David Popper
Overview
 
David Popper was a Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

n cellist
Cello
The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...

 and composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

.

He was born in Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

, and studied music at the Prague Conservatory
Prague Conservatory
Prague Conservatory, sometimes also Prague Conservatoire, in Czech Pražská konzervatoř, is a Czech secondary school in Prague dedicated to teaching the arts of music and theater acting.- Instruction :...

. He studied the cello under Julius Goltermann (1825–1876), and soon attracted attention. He made his first tour in 1863; in Germany he was praised by Hans von Bülow
Hans von Bülow
Hans Guido Freiherr von Bülow was a German conductor, virtuoso pianist, and composer of the Romantic era. He was one of the most famous conductors of the 19th century, and his activity was critical for establishing the successes of several major composers of the time, including Richard...

 (who was also a son-in-law of Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt ; ), was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age...

), who recommended him to a position as Chamber Virtuoso in the court of Prince von Hochenzollern-Hechingen
Constantine, Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen
Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Konstantin Hermann Thassilo of Hohenzollern-Hechingen was the last Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen...

 in Löwenberg. In 1864, he premiered Robert Volkmann
Robert Volkmann
Friedrich Robert Volkmann was a German composer.-Life:He was born in Lommatzsch, Saxony, Germany. His father was a music director for a church, so he trained his son in music to prepare him as a successor...

's Cello Concerto in A minor, Op.
Encyclopedia
David Popper was a Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

n cellist
Cello
The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...

 and composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

.

Life

He was born in Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

, and studied music at the Prague Conservatory
Prague Conservatory
Prague Conservatory, sometimes also Prague Conservatoire, in Czech Pražská konzervatoř, is a Czech secondary school in Prague dedicated to teaching the arts of music and theater acting.- Instruction :...

. He studied the cello under Julius Goltermann (1825–1876), and soon attracted attention. He made his first tour in 1863; in Germany he was praised by Hans von Bülow
Hans von Bülow
Hans Guido Freiherr von Bülow was a German conductor, virtuoso pianist, and composer of the Romantic era. He was one of the most famous conductors of the 19th century, and his activity was critical for establishing the successes of several major composers of the time, including Richard...

 (who was also a son-in-law of Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt ; ), was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age...

), who recommended him to a position as Chamber Virtuoso in the court of Prince von Hochenzollern-Hechingen
Constantine, Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen
Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Konstantin Hermann Thassilo of Hohenzollern-Hechingen was the last Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen...

 in Löwenberg. In 1864, he premiered Robert Volkmann
Robert Volkmann
Friedrich Robert Volkmann was a German composer.-Life:He was born in Lommatzsch, Saxony, Germany. His father was a music director for a church, so he trained his son in music to prepare him as a successor...

's Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 33, with Hans von Bülow conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. He lost this job a couple of years later due to the prince's death.

He then made his debut in Vienna in 1867, and was made principal cellist at the Hofoper
Vienna State Opera
The Vienna State Opera is an opera house – and opera company – with a history dating back to the mid-19th century. It is located in the centre of Vienna, Austria. It was originally called the Vienna Court Opera . In 1920, with the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Austrian...

. From 1868 to 1870 he was also a member of the Hellmesberger Quartet
Hellmesberger Quartet
The Hellmesberger Quartet was a String Quartet formed in Vienna in 1849. It was founded by Joseph Hellmesberger, Sr. and was the first permanent named String Quartet.-Composition:...

. In 1872, he married pianist Sophie Menter
Sophie Menter
Sophie Menter was a German pianist and composer who became the favorite female student of Franz Liszt. She was called l'incarnation de Liszt in Paris because of her robust, electrifying playing style and was considered one of the greatest piano virtuosos of her time.Sophie Menter was born in...

, a pupil of Liszt. She later joined the staff at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In 1873, Popper resigned from his post at the Hofoper so as to continue his tours with his wife on a larger scale, giving concerts throughout Europe. Popper's and Menter's marriage was dissolved in 1886.

That year, Liszt recommended Popper for a teaching position at the newly opened string department at the Conservatory at Budapest
Franz Liszt Academy of Music
The Franz Liszt Academy of Music is a concert hall and music conservatory in Budapest, Hungary, founded on November 14, 1875...

. In Budapest, he participated in the Budapest Quartet with Jenő Hubay
Jeno Hubay
Eugen Huber , better known by his Hungarian name Jenő Hubay , was a Hungarian violinist, composer and music teacher.-Early life:Eugen Huber was born into a German family of musicians in Pest, Hungary...

. He and Hubay performed chamber music on more than one occasion with Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene...

