Hess, Willy

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Hess, Willy

Hess, Willy, noted Swiss musicologist; b. Winter-thur, Oct. 12, 1906; d. there, May 9, 1997. He studied piano and theory at the Zürich Cons, and musicology at the Univ. of Zürich. He played bassoon in the Winter-thur Stadtorchester (1942–71). As a musicologist, he devoted most of his effort to the compilation of a Beethoven catalog. He ed. a valuable Verzeichnis der nicht in der Gesamtausgabe veröffentlichten Werke Ludwig van Beethovens (Wiesbaden, 1957); also ed. the extensive Supplement Ludwig van Beethoven: Sämtliche Werke: Supplement zur Gesamtausgabe (14 vols., Wiesbaden, 1959-71). His other important writings include Ludwig van Beethoven (Geneva, 1946); Beethovens Oper Fidelio und ihre drei Fassungen (Zürich, 1953); Beethoven (Zürich, 1956; 2nd ed., rev., 1976); Die Harmonie der Künste (Vienna, 1960); Die Dynamik der musikalischen Formbildung (2 vols., Vienna, 1960; 1964); Vom Doppelantlitz des Bösen in der Kunst, dargestellt am Beispiel der Musik (Munich, 1963); Vom Metaphysischen im Künstlerischen (Winterthur, 1963); Parteilose Kunst, parteilose Wissenschaft (Tutzing, 1967); Beethoven-Studien (Munich, 1972); also an autobiography, Aus meinem Leben: Erlebnisse, Bekenntnisse, Betrachtungen (Zürich, 1976). He was also a prolific composer, including in his works several fairy-tale operas, a Sym., a Sonata for Bassoon and Small Orch., a Horn Concerto, and numerous pieces of chamber music, including a curious work for double bassoon and string quartet.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Hess, Willy

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Hess, Willy (b Mannheim, 1859; d Berlin, 1939). Ger. violinist. Lived in USA 1865–72, making début with Theodore Thomas Orch. Leader, opera orch., Frankfurt, 1878–86. Prof. of vn., Rotterdam Cons. 1886–8. Leader, Hallé Orch. 1888–95; prof. of vn. RMCM 1893–5, Cologne Cons. 1895–1903 (also leader of Cologne Gürzenich Concerts and Qt.), RAM 1903–4. Leader, Boston SO 1904–10. Prof. of vn. Berlin Hochschule 1910–28 and leader of Haliř Qt., Darmstadt 1931–3.

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