Haack [Haacke, Haak, Haake], Friedrich Wilhelm

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Hurlebusch, Conrad Friedrich

(bap. Brunswick, 30 Dec 1691; d Amsterdam, 17 Dec 1765). German composer, harpsichordist and theorist. He had his first musical education from his father, Heinrich Lorentz Hurlebusch, who was a scholar and an accomplished harpsichordist and organist; through him he became acquainted with the music of Buxtehude, Reincken and the French harpsichordists. In 1715, he left Brunswick and went to Hamburg and Vienna, where he spent two years; from 1718 he travelled in Italy as a harpsichord virtuoso, visiting Massa and Venice among other places. Early in 1721 he returned to Germany and spent several weeks at the court of the Elector of Bavaria, but declined a position at that court for religious reasons. In August 1721 he returned to Brunswick, where he composed his first Italian opera, L’innocenza difesa; there too he refused an offer, repeated in 1722, of a post as court musician in the service of the Duke of Brunswick. At the end of the year he accepted the King of Sweden’s invitation to become Kapellmeister at his court, but he had resigned by Easter 1725 because he was not given a promised appointment as court organist. In Sweden he wrote several occasional works for the court; an Italian opera, Arminio, is either lost or (according to Mattheson) was never completed because of the poor libretto. After his resignation he travelled in Germany, visiting Hamburg (where he became acquainted with Telemann and Mattheson) and Hanover (where he tried to make contacts enabling him to work in England), as well as Kassel, Eisenach and Gotha. He returned briefly to Brunswick, where again he declined an offer of a court appointment. In 1726 he was in Bayreuth, where the margrave invited him to write dramatic music for the carnival; the music for Gunderich, Dorinda and Etearchus, now lost, may have been written there. Once again he refused a court post. Back in Brunswick, he finished his opera Flavio Cuniberto and his treatise and in November 1727 he moved to Hamburg, hoping to establish himself there. But he was disappointed: his opera remained unperformed and there are records of only two concerts that he gave at the beginning of his stay. He failed to obtain the post of organist at the Petrikirche in Hamburg, and also a post at St Petersburg. In 1736 Hurlebusch, who was a lonely man, was attacked in an anonymous pamphlet (D-Bsb). Nothing is known of his activities over the next seven years except that at some point he was again in Brunswick. On 22 February 1743 he was appointed organist at the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, where he remained until his death. He was a keyboard teacher to wealthy amateurs and assisted the musical-clockmaker Nicolaas Wijlandt. In 1746 he obtained a privilege for the publication of his music; not all the works mentioned were realized. His last years cannot have been happy: Lustig, his former fellow townsman in Hamburg who by then was in Groningen, published slanderous articles about him (under the pseudonym Conrad Wohlgemuth), and he suffered from ill-health.

Many of Hurlebusch’s works (including all of his organ music) are lost, so only a partial picture of him as a composer may be drawn. His technically undemanding keyboard works, of varying quality, seem to have been intended for the musical amateur. French and Italian elements co-exist in the suites, sometimes negating the particular character of individual dance movements; in order to counter a difficulty in structuring an entire section around a single motif or theme, Hurlebusch often resorted to excessive repetition and sequence. His talent is best seen in small forms. Among his odes (praised by Mattheson) and his few surviving cantatas (admired by Mattheson and Gottsched), those showing melodic and harmonic simplicity, good declamation, and regard for the content of the text are among the best of the time, despite the lack of extended melodic writing. The 150 Psalmen Davids, reprinted twice within 20 years, were evidently used extensively in the Reformed Church.



