Hasse, Johann Adolph

views updated May 29 2018


Composer of opera and church music of the preclassical period; b. Bergedorf (near Hamburg), March 25, 1699; d. Venice, Dec. 16, 1783. He was trained first under his father, and at 18 left for Hamburg to try his musical vocation. After singing in the Hamburg Opera for four seasons and producing his first opera in 1721, he pursued his studies in Naples with porpora and A. scaratti and taught in Venice. There he married the noted singer Faustina Bordoni in 1730. In 1731 he was appointed musical director of the Dresden Opera, and remained in Dresden most of his life, taking time for extensive travels. During a stay in London he attempted, unsuccessfully, to challenge handel's domination of the lyric theater. Besides opera he composed instrumental and sacred music (twelve oratorios, including La conversione di Sant'Agostino, ten Masses, three Requiems, Psalms, motets, litanies, a Te Deum, and a famous Salve Regina ). They are operatic in style, with recitatives, arias, and a few choruses, and also, like his operas, melodious and expertly orchestrated.

Bibliography: w. mÜller, J. A. Hasse als Kirchenkomponist (Leipzig 1911). a. a. abert, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949) 5:177188. h.-b. dietz, "The Dresden-Naples Connection, 17371763: Charles of Bourbon, Maria Amalia of Saxony, and Johann Adolf Hasse," International Journal of Musicology 5 (1996) 95130. s. hansell, "Johann Adolf Hasse" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, v. 8, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 279293. w. hochstein, "Wer war Johann Adlof Hasse?," Musik und Kirche 69 (1999), 99101. f. l. millner, "The Operas of Johann Adolf Hasse" (Ph.D. diss. University of California at Berkeley, 1976); The Operas of Johann Adolf Hasse (Ann Arbor 1979). n. slonimsky, ed. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (New York 1992) 727728.

[w. c. holmes]

Hasse, Johann (Adolph)

views updated May 29 2018

Hasse, Johann (Adolph) (b Bergedorf, 1699; d Venice, 1783). Ger. composer. Sang at Hamburg Opera as ten. 1718–19, then at Brunswick where his opera Antioco was prod. 1721. Went to Naples 1724, writing several popular operas. Married singer Faustina Bordoni in 1730. Dir., Dresden court opera 1731–63, also visiting London and It. Most of his MSS destroyed in siege of Dresden. Moved to Vienna 1763, comp. operas to Metastasio librettos in opposition to Gluck and eventually setting almost all Metastasio's opera texts. Lived in Venice from 1775. Despite nationality, It. by style and inclination. Wrote over 100 operas, also masses, oratorios, sinfonias, etc. Hearing Mozart's Ascanio in Alba in 1771 said: ‘This boy will cause us all to be forgotten’.