Hurok, Sol(omon Israelovich)
(b Pogor, 28 March/9 April 1888; d New York, 5 March 1974). American impresario of Russian birth. He emigrated to the USA in May 1906 and soon began to organize concerts for labour clubs and workers’ organizations. Within a decade he was presenting top stars at the huge Hippodrome arena in New York. In succeeding years he became, both because of the artists he represented and because of his energetic, flamboyant nature, the legendary prototype of the impresario in the USA to such a degree that his life became the subject of a Hollywood film, Tonight We Sing. He managed many of the great artists of his time, including Chaliapin, Isadora Duncan, Pavlova, Segovia, Rubinstein, Stern and Elman, and was responsible for introducing Marian Anderson to a wide public. He was also instrumental in presenting ballet on a broader scale in the USA, first with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and later with the Sadler’s Wells (now Royal) Ballet. In later years he was most proud of his success in presenting Russian performers – including the Bol'shoy Ballet and numerous soloists – to the American public. He also presented theatrical troupes from many parts of the world. He was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur (1953), created CBE (1960) and was awarded the Austrian Ehrenkreuz (first class), the Handel Medallion and, in a ceremony honouring him at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1973, the Diamond Jubilee Medal. His funeral service was held, fittingly, at Carnegie Hall, with the public invited.
PATRICK J. SMITH
Hurt, Mississippi John
(b Teoc, MS, March 1894; d Mississippi, 3 Nov 1966). American songster and guitarist. He sang in church as a child and taught himself the guitar from the age of ten, developing an original finger-picking style. He made a few excellent recordings in New York in 1928, then for the next 35 years lived obscurely as a farmer and railroad worker. His rediscovery in 1963 proceeded from the slender clue of the title to his Avalon Blues (1928, OK 8759). From then he recorded extensively, including more than 90 titles for the Library of Congress, and re-created with uncanny similarity many of his 1928 performances. Although much admired by eastern audiences for his accomplished playing and wistful blues as well as his agreeable disposition, he soon tired of publicity and lived out the rest of his life quietly in Mississippi. Before his rediscovery Hurt had never played professionally, which attaches special importance to his work; apart from its intrinsic merit, it preserved an old African-American tradition. His earliest recordings, including Frankie (1928, OK 8560), Stack o’ Lee Blues (1928, OK 8654) and Spike Driver Blues on the ‘John Henry’ theme (1928, OK 8692), were long-established ballads. Hurt’s guitar playing was characterized by a light thumb-picked beat and rapid fingerwork, and ideally complemented his gentle, almost whispering singing style. Notable among his later recordings were the little-recorded Mississippi theme Sliding Delta (1964, Piedmont 13161), demonstrating his nimble fingering, Petra-Lee (1963, Flyright 553), on which he played slide guitar, the mildly erotic Candy Man Blues (1964, Van. 9220) and the ballad Louis Collins (1963, Piedmont 13157).
L. Cohn: ‘Mississippi John Hurt’, Sing Out!, xiv/5 (1964), 16
D. Waterman: ‘John Hurt: Patriarch Hippie’, Sing Out!, xvii/1 (1967), 4
B. Bastin: disc notes, Mississippi John Hurt: Library of Congress Recordings, Flyright 553 (1980)
P. Oliver: Songsters and Saints: Vocal Traditions on Race Records (Cambridge, 1984)
L. Cohn: disc notes, Mississippi John Hurt: Avalon Blues: the Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings, Col. CK64986 (1996)
Hurtado de Xeres
(b ?Jerez; fl 1500). Spanish composer. Anglès read ‘Xeres’ incorrectly as Exerea or Exereo. The Pietro Furtado documented at the court of Naples in 1455 seems too early for confident identification with Hurtado de Xeres. Two three-voice canciones by Hurtado, No tenga nadie speranca and Con temor de la mudança, are in the Cancionero Musical de la Colombina (ed. in MME, xxxiii, 1971). Both are conventional lover's laments; they seem to have been added to the manuscript (ff. 60v–63v) after 1490 by a single hand otherwise found only in the preceding piece by Gijón. The superius of the first closely follows the melodic contour of the estribillo of Urreda's famous canción Nunca fué pena mayor. This gesture of homage to Hurtado's predecessor is composed in an accomplished contrapuntal style. The comment ‘buena’ (good) appears in contemporary handwriting beside both pieces.
H. Anglès, ed.: La música en la corte de los reyes católicos, i, MME, i (1941, 2/1960/R), 103, 105
G. Haberkamp: Die weltliche Vokalmusik in Spanien um 1500 (Tutzing, 1968), 197–8, 200ff
A. Atlas: Music at the Aragonese Court of Naples (Cambridge, 1985), 92
ISABEL POPE/DAVID FALLOWS
Hurteur, Guillaume le.
See Le Heurteur, Guillaume.
(b Christiania [now Oslo], 21 Sept 1882; d Honolulu, 12 Aug 1972). Norwegian composer. He studied composition with Holter and the piano with Knutzen in Christiania, furthering his composition studies in Berlin (1905–10) with Kahn and Bruch, and the piano with Vianna da Motta. He studied in Paris in 1911 and in St Petersburg (1916–17) with Shteynberg. In 1917 he was one of the founders of the Norwegian Composers’ Association, and later became its chairman (1923–4). He lived in Honolulu, his wife’s place of origin, between 1924 and 1927, and reorganized the Honolulu SO, a small orchestra (30 members) at that time, into a full symphony orchestra and conducted it during the 1924–5 season. He settled permanently in Honolulu in 1934 and pursued his major interest other than music, that of painting.
His Impressions op.4 (1911) shows him to be the first Norwegian composer to have been profoundly influenced by Debussy. The influence was, however, gradually absorbed into a personal, musical language. From Impressions onwards Debussy’s influence may be traced in almost all of Hurum’s works, particularly in opp.9, 10 and 13–17. In his last works the influence is reduced, modality and Norwegian musical elements being the most prominent.
Orch: Eksotisk suite, vn, pf, 1915, orchd 1917; Eventyrland, pf (1920), orchd 1921; Norron suite, pf (1920), orchd 1931; Bendik og Aarolilja, sym. poem, op.20, 1923; Sym., d, 1927
Choral: Lilja, op.15, male vv, org, 1918; 6 sanger, op.21, male vv (1929), Mottet, op.25, solo v, chorus, org (1930)
Chbr: Sonata, d, op.2, vn, pf, 1909–10; Sonata, a, op.8, vn, pf, 1914–15; Str Qt, a, op.6, 1912–15
Songs: opp.11–14 (1918), op.19, 1919, rev. 1954, op.26
Pf: Impressions, op.4, 1911; Akvareller, op.5 (1912); For Piano, op.7, 1914; Pasteller, op.10 (1916–18); Gotisk suite, op.17 (1920)
RUNE J. ANDERSEN