Goetz, Hermann


Talented German composer, who was born at Konigsberg. He gave evidence of talent early, but did not begin to study till the age of seventeen, Louis Kohler being his first teacher. In 1860 he entered the University of Kqnigsberg for serious work, and continued piano under von Bülow, and composition under Ulrich. Within three years he became organist at Winterthur, where he also founded and conducted a singing society, conducted an orchestra, and gave private lessons. In 1867 he removed to Zurich, keeping his organ position at Winterthur for three years longer, but the strain affected his health, compelling him to resign it. He died six years later at Hottingen, near Zurich. His first opera, Der Widerspenstigen Zahnung, based on a German version of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, was produced in 1874, after repeated discouragements, at Mannheim, under the conductor Frank, who in 1877 directed the posthumous performance of Goetz's second opera, Francesca da Rimini.

Other compositions of Goetz are as follows; Orchestral symphony in F; Frühling's overture; cantata for male chorus; 137th Psalm for chorus, soprano solo, and orchestra; choral setting of Schiller's Nanie for chorus and orchestra; violin concerto; piano concerto; a trio, a quartet, and a quintet, for piano and strings; three light pieces for piano and violin; piano sonata for four hands; various piano solos; songs, and quartets. The general opinion among biographers is that Goetz died before his talents had time to mature; one writer calls attention to the early deaths of Mozart and Mendelssohn, and to the fact that a certain melancholy and monotony pervades all the works of Goetz, giving him credit, however, for a freedom in the strictly classical mode of composition, and an intuitive command of tone-color in his choral and orchestral writings much greater than that of Schumann, of whom he is said to be one of the most marked legitimate followers.