Herman Klein

Last updated

Herman Klein HermanKlein1.jpg
Herman Klein

Herman Klein (born Hermann Klein; 23 July 1856 – 10 March 1934) was an English music critic, author and teacher of singing. Klein's famous brothers included Charles and Manuel Klein. His second wife was the writer Kathleen Clarice Louise Cornwell, and one of their children was the writer Denise Robins.

Contents

For thirteen years, Klein was a vocal teacher at the Guildhall School of Music in London, becoming a lifelong proponent of the methods of Manuel Garcia and helping to edit Garcia's book on the subject. In 1876 he took up musical journalism, writing for The Sunday Times from 1881–1901, among other publications. He also contributed prolifically to The Musical Times. From 1901 to 1909, Klein lived and taught singing in New York City, where he wrote for The New York Herald . He was one of the first critics to take notice of the gramophone and was appointed "musical adviser" to Columbia Records in 1906 in New York. He returned to England in 1909.

Klein wrote over half a dozen books about music and singers, as well as English translations of operas and art songs. He was a noted authority on Gilbert and Sullivan. In 1924 he began writing for The Gramophone and was in charge of operatic reviews, as well as contributing a monthly article on singing, from then until his death.

Biography

Personal life

Klein was born in Norwich, Norfolk, East Anglia, England the son of Hermann Klein senior and his wife Adelaide (née Soman). Apparently, the elder Klein emigrated from Riga, Latvia, [1] then part of the Russian Empire, and home to a large community of Baltic German Jews such as the Kleins. Once in Norwich, his father became a professor of foreign languages at the King Edward VI Grammar School, and his mother taught dance. [2] The younger Klein's five brothers were Max, a violinist, Charles, a dramatist; Manuel, a composer; Alfred, an actor; and Philip. They had a sister, Adelaide. [3] He was the uncle of producer Philip Klein (1888–1935).

Although his forename was frequently spelled as "Hermann" until World War I, he "deprecated any foreign pronunciation of it and was proud of his British citizenship and upbringing". [4] The musical activities of Norwich, particularly its Festival and the Cathedral services, impressed him as a boy. [4] He was educated in Norwich and later in London. [5]

Klein was married three times. His first wife was Emily May Brown, a ballerina, with whom he had a daughter, Sibyl Klein, who became an actress; [6] they divorced. [7] On 19 February 1890, he married a 17-year-old Australian-born heiress Kathleen Clarice Louise Cornwell, later a popular writer, at the West London Synagogue. [8] Their children included two writers: Adrian Bernard L. Klein (1892–1969), who changed his name to Adrian Cornwell-Clyne and wrote books on photography and cinematography, and Denise Naomi Klein (1897–1985), who under her first married name, Denise Robins, became a best-selling romantic novelist [9] and was the first president of the Romantic Novelists' Association (1960–1966). Her daughter, Patricia Robins, is also a popular romance writer under the name Claire Lorrimer. Klein and Kathleen Clarice had another son, Daryl Kleyn (b. 1894). [10] During their marriage, Kathleen Clarice began an affair with a young man, Herbert Arthur Berkeley Dealtry (b. 1878), who was a Worcestershire Regiment officer. When Klein became aware of it, he filed a petition for divorce, which was granted in December 1901. He was still affiliated with the West London Synagogue in 1901, the year of his divorce and his departure for New York. [9] [11] Klein's third wife was Helene Fox, a Christian Science practitioner of Boston, Massachusetts, whom he married in 1905. [7]

Klein died in London, aged 77. [1]

Career

For thirteen years, Klein was a vocal teacher at the Guildhall School of Music in London and also trained many professional singers privately. [12] He wrote songs and short works for piano. In 1874, Klein returned to Norwich temporarily to help his ailing mother. That year Manuel Garcia also moved into the same house as Klein at 1 Bentinck Street in London. Klein became his student for four years and was closely associated with him for another six years. [13] The friendship became a transformative experience for Klein, who would recall Garcia and his singing principles in many of his writings throughout his life. He helped edit Garcia's book on his singing method, published in English in 1872 (later revised by Klein and published as Hints on Singing in 1894). [5]

In 1876 Klein took up musical journalism. He began writing for The Examiner in 1879, and then for The Sunday Times (1881–1901), The Illustrated London News , The Citizen, and the Lady's Pictorial. He was for many years a musical correspondent of The Manchester Guardian and The Scotsman and also contributed prolifically to The Musical Times. [5]

From 1901 to 1909, He lived in New York City, [14] where he wrote for The New York Herald , taught singing, [15] and was a founder and first chairman of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. [16] [17] He was one of the first critics to take notice of the gramophone. He was appointed "musical adviser" to Columbia Records in 1906 in New York and was responsible for introducing David Bispham, Anton van Rooy, Lillian Blauvelt and Ruth Vincent and others to the recording studio. [1] Klein eventually came to hold an unfavourable view of American musical life and returned to Britain in May 1909, continuing to teach and write. [4] He wrote over half a dozen books about music and singers, as well as English translations of operas and art songs. In 1924 he began writing for The Gramophone and was in charge of operatic reviews, as well as contributing a monthly article on singing, from then until his death. [7]

