Victor August Herbert (February 1, 1859 – May 26, 1924) was an American composer, cellist and conductor of Irish ancestry and German training. Although Herbert enjoyed important careers as a cello soloist and conductor, he is best known for composing many successful operettas that premiered on Broadway from the 1890s to World War I. He was also prominent among the Tin Pan Alley composers and was later a founder of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). A prolific composer, Herbert produced 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 the early 1880s, Herbert began a career as a cellist in Vienna, Austria, and Stuttgart, Germany, during which he began to compose orchestral music. Herbert and his opera singer wife, Therese Förster, moved to the U.S. in 1886 when both were engaged by the Metropolitan Opera. In the U.S., Herbert continued his performing career, while also teaching at the National Conservatory of Music, conducting and composing. His most notable instrumental compositions were his Cello Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 30 (1894), which entered the standard repertoire, and his Auditorium Festival March (1901). He led the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1898 to 1904 and then founded the Victor Herbert Orchestra, which he conducted throughout the rest of his life.
Herbert began to compose operettas in 1894, producing several successes, including The Serenade (1897) and The Fortune Teller (1898). Some of the operettas that he wrote after the turn of the 20th century were even more successful: Babes in Toyland (1903), Mlle. Modiste (1905), The Red Mill (1906), Naughty Marietta (1910), Sweethearts (1913) and Eileen (1917). After World War I, with the change of popular musical tastes, Herbert began to compose musicals and contributed music to other composers' shows. While some of these were well-received, he never again achieved the level of success that he had enjoyed with his most popular operettas.
Birth and Death Data: Born February 1, 1859 (Dublin), Died May 24, 1924 (New York City)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1896 - 1950
Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, conductor, arranger, cello, orchestrator
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 843 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Berliner||113||7-in.||Apr. 1898||The serenade : Waltz||Sousa's Band||Band||composer|
|Berliner||138||7-in.||June 1898||The idol's eye : Waltz||Band (unidentified; Berliner Gramophone Co.)||Band||composer|
|Berliner||471||7-in.||10/9/1897||The serenade||Artists vary||Banjo solo (10/9/1897 take); Banjo duet (take Z)||composer|
|Berliner||953||7-in.||4/17/1896||Star light, star bright||Artists vary||Male vocal solo||composer|
|Berliner||1000||7-in.||Before June 1896||My Angeline||Frank Daniels||Male vocal solo||composer|
|Berliner||1485||7-in.||4/7/1898||The idol’s eye : March||Artists vary||Orchestra||composer|
|Berliner||1488||7-in.||Before June 1898||The serenade : March||Instrumentalist(s) (unidentified; Berliner Gramophone Co.)||Instrumental solo||composer|
|Berliner||1489||7-in.||May 1898||The American girl||Artists vary||Orchestra||composer|
|Berliner||1858||7-in.||6/11/1898||I love thee, I adore thee||Albert Campbell||Male vocal solo||composer|
|Berliner||1909||7-in.||10/20/1898||Gypsy love song||Eugene Cowles||Male vocal solo||composer|
|Berliner||3020||7-in.||5/3/1898||Don José of Seville||Jesse Bartlett Davis ; W. H. MacDonald||Female-male vocal duet||composer|
|Berliner||3179||7-in.||Late 1898||Opening chorus of school girls, Act 1||Chorus from "The fortune teller"||Vocal chorus||composer|
|Berliner||3180||7-in.||Late 1898||Always do as people say you should||Chorus from "The fortune teller" ; Alice Neilson||Female vocal solo, with vocal chorus||composer|
|Berliner||3181||7-in.||Late 1898||Finale, 2nd Act||Chorus from "The fortune teller" ; Trumpet and drums from "The fortune teller"||Vocal chorus, with trumpet and drums||composer|
|Berliner||4266||7-in.||5/7/1898||Dreaming, dreaming||Henry Clay Barnabee||Male vocal solo, with female-male vocal duet||composer|
|Berliner||4267||7-in.||5/7/1898||Dreaming, dreaming||Helena Frederick||Female vocal solo, with male vocal duet||composer|
|Berliner||4268||7-in.||5/7/1898||Dreaming, dreaming||George B. Frothingham||Male vocal solo, with female-male vocal duet||composer|
|Berliner||5906||7-in.||3/21/1899||The fortune teller : March||Joseph P. Cullen||Banjo solo||composer|
|Berliner||7004||7-in.||Before Apr. 1899||The fortune teller : Czardas||Artists vary||Orchestra||composer|
|Berliner||7005||7-in.||Before Apr. 1899||The fortune teller : March||Artists vary||Orchestra||composer|
|Berliner||8001||7-in.||4/22/1898||The fortune teller : March||Victor Herbert’s 22nd Regiment Band||Band||composer|
|Berliner||8007||7-in.||Dec. 1898||Gypsy love song||Sousa's Band||Band||composer|
|Berliner||8008||7-in.||4/22/1899||The fortune teller : Waltz||Sousa's Band||Band||composer|
|Berliner||8014||7-in.||4/22/1899||Cyrano de Bergerac : Waltzes||Sousa's Band||Band||composer|
|Berliner||8016||7-in.||Before Apr. 1899||Ah! Cupid||Victor Herbert’s 22nd Regiment Band||Band||composer|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Herbert, Victor," accessed January 17, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102518.
Herbert, Victor. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 17, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102518.
"Herbert, Victor." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 17 January 2022.
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