, including the premiere of Brahms's Piano Trio No. 3
Piano Trio No. 3 (Brahms)
The Piano Trio in C minor, opus 101, by Johannes Brahms is scored for piano, violin and cello, and was written in the summer of 1886 while Brahms was on vacation in Hofstetten, Switzerland...

 in Budapest, on December 20, 1886.

Popper died in Baden
Baden bei Wien
-Points of interest:The town offers several parks and a picturesque surrounding, of which the most frequented is the Helenental valley. Not far from Baden, the valley is crossed by a widespread aqueduct of the Vienna waterworks...

, near Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

.

Among his notable students were Arnold Földesy, Jenő Kerpely, Mici Lukács, Ludwig Lebell and Adolf Schiffer
Adolf Schiffer
Adolf Schiffer was a Czech cellist and teacher, who for many years served as professor in cello at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. He is best remembered as being the link between two great cello teachers – being a student of David Popper and the teacher of Janos Starker.-Life:Adolf...

 (teacher of János Starker
János Starker
János Starker |Kingdom of Hungary]]) is a Hungarian-American cellist. Since 1958 he has taught at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he holds the title of Distinguished Professor.- Child prodigy :...

).

It has been said by János Starker that Popper would run up a substantial bill at a local restaurant. To make up for this, Starker says that he would run home, compose a piece, take it to his publisher and use that money for the bill.

David Popper was one of the last great cellists who did not use an endpin
Endpin
The endpin or spike is the component of a cello or double bass that makes contact with the floor to support the instrument's weight. It is made of metal, or in some cases wood or carbon fiber, and is extensible from the bottom of the instrument, and secured with a thumbscrew...

.

Works

Popper was a prolific composer of music for his instrument, writing four concerto
Concerto
A concerto is a musical work usually composed in three parts or movements, in which one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra.The etymology is uncertain, but the word seems to have originated from the conjunction of the two Latin words...

s, a Requiem for three cellos and orchestra (1891) and a number of smaller pieces which are still played today, including the ever-popular cello solo piece Tarantella
Tarantella
The term tarantella groups a number of different southern Italian couple folk dances characterized by a fast upbeat tempo, usually in 6/8 time , accompanied by tambourines. It is among the most recognized of traditional Italian music. The specific dance name varies with every region, for instance...

. His shorter showpieces were written to highlight the unique sound and style native to the cello extending the instrument's range to heights with pieces such as Spinnlied (Spinning Song), Elfentanz (Dance of the Elves), or the Ungarische Rhapsodie (Hungarian Rhapsody), which was published by the Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag
Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag
Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag is a publisher of classical music, founded by Friedrich Hofmeister in Leipzig in 1807. Early listings included composers Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt. Hofmeister was the first to publish Mahler's Second Symphony. Pedagogical works, such as...

.. He also wrote instructional pieces. Popper is also famous for his High School of Cello Playing (Op. 73), a book of cello études that is used almost universally by advanced cello students.

An old edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is an encyclopedic dictionary of music and musicians. Along with the German-language Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, it is the largest single reference work on Western music. The dictionary has gone through several editions since the 19th century...

