Friday, November 22, 2013

Mr. Punch in the Arts: Victor Herbert's "Punchinello," 1900

Victor Herbert

Born in Ireland and raised in Germany, Victor Herbert (1859-1924), remains one of the most celebrated American composers, cellists and conductors. Herbert, despite his other talents, is best known for composing a host of successful operettas which debuted on Broadway from the 1890s through World War I.

One of the most influential of New York’s “tin pan alley” composers, Herbert was also a founder of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). He is credited as composing two operas, a cantata, 43 operettas, incidental music to 10 plays, 31 compositions for orchestra, nine band compositions, nine cello compositions, five violin compositions with piano or orchestra, 22 piano compositions and numerous songs, choral compositions and orchestrations of works by other composers, among other music.

In 1900, Herbert produced this beautiful concerto inspired by Mr. Punch and entitled, “Punchinello.” Enjoy this antique Ampico piano roll of Herbert performing the piece himself.

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