Among his other activities, Klein listed "Inventor of the Phono-Vocal Method of learning singing with the aid of a gramophone" and "Past Grand Organist of Grand Lodge of Freemasons". [5] He was a member of the Critics' Circle, of which he was President and also Chairman of its musical committee. [4]

Publications

In addition to publishing several books containing his criticism or music commentary, in which he left "vivid pictures of the great singers whose art he studied in the opera house", [4] Klein translated several operas, including Carmen , and poems of over seventy songs by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. [5] He was an authority on Gilbert and Sullivan, having, as a young man, known Arthur Sullivan well and worked with him on musical committees. Klein arranged for Sullivan to provide incidental music for Henry Irving's 1889 production of Macbeth . [18] He later contributed articles on Gilbert and Sullivan to The Gramophone . [19] [20] [21] For The Musical Times, he wrote on subjects including Music Festivals, the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Choral Society, Camille Saint-Saëns, Richard Wagner and Nellie Melba. [22]

Books

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 Stone, Christopher. "Herman Klein, July 23, 1856 – March 10, 1934", reprinted in Moran, p. 603
  2. Who's Who in New York (City and State). Lewis Historical Publ. Co., 1909, p. 787. A petition from the Jews of Norwich, Norwich Petition For the Removal of the Disabilities of the Jews, 24 January 1848, includes the signature of a David Soman, boot and shoemaker, who may have been the father of Adelaide. Transcription in the archives of JewishGen.
  3. 1871 and 1881 England Census, available on Ancestry.com.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Mr. Herman Klein: Music critic, teacher, and writer", The Times , 12 March 1934, p. 19
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "Klein, Herman", Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, December 2007, accessed 3 January 2009
  6. "News of the Playhouses", The New York Times, 12 January 1903, p. 9
  7. 1 2 3 Wimbush, Roger. "Here and There", The Gramophone, July 1973, p. 32
  8. United Kingdom Marriages, 1838–1972 at JewishGen.org
  9. 1 2 Kathleen Clarisa Cronwell, bearalley online at bearalley.blogspot.com (accessed 13 February 2009)
  10. Lorrimer, Claire. You Never Know, autobiography
  11. Who's Who in British Jewry, p. 280
  12. The Manchester Guardian, 12 March 1934, p. 2
  13. Musical Courier, 15 March 1905, p. 18. Klein called Garcia "the greatest singing teacher who ever lived." For their address, see 1881 England Census, available on Ancestry.com.
  14. His brothers Charles and Manuel lived and worked in New York. Klein lived at 154 West 77th St. NYC. See Musical Courier, 5 November 1902, p. 6.
  15. Klein's teacher Manuel Garcia wrote: "It is gratifying to me to know that the great American people appreciate the sound theories of the old school, and they will assuredly find in you one among its few capable exponents." See Musical Courier, 11 December 1901, p. 13.
  16. Musical Courier, 13 November 1907, p. 33
  17. Papers and Proceedings of the Music Teachers' National Association, pp. 172–76, Music Teachers National Association (1927)
  18. Jacobs, p. 277
  19. Klein, Herman. "The H.M.V. Pinafore Album", Archived 26 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine The Gramophone, August 1930, Vol. VIII, p. 130
  20. Klein, Herman. Review of Patience, Archived 28 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Gramophone, January 1931, Vol. VIII, p. 391
  21. Klein, Herman. "Ruddigore in Retrospect", Archived 16 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine The Gramophone, January 1932, Vol. IX, p. 321
  22. The Musical Times, Vol. 60, No. 912 (1 February 1919), pp. 63–67; Vol. 62, No. 940 (1 June 1921), pp. 393–400; Vol. 57, No. 883 (1 September 1916), pp. 400–02; Vol. 72, No. 1058 (1 April 1931), pp. 305–08.

Related Research Articles

Arthur Sullivan 19th-century English composer

Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan MVO was an English composer. He is best known for 14 operatic collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, including H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. His works include 24 operas, 11 major orchestral works, ten choral works and oratorios, two ballets, incidental music to several plays, and numerous church pieces, songs, and piano and chamber pieces. His hymns and songs include "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and "The Lost Chord".

Emma Albani Canadian opera soprano (1847 - 1930)

Dame Emma Albani, DBE was a leading opera soprano of the 19th century and early 20th century, and the first Canadian singer to become an international star. Her repertoire focused on the operas of Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and Wagner. She performed across Europe and North America.

Jenny Lind 19th-century Swedish classical singer

Johanna Maria "Jenny" Lind was a Swedish opera singer, often called the "Swedish Nightingale". One of the most highly regarded singers of the 19th century, she performed in soprano roles in opera in Sweden and across Europe, and undertook an extraordinarily popular concert tour of the United States beginning in 1850. She was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music from 1840.