 described him thus: "His tone is large and full of sentiment; his execution highly finished, and his style classical."
  • Op. 3, Scenes From a Masked Ball, cello and piano
    • No. 1, Harlequin-Scene
    • No. 2, [n. d.]
    • No. 3, [n. d.]
    • No. 4, Papillon
    • No. 5, [n. d.]
    • No. 6, [n. d.]
  • Op. 5, Romance, cello and piano
  • Op. 8, Concerto No. 1 in D minor, cello and orchestra
  • Op. 10, Pieces for cello and piano
    • No. 1, Sarabande
    • No. 2, Gavotte, in D minor
    • No. 3, Trio-Pastoral
  • Op. 11, Pieces for cello and piano
    • No. 1, Widmung
    • No. 2, Humoreske
    • No. 3, Mazurka in G minor
  • Op. 12, Mazurka in D minor, cello and piano
  • Op. 14, Polonaise de concert, cello and piano
    • Chanson d'autrefois, cello and piano
  • Op. 16, Suite for two cellos
    • March for two cellos
  • Op. 18, Sérénade orientale, cello and piano
  • Op. 22, Nocturne in G major, cello and piano
  • Op. 23, Pieces for cello and piano
    • No. 1, [n. d.]
    • No. 2, Gavotte in D major
  • Op. 24, Concerto No. 2 in E minor, for cello and orchestra
  • Op. 27, Preludes for cello solo
    • No. 1, Andante serioso; [n. d.]
  • Op. 28, Concert-Polonaise No. 2 in F major, cello and piano
  • Op. 32, Pieces for cello and piano
    • No. 1, Nocturne
    • No. 2, Mazurka in A major
  • Op. 33, Tarantella, cello and piano
  • Op. 35, Four Mazurkas, cello and piano
  • Op. 38, Barcarolle in G major, cello and piano
  • Op. 39, Dance of the Elves, cello and piano
  • Op. 41, Nocturne, cello and piano
  • Op. 42, Three Nocturnes, cello and piano
  • Op. 43, Fantasy on Little Russian Songs, cello and piano
  • Op. 48, Menuetto in D major, cello and piano
  • Op. 50, Im Walde, Suite for cello and orchestra
    • No. 1, Eintritt (Entrance)
    • No. 2, Gnomentanz (Gnomes Dance)
    • No. 3, Andacht (Devotion)
    • No. 4, Reigen (Round Dance)
    • No. 5, Herbstblume (Autumn Flower)
    • No. 6, Heimkehr (Homecoming)
  • Op. 51, Six Mazurkas, cello and piano
  • Op. 54, Spanish Dances, cello and piano
    • No. 1, Zur Gitarre
    • No. 2, Serenade
    • No. 3, Spanische Tänze
    • No. 4, L'Andalouse
    • No. 5, Vito
  • Op. 55, Pieces for cello and piano
    • No. 1, Spinning Song
    • No. 2, Concert Étude
  • Op. 59, Concerto No. 3 in G major, cello and orchestra
  • Op. 60, Walzer Suite, cello and piano
  • Op. 62, Pieces for cello and piano
    • No. 1, La Mémoire
    • No. 2, La Chanson villageoise (Village Song)
    • No. 3, La Berceuse
  • Op. 64, Pieces for cello and piano
    • No. 1, Wie einst in schöner’n tagen (Once in Fairer Days)
    • No. 2, Tarantelle, in A major
    • No. 3, Wiegenlied (Lullaby)
  • Op. 65, Pieces for cello and piano
    • No. 1, Adagio
    • No. 2, Menuetto
    • No. 3, Polonaise
  • Op. 66, Requiem, for three cellos and piano (originally for three cellos and orchestra)
  • Op. 67, Pieces for cello and piano
    • No. 1, Largo
    • No. 2, Gavotte in D minor
    • No. 3, [n. d.]
    • No. 4, Gavotte in D minor
  • Op. 68, Hungarian Rhapsody, cello and piano
  • Op. 69, Suite for cello and piano
    • Largo à l'ancienne mode
  • Op. 71, Scottish Fantasy, cello and piano
  • Op. 72, Concerto No. 4 in B minor, cello and orchestra
  • Op. 73, High School of Cello Playing (Hohe Schule des Violoncellospiels): Forty Études for Cello Solo
  • Op. 74, String Quartet in C minor
  • Op. 75, Serenade, cello and piano
  • Op. 76, Zehn mittelschwere große Etüden [a/k/a Studies (Preparatory to Op. 73)]
  • Op. 76a, Fünfzehn leichte melodisch-rhythmische Etüden


Works with unknown or no opus number
  • Cadenzas for cello
    • Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto in D major
    • Camille Saint-Saëns: Concerto in A minor, Op. 33
    • Robert Volkmann: Cello Concerto in A minor
    • Robert Schumann: Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129
    • Molique, B.: Cello Concerto in D major
  • Romance in G major for cello and piano, originally for violin and piano
  • Chant du soir, cello and piano


Arrangements and transcriptions for cello and piano
  • Bach, J.S., Arie aus der D-dur Suite
  • Chopin, Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 2
  • Campioni, Minuet Pastoral
  • Cherubini, Ave Maria
  • Giordani, Caro mio ben
  • Handel, Largo; Sarabande
  • Jámbor, Nocturne, Op. 8, No. 1
  • Jensen, Murmelndes Lüftchen, Op. 21, No. 4
  • Mendelssohn, Auf Flügeln des Gesanges; Reiselied, Op. 19, No. 6
  • Pergolesi, Nina (Tre giorni)
  • Purcell, Aria
  • Rubinstein, Mélodie, Op. 3, No. 1
  • Schubert, Du bist die Ruh’; Ave Maria, Op. 52, No. 4; Der Neugierige; Sei mir gegrüsst; Litanei auf das Fest "Allerseelen"; An die Musik
  • Schumann, Träumerei, Op. 15, No. 7; Abendlied, Op. 85, No. 12; Schlummerlied, Op. 124, No. 16
  • Tchaikovsky, Song Without Words, Op 2, No. 3; Chanson triste, Op. 40, No. 2; Barcarolle, Op. 37, No. 6; Perce-Niegre, Op. 37, No. 4; Chant d’automne, Op. 37, No. 10

Media

External links

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