quellenstudien ii, ed. F. Meyer (Winterthur, 1993)

R. Oehlschlägel: ‘… immer mit stärkstem Ausdruck! Zu Klaus Hubers 2. Streichquartett’, MusikTexte, no.51 (1993), 43–6

G.R. Koch: Abschied als Aneignung: Anmerkungen zu “Des Dichters Pflug”, Nähe und Distanz, Nachgedachte Musik der Gegenwart, ed. W. Gratzer (Hofheim, 1996)
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