Hamal, Henri-Guillaume

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Hamal, Henri-Guillaume

Hamal, Henri-Guillaume, Belgian organist and composer; b. Liège, Dec. 3, 1685; d. there, Dec. 3, 1752. He studied with Lambert Pietkin, maître de chapelle of St. Lambert. As a youth, he excelled as a harpsichordist, cellist, and singer. He wrote songs to texts in many languages, all of which are lost. His son, Jean-Noël Hamal (b. Liège, Dec. 23, 1709; d. there, Nov. 26, 1778), studied with his father, becoming a chorister at St. Lambert (1716), where he studied with Canon Henri Dupont; he also studied with Giuseppe Amadori at the Liège Coll. of Rome (1728–31). He then became a Cathedral musician in Liège, where he was made director of music in 1738. His 6 ouvertures de camera, a 4, op.l (Paris, 1743), presage the Classical school; he also wrote 4 operas, 3 oratorios, 33 masses, 32 grands motets, 51 petits motets, etc. His nephew, Henri Hamal (b. Liège, July 20, 1744; d. there, Sept. 17, 1820), studied with his uncle, then at the Liège Coll. of Rome (1763–69). He was deputy director of music to his uncle at the Liège Cathedral (1770–78), and then director (1778–93). He wrote much sacred choral music.


L. de Lavalleye, Les H. de Liège (Liège, 1860); M. de Smet, Jean-Noël H. (1709–1778), chanoine impérial et Directeur de la Musique de la Cathédrale Saint-Lambert de Liège: Vie et oeuvre (Brussels, 1959).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire