<< -- 3 -- Jennifer Paull A man of vision
Herbert then withdrew from the theatre to concentrate on his appointment
as conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1898-1904). Six
years later, he resigned after a dispute with the orchestral management.
He founded the Victor Herbert Orchestra, and conducted programmes
of light orchestral music on tours, and at summer resorts for virtually
the rest of his life.
It was during this period that he wrote his most important, purely orchestral
work, the tone poem Hero and Leander (1901) for the Pittsburgh
Symphony Orchestra. The work reflects his admiration for Liszt and Wagner,
particularly evident in the Tristanesque climax of the 'storm' music that
heralds Leander's death.
By 1903 Victor Herbert had returned to his beloved theatre with Babes
in Toyland, the first of a series of successes that made him one of
the best-known figures in American music. Others included Mlle Modiste
(1905) and The Red Mill (1906) which was produced by the Philadelphia-Chicago
Opera Company in 1911. Madeleine, a lighter work in one act,
was produced at the Metropolitan Opera, in 1914.
He continued to write operettas and finally realised his long-standing
intention, to compose an Irish operetta. Hearts of Erin is set during
the Irish rebellion of 1798, and was produced in 1917 under the amended
title of Eileen. With its composition, Victor Herbert's greatest
theatre pieces had been completed.
Copyright © 22 March 2002
Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland
JENNIFER PAULL'S AMORIS INTERNATIONAL
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