Manuel García (baritone) Spanish baritone and educator

Manuel Patricio Rodríguez García, was a Spanish singer, music educator, and vocal pedagogue. He invented the first laryngoscope.

George Baker (baritone) English singer, born 1885

George Baker was an English singer. He is remembered for singing on thousands of gramophone records in a career that spanned 53 years, beginning in 1909. He is especially associated with the comic baritone roles in recordings of the Gilbert & Sullivan operas.

Charles Santley English opera singer

Sir Charles Santley was an English opera and oratorio singer with a bravura technique who became the most eminent English baritone and male concert singer of the Victorian era. His has been called 'the longest, most distinguished and most versatile vocal career which history records.'

<i>Ivanhoe</i> (opera)

Ivanhoe is a romantic opera in three acts based on the 1819 novel by Sir Walter Scott, with music by Sir Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by Julian Sturgis. It premiered at the Royal English Opera House on 31 January 1891 for a consecutive run of 155 performances, a record for a grand opera. Later that year it was performed six more times, making a total of 161 performances. It has rarely been performed since. The first complete, fully professional recording was released in 2010 on the Chandos Records label.

Charles Klein

Charles Klein was an English-born playwright and actor who emigrated to America in 1883. Among his works was the libretto of John Philip Sousa's operetta, El Capitan. Klein's talented siblings included the composer Manuel and the critic Herman Klein. He drowned during the sinking of the RMS Lusitania.

Ruth Vincent

Ruth Vincent was an English opera singer and actress, best remembered for her performances in soprano roles of the Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in the 1890s and her roles in the West End during the first decade of the 20th century, particularly her role as Sophia in Tom Jones.

Ben Davies (tenor)

Ben Davies was a Welsh tenor singer, who appeared in opera with the Carl Rosa Opera Company, in operetta and light opera, and on the concert and oratorio platform. He was spoken of as a successor of Edward Lloyd, as a leading British tenor, and retained something of his style and repertoire in concert performance.

Edward Lloyd (tenor)

Edward Lloyd was a British tenor singer who excelled in concert and oratorio performance, and was recognised as a legitimate successor of John Sims Reeves as the foremost tenor exponent of that genre during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

John Coates (tenor)

John Coates was a leading English tenor, who sang in opera and oratorio and on the concert platform. His repertoire ranged from Bach and Purcell to contemporary works, and embraced the major heldentenor roles in Richard Wagner's operas. For more than 40 years, with only a four-year interruption for military service during World War I, he overcame the limitations of a voice that was not naturally large by impressing listeners with his intense artistic expression, lively diction, musical versatility and memorable stage presence.

Ernest Pike

Ernest George Pike was an English tenor of the early 20th century. After studying at the Guildhall School of Music in London, he worked as a bank clerk and sang as a church tenor before making his first recording "Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes" for the Gramophone & Typewriter Company in 1904. He became the house tenor for HMV and made several hundred records in a career that spanned over twenty years.

Manuel Klein

Manuel Joachim Klein was an English-born composer of musical theatre and incidental music who worked primarily in New York City.

Kathleen Clarice Groom was a British writer of short-stories and novels from 1907 to 1952, she signed under different pen names: Clarice Klein, Kit Dealtry, C. Groom, Mrs. Sydney Groom, and K. C. Groom.

Sims Reeves British opera singer

John Sims Reeves was an English operatic, oratorio and ballad tenor vocalist during the mid-Victorian era.

<i>The Mountaineers</i> (opera)

The Mountaineers is an English "romantic comic opera" in three acts with a libretto by Australian-born Guy Eden (1864–1954) and Reginald Somerville (1867–1948), lyrics by Eden and music by Somerville. It opened at the Savoy Theatre in London on 29 September 1909, under the management of C. H. Workman, and ran for a total of 61 performances. It starred Workman, Elsie Spain, Claude Flemming, Jessie Rose and A. Laurence Legge.

Gervase Alfred Booth Hughes was an English composer, conductor and writer on music. From 1926 to 1933, Hughes pursued a career as a conductor and chorus master, principally at the British National Opera Company, and also co-produced Shakespeare plays. He left the musical profession in 1933, raising a family and working first as an executive in a railway company and later running luxury European tours. From 1960 to 1972 he published a series of books on musical subjects, beginning with a study of the music of Arthur Sullivan, published in 1960.

Frederic King was a baritone best known for his performances in the works composed by Arthur Sullivan for the Leeds Festivals of 1880 and 1886. Later, he taught singing for 42 years at the Royal College of Music.

Walter Hyde English tenor, actor, and music educator

Walter Hyde was a British tenor, actor and teacher of voice whose career spanned genres from musical theatre to grand opera. In 1901 he sang Borrachio in the premiere of Stanford's Much Ado About Nothing and soon appeared in London's West End in light opera and Edwardian musical comedy. He appeared regularly at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden between 1908 and 1924, becoming known for roles in Wagner operas, among others, both in Britain and America. He was also in demand as a concert artist. In his later years he was Professor of Voice at the Guildhall School of Music where his students included Geraint Evans and Owen Brannigan.

References