(d ?London, 1683). English instrument maker, music dealer and publisher. He worked in London ‘at the Sign of the Lute’ in St Paul's Churchyard, where his customers included the diarist Samuel Pepys. References to Hunt are found in Pepys's diary between October 1661, when he converted Pepys's lute to a theorbo with double strings, and August 1664, when he sold Pepys a lute for his servant to learn on. After he retired from making instruments Hunt turned to publishing. In 1676 he issued Nathaniel Noel's The Circle, or Conversation on Love and Gallantry … with Several New Songs, and in 1683 The Genteel Companion was printed ‘for Richard Hunt and Humphry Salter’. This publication bears witness to the growing popularity of the jointed French flûte douce (see Recorder, §II, 2(iii)) which had been introduced into England in 1673.
MGG1 (E. Halfpenny)
Hunt, Sophie Anne.
See Thillon, Sophie Anne.
(b Canterbury, 1580; d Madley, Hereford, 1658). English composer and organist. Son of John Hunt, a Canterbury tailor, Thomas was a chorister at the Cathedral in the late 1580s. He became servitor and organist to Richard Bancroft (successively Bishop of London and Archbishop of Canterbury) and married Bancroft’s niece, Joyce Gough, about 1609–10. He supplicated for the degree of MusB at Cambridge in 1601, and is described as Bachelor of Music in Morley’s Triumphes of Oriana (RISM 160116). He was ‘Professor for Music’ in Sir Francis Kynaston’s short-lived ‘Musaeum Minervae’, a London college for young gentlemen, in 1635.
Hunt’s extant work comprises the six-part madrigal Hark! Did you ever hear so sweet a singing (in 160116) and a four-part full service with considerable canonic and contrapuntal writing, probably written for Bancroft (GB-Ob Tenbury 786: signed but not copied by the composer). The anthem Put me not to rebuke, attributed to ‘Thomas Hunt Organist of Wells’ in its source (GB-Lcm), is by Wilkinson. There is no other evidence that he was ever organist at Wells. Of the anthem O light, O blessed Trinity, only the words survive (in GB-Ob Chapel Royal Anthem Book, c1635, and Lbl Harl. 6346).
PETER LE HURAY/ROBERT FORD
(b Koblenz, 26 Dec 1793; d Koblenz, 22 Feb 1878). German composer and piano teacher. He was the son of Daniel Hünten, court organist and piano teacher at Koblenz, who gave him his earliest musical instruction. He showed precocious talent as a composer but was discouraged by his father from taking up music; in 1819, however, he entered the Paris Conservatoire at the suggestion of his friend Herz, studying the piano with Pradher and composition with Reicha and Cherubini. On completing his studies in 1821 he settled in Paris, quickly establishing a reputation as a fashionable piano teacher with prestigious aristocratic pupils and as a composer of salon music for the piano. He was regarded as the successor to Henri Karr in the genre of lightweight music, though more lively and elegant in style. Like his contemporary Czerny, he amassed a fortune from publication and teaching. He returned to Koblenz in 1835 but lived again in Paris from 1839 to 1848. In 1848, having outlived his greatest fame and been overtaken by the new generation of Chopin and Liszt, he retired to Koblenz.
Of Hünten’s 267 published works, all but a handful were written for piano solo or duet and were of ephemeral value. As with Czerny, Herz, Kalkbrenner and Moscheles, the bulk of his output consisted chiefly of variations on the works of others, especially on popular operatic themes and dances of the day, which he both exploited and brought to a wider audience, and on national airs and other well-known melodies. His forms ranged from single presentations or selections to varied elaborations of increasing scope, including rondos, fantasias and variations brilliants. His own piano compositions, for four hands as well as solo, are in popular dance and related forms, sometimes with picturesque titles (including a popular Marche Militaire for duo, also arranged for solo piano) and some arrangements of his own songs. His chamber works include four piano trios, though they do not follow classical formal tradition, remaining in the genre of the character piece. He wrote no concertos or sonatas. He wrote mostly for amateurs; his music presented no great technical difficulties or formal elaboration, hence its wide circulation and popularity. Fink described Hünten in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung (1837) as the favourite piano composer of the day, played by more pianists than any other and at the peak of fame. Despite the brilliance of his works, he was better known as a teacher and composer than as a virtuoso. His Méthode nouvelle et progressive pour le piano op.60 (1833) was widely used in its day and went through many editions, including supplements (published in German as Klavier-Schule); he also published Vingt-cinq études progressives et soigneusement doigtées pour le piano op.114 (London, 1841).
Vocal: 6 Songs, 1838; 6 Songs, op.138, 1838; ‘Mathilde’, romance, 1838; ‘Sehnsucht nach den Bergen’, 1848
Chbr: 4 pf trios, opp.14, 91, 172, 175; variation set, rondo, polonaise, duo, quadrilles, contradances, waltzes, galops, vn, pf; nocturne, divertimento, 12 duettini, fl, pf
Pf 4 hands: variations, rondos, fantasias, dance and character-pieces
Pf solo: numerous variation sets, rondos and fantasias; waltzes, airs, melodies, polonaises, quadrilles, contradances, bagatelles, rondinos, rondolettos and other dance and character-pieces
ADB (M. Fürstenau)
MGG1 (G. Zöllner) [incl. complete list of works]
G.W. Fink: ‘Für Pianoforte von Franz Hünten’, AMZ, xxxix (1837), 70–72
W. Georgii: Klaviermusik (Zürich, 1941, 5/1976)
G. Zöllner: Franz Hünten: sein Leben und sein Werk (Cologne, 1959)
G. Blanck: ‘Betrachtungen zur Eigenart und Bedeutung des Klavierschaffens Clara Schumanns’, Schumann-Tage [VII]: Karl-Marx-Stadt 1982, 44–55
JOHN RUTTER/MICHAEL MUSGRAVE