Chorley, Henry Fothergill


Born at Blackley Hurst, Lancashire, England. He was intended by his parents for a mercantile career, but throughout a long life was successfully a dramatist, translator, art critic, novelist and journalist and wrote much that is authoritative and valuable on music and its history. From 1833 to 1871 he was the musical critic of the London Athenaeum, was always a great traveler and intimate with most of the musical celebrities of his day. He was distinguished for being absolutely honest in his criticisms. He was opposed strenuously to recent and "advanced" composers and to the day of his death could see no merit or beauty in the works of Schumann. In the letters of Mendelssohn he is mentioned in terms of admiration more than once, and he won the esteem and affection of many other men and women in literary and artistic circles. Among his most celebrated works are National Music of the World, Modern German Music, Handel Studies, and others. He also translated several operas, notably Gounod's Faust, Herold's Zampa, and Mendelssohn's Son and Stranger. A many-sided man, who did too many things well to attain any great fame in one particular field; his musical writings have great literary value.