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Tributes to the Memory of Hans Engelmann

Widely Loved Composer of Over 3000 Pianoforte Pieces

hans-engelmann.jpgIn the death of Hans Engelmann the world has lost a refined melodist and an able musician. Though popular, his work was never banal, and it filled a great niche with teachers and students all over the world.  Charles Wakefield Cadman.

It was with sincere regret I read of the death of Hans Engelmann. It is doubtful if a more prolific composer of popular salon music ever lived. He possessed a great gift for melody and his compositions will always find a way into the hearts of a vast number of people.   J. Frank Frysinger.

Hans Engelmann has passed away, but to the music lovers, who are acquainted with his many writings, he still lives.

His expansive temperament, as it were, was ever inspired by such melodies which find their birth deep in one’s heart; in all of his writings there is tune everywhere, each little sentence, as we stroll through his “garden of melodies,” breathes a fragrance of his everlasting versatility. For the young player his works are very interesting, as his teaching pieces are easily comprehended, combining the requisite educational features without sacrificing the ever pleasing style which so marks all of his compositions.

These special gifts imparted to his works naturally created an unusual demand for his manuscripts, and his compositions are therefore to be found listed in the catalogues of all the leading publishers of the country. Although at the time of his death he was comparatively a young man, his writings run into the thousands.

And so what he has left us are no hidden treasures. What his lyrics and works contain are for us, for all, and we shall ever pay tribute to him through our memories.  Carl Wilhelm Kern.

When I first met Hans Engelmann in 1897 I was interested in his work as a composer on account of the fluency of his writing, and the fact that in nearly every one of his pieces he had at least one touch of individuality. At that time he rather prided himself in having reached a high opus number, somewhere between two and three hundred. I remember that on one occasion he remarked that he would like to reach Opus 1000. I do not know what would be the number for his last writing, but I imagine it would be nearer the two thousand mark.

Once the question of his studying compositions with a celebrated teacher came up in the course of a conversation. He gave it as his opinion that were he to put himself to a systematic course of study in the higher forms of composition he would undoubtedly take away from his fertility of invention and weaken his harmonic fancy.

If I were to try to characterize his work as a composer, it would be to lay emphasis in his facile melody, animated rhyhms (sic) and harmonic color, achieving fine effects with resources familiar to the average teacher and pupil. Therein was his strength. W. J. Baltzell (Editor of The Musician).

The passing of a favorite author or composer is like the loss of a friend. I wish it were in my power to give as much pleasure to mankind by my musical compositions as has Hans Engelmann. Fortunately the good men do is not always interred with their bones, so that generations to come may enjoy his sweet melodies.  Helen L. Cramm.

I have always regarded the compositions of Mr. Hans Engelmann with great favor, as they possess, in a preeminent degree, melodic charm, rhythmic fluency, great naturalness and spontaneity. He was a past-master of form and his chord-setting always reveals the sincere artistic insight into what is harmonically true and correct in the blending of chords. While his compositions cover a wide range of human and nature moods, as well as technical variety, the genial individuality of their creator is always readily detected. It is my opinion that no composer of any period ever composed such a great number of truly delightful teaching and salon pieces. My pupils are invariably pleased with an Engelmann piece, because they are all quite uniformly good.  Leo Oehmler.

Composers like Hans Engelmann fill a distinct and worthy place in musical development. Not everyone who loves music, and whose life is enriched by it, is ready for the messages of the masters. For such as these, the works of Engelmann, melodious, unaffected and technically of very moderate difficulty, are a real boon. Engelmann’s passing will cause genuine regret to thousands. James H. Rogers.

After the clank and clamor of modern dynamics, what a delight it is to play through Hans Engelmann’s music, filled as it is with the refreshing, humanizing flow of melody which touches the heart.

To Engelmann was given that precious gift—melody —and its crystal clearness was never polluted by grandioso tricks or cheap sentiment.

What greater praise can one give than to say that Engelmann’s music was fireside-music; homey music associated with the simple joys of everyday life?

In our rush for the big and noisy things he has charmed and touched us, he has made us stop and listen to his colorful melodies and he has made us love them.    Miss Jo-Shipley Watson.

Hans Engelmann was probably the most prolific of  modern writers of melody. In these days of ultra modern compositions, with their dissonant harmonies and mystic tendencies, the works of Hans Engelmann are really often found refreshing with their fine melodies and pure harmonies. They will, without doubt, long remain popular with thousands of music lovers. It is much to be regretted that this well-known and popular writer died in the prime of life, for, had he lived, the world would have gained many more beautiful and perhaps even greater works from his pen.    Frederick A. Williams.

I am very glad to add my word of appreciation for Mr. Engelmann’s work. The flowers which he gathered so freely from the “Garden of Melody” will continue to bloom and to brighten many a work-a-day hour. Who shall say which are best—the flowers that grow by the wayside, the roses, buttercups and daisies that all may enjoy—or the curious exotics that are cultivated in the high-walled garden?    Mrs. C. W. Krogmann.

We call music the “universal language.” It may be also very aptly called a universal bond of brotherhood and fellowship. Our departed brother, Hans Engelmann, the exponent of cheerfulness, endeared himself by his wholesome, jovial music to thousands.

His beautiful Melody of Love expresses more fully his personality than any obituary that could be written.

He has accomplished his mission and by his works do we know him.      George Noyes Rockwell.

Hans Engelmann as a composer undoubtedly possessed a wonderful gift of melody, supplemented by a thorough practical and theoretical knowledge of music, thus giving to his compositions a character and finish so often lacking in the works of modern composers of salon and dance music. His themes showed originality and freedom from the “commonplace,” and his treatment of them gave them an educational value which teachers of good standing were not slow to recognize. Consequently, hardly a recital program has appeared in The Etude for years past that has not contained one or more of his graceful numbers. Engelmann’s place as a composer of this particular style of music will be very hard to fill, and his passing away must be a source of sincere regret to thousands of teachers and students who found his compositions a means of instruction and a source of recreation.    R. M. Stults.

I feel it a privilege to express my feeling of loss to the musical world in the passing of Mr. Engelmann. His compositions were always unusually melodious and appealed to the younger as well as to the more advanced pupils. He could write simple pieces so as to cause them to sound difficult, which is quite an art in itself. Pupils as well as teachers will feel his absence.    Mrs. L. A. Bugbee Davis.

Once in a way a man works along unselfishly and unobtrusively to the end that many are benefited. Hans Engelmann was one of these, and music teachers will find that they will be missing him albeit the fact that he left many helpful and interesting works behind him. A rare gift of melody and sufficient scholarship were possessions of Mr. Engelmann, and that his published compositions in great variety have attained to wide vogue is the best proof of their value, especially to the younger pupils, everywhere.    J. Lewis Browne.


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