Johann Adolf Hasse (16991783)
All works by Johann Adolf Hasse at Carus
About the person
Johann Adolf Hasse was as a composer the undisputed idol of later baroque era. He was the musical representative of the final splendour of absolutism shortly before dawn which brought the radical changes of the French Revolution.
Although his works have almost faded into oblivion, in no small part due to their identification with the Ancien régime, Hasse's graceful, light-hearted and distinctively expressive music still has the power to please and to persuade and is rediscovered in our days more and more.
Hasse composed instrumental music, works for the church, oratorios, secular cantatas, serenades and intermezzi, but above all, he composed operas in the manner of the "Dramma per musica" as characterized by the libretti of Pietro Metastasio.
Hasse's creative output spanned almost 60 years and set high standards. It represented both stylistic change as well as the continuity of the baroque era.
Hasse was born in March 1699 in Bergedorf, which today is a part of Hamburg. After initial success as a singer he turned to composition. In Naples where he converted to Catholizism he was one of the last students of Alessandro Scarlatti. In 1730 he married the famous singer Faustina Bordoni in Venice. During his almost 30 year career as director of music at the Court of Dresden musical life flourished there under his guidance.
In his sacred works Hasse composed effective choral scores which in their level of difficulty do not pose performance problems for the majority of today's choirs and thus they are aptly suitable for a place in the church music as it is performed today (and of course it should be remembered that large choirs in the sense of oratorio singing of the 19th. century did not exist in Hasse's time).
Hasse's instrumental compositions do not comprise a major part of his creative output. Nonetheless, most of these works are pleasent, charming works with a predominalty cheerful character.
Hasse - Complete edition
– Messe in d (1751) (L), Carus 40.663
– Miserere in d (Psalm 50) (L), Carus 40.708
– Miserere in F (L), Carus 40.807/10
– Miserere in c (L), Carus 40.961
– Regina coeli in D (L), Carus 40.962
Domine ad adiuvandum me (L), Carus 40.965
Dixit Dominus (L), Carus 40.966
Confitebor tibi (L), Carus 40.968
Beatus vir (L), Carus 40.969
Laudate pueri (L), Carus 40.970
– Salve Regina in A (L), Carus 40.967
– Salve Regina in F (L), Carus 40.709
– Te Deum (1751) (L), Carus 40.963
– Venite pastores. Motetto pastorale (L), Carus 40.964
– Sechs Sonaten / Cemb (Pfte), Carus 40.596
– Sechs Triosonaten, Carus 40.582
Sonata I in e / Sonata II in C / Sonata III in A
Sonata IV in G / Sonata V in E / Sonata VI in D
– Sechs Violinsonaten, Carus 16.061
With the exception of his opera sinfonias, the first edition of the Six Violin Sonatas by Johann Adolf Hasse is the only instrumental work by this composer whose authorship can be verified through his handwritten entries in a manuscript copy. The composer gave these pieces a profile completely tailored to the instrument, a fact which places them in sharp contrast to those compositions which can be played by various melody instruments.