72 odes in J.F. Gräfe, Samlung verschiedener und auserlesener Oden (Halle, 1737–43), incl. Glaubt es nicht ihr falschen Blicke, Ich wähle die Freiheit und fliehe die Liebe, Mein Vergnügen ist gestorben, and So wahr ich redlich bin, all ed. O.E. Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Liedes im 18. Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 1871); Angenehme grüne Zweige, Glaube nicht, dass ich dich hasse, Komm Doris mein Verlangen, and Schönste Augen holde Kerzen, all ed. M. Friedlaender, Das deutsche Lied im 18. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart and Berlin, 1902/R); Melindens Auge seh ich nicht, ed. G. Adler, Handbuch der Musikgeschichte (Berlin, 2/1930/R); Wer raubt mir Freiheit und das Herz, ed. in Alte Meister des deutschen Liedes, xxx, xxxi (Leipzig, 2/1931)

Cants.: Due cantate, 1v, bc, op.3 (Amsterdam, c1735); Tu parti amato Tirsi (chamber cant.), S, bc, S-Uu; Fête musicale à l’anniversaire de l’arrivée dans le royaume de Sa Majesté Frédéric I, Roy de Suède (festival cant.), Stockholm, 15 Jan 1725, Sk; Festeggiamento musicale per il di natale di sua Real Maestà Ulrica Eleonora (festival cant.), Stockholm, 23 Jan 1725, Sk; Lascia l'amato lido (hät oss nu alla frögdas), S, ob, 2 vn, D-Sl

VI arie dell’opere intitolate Flavio Cuniberto e L’innocenza difesa, i/op.3, ii/op.4 (Amsterdam, 1753)


Opere scelte per il clavicembalo, op.1 (Amsterdam, c1733) [pirate edn]

Composizioni musicali per il cembalo, divise in 2 parti (Hamburg, ?1735), vol.1 rev. (Hamburg, n.d.); ed. in UVNM, xxxii (1912)

De 150 Psalmen Davids met derzelver lofzangen voor clavier en orgel (Amsterdam, 1746) [acc. only]

VI sonate di cembalo, op.5 (Amsterdam, 1755); ed. A. Jambor (Philadelphia, 1965)

VI sonate di cembalo, op.6 (Amsterdam, 1755); ed. A. Jambor (Philadelphia, 1966)

Kbd pieces, in Clavierboek Quiryn van Bambeek, 1752, NL-DEta

Conc., a, str, hpd, D-SWl; Concerto grosso, a, Dl, ed. in DDT, xxix–xxx (1905); Conc., B, vn, orch, Dl; Conc., B, vn, Högre Musikalisk Utbildungsanstalt, Stockholm [possibly identical with that in Dl]; sonata, a, vn, Dl; sonata, D, hpd, W [identical with 1 from op.5]

lost works

L’innocenza difesa (dramma per musica, 3, F. Silvani), Brunswick, ?1722

Arminio (op), ?Stockholm, 1722–5

Dorinda (op), Etearchus (op), Gunderich (op): all ?Bayreuth, carn. 1726

Flavio Cuniberto (dramma per musica, 3, M. Noris), Brunswick, ?1727

Ov., recits., chorus, in Il perdono nella vendetta, Hamburg, 1736

Arias, in Hochzeit der Statira, Hamburg, 1737

Chamber cantatas

Minuet di S.A.S. di Massa e le variazioni, hpd, formerly D-DS, destroyed



MGG1(L. Bense)

T. Norlind and E.Trobäck: Kungliga hovkapellets historia, 1526–1926 (Stockholm,1926)

G.F. Schmidt: Neue Beiträge zur Geschichte der Musik und des Theaters am herzoglichen Hofe zu Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (Munich, 1929)

S. Giampaoli: Musica e teatro alla corte di Massa: i guglielmi (Massa, 1978)

G.G. Butler: ‘ Borrowings in J.S. Bach's Klavierübung III’, Canadian University Music Review, iv (1983), 204–17

P. Ahnsehl: Die Rezeption der Vivaldischen Ritornellform durch deutsche Komponisten im Umkreis und in der Generation J.S. Bachs (diss., Martin Luther U., Halle-Wittenberg, 1984)

R. Kahleyss: Conrad Friedrich Hurlebusch (1691–1765): Sein Leben und Wirken (Frankfurt,1984)


theoretical works

Vaststelling en leere dat de oneindige veranderde musicq uit drie grondbeginselen of principia afkomstig is (MS, D-Bsb) [may have been written in Dutch after an earlier German version]


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