A. T. Huerta Life and Works: new research

Published by Robert Coldwell on

With the book “A. T. Huerta Life and Works” I wrote with Javier Suárez-Pajares in 2006 out of print (digital edition still available) and no current plans for a second edition, I will post information here about new music and information that has been discovered about Huerta.

Divorce libel 1825

Huerta married on May 24, 1824 a very young pianist, Sabina Meucci,who was the daughter of Antonio Meucci, a miniature painter. The Meucci family arrived in the US from Italy as early as 1821 based on advertisements for painting classes in Charleston, SC newspapers. Sabina’s exact age at her time of marriage is unclear although it is certain she was very young. Huerta and Sabina often performed together after their marriage.

The details of the newspaper announcements of Sabina’s divorce libel are in the book, but the actual court document was not reproduced so I will share it here. What is not in the court document is a note in the Record Book volume 1826, Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County on page 227: docket #93 Huerta v. Huerta: And now neither party appearing it is ordered that this libel be dismissed.


Sabina’s life after Huerta

To be continued…


Additional music by Huerta

  • Manuscript method at Biblioteca Nacional de España bound with two printed editions.
  • Unattributed manuscript for guitar of Riego’s March with label “Guitare Principale” on first page in bound volume of music acquired by Robert Coldwell in 2008.
    • Even though it is unattributed I think there is a high possibility this is an autograph manuscript by Huerta. It is part of a bound volume titled “H. L. F. Guermonprez ‘Pratten Legacy’ 1889” and includes print editions by Pratten, Huerta and numerous Pratten manuscripts, many dated 1829. The Pratten signed manuscripts do not quite match the writing style or show the amount of corrections that the March has. The music is very much Huerta’s style and I can think of no other guitarist who has composed on Riego’s March.
      • Update 12/16/2020: I marked out information that I now believe is in question. I found mention of Stephen Pratten performing Riego’s March “in imitation of Huerta” in 1830 [1]Bristol Mirror, 13 Feb 1830, page 3 “The admirers of the Spanish Guitar had a musical treat in the excellent performance of our townsman, Pratten, at a select party, on Kingsdown, a few … Continue reading. Pratten was a student of Huerta’s, so the manuscript could indeed be an original by Huerta that Pratten owned or it could have been a copy that Pratten made after learning it from Huerta. Huerta was performing this music in concerts throughout this same time period. I still believe that the number of corrections in the manuscript do not match the signed Pratten manuscripts. Regardless, until a published edition for the guitar is found it is impossible to determine how accurate the manuscript is to what Huerta published.
    • New engraving of Riego’s March by Robert Coldwell. I tried to keep this as close to the original manuscript as possible correcting in only a few places. The harmonics presented some difficulties and I tried to stay as close to manuscript indications as possible. String numbers were added to the harmonics sections.
  • Two printed editions found by Luis Briso de Montiano in the Huidobro collection and announced at the 2nd Lake Konstanz Guitar Research Meeting – Bregenz, Austria, March 27-29, 2009. Also mentioned in article “Una parts de la biblioteca personal de Dionisio Aguado en el legato de Rosario Huidobro.” by Luis Briso de Montiano in Roseta N.12, 2018.
    • MAZURKA / Compuesta y dedicada a su amigo / D.n TOMAS RUBI / POR / T. F. HUERTA / Ob.a 62 / MADRID
    • Recuerdos de ula / Sonata Religiosa / Compuesta y dedicada a la Senora [sic] Dª Ursola [sic por Úrsula] Caturla y Maseras / POR SU SOBRINO / TRINITARIO HUERTA. / Obra: 34. / PARIS, 1832.
  • Two printed editions acquired by Robert Coldwell in 2011, formerly of the Chris Morley Collection.
  • Printed edition published in Portugal in 1854-55 listed in Maria João Durães Alburquerque’s 2014 doctoral dissertation”La edición musical en Portugal (1834-1900): un estudio documental.” Luis Briso de Montiano found this entry and did additional research. Engraved version published by Javier Suárez-Pajares in the 2017 book “Antología de Guitarra. II. Piezas de concerto (1850-1900).”
    • A S. M. el Rey D. Fernando. / Souvenir de Cintra / Fantaisie Española / Compuesta por / Francisco Trinidad Huerta. / «Señor – La acojida que V.M. tuvó a bien dispensarme y la gran bondad que V.M. a tenido en alternar con su brillante voz las piezas de musica que tuve el alto honor de tocar en mi guitarra en la noche de 7 de setiembre de 1854, me han inspirado a dedicar a V.M. esta memória por su aprecio y grande inteligencia en la Musica. La aprobacion que V.M. hizó y el placer que me mostró al oirlas, es un honor que estima en mucho su humilde servidor que besa la mano de V.M.»
  • Printed edition discovered by Robert Coldwell in 2019 in the Harvard Theatre Collection. Listed as composed by Huerta on the title page but the music is actually Sor.
  • 4 editions in the Mary Belle Swingle collection of guitar music at Yale University. It is unknown where Swingle obtained all of her music. The 4 works by Huerta in the collection are from the same bound volume as items number 6 through 8. The first three items have the same inscription by Huerta in the top right corner of the title page, but it cut off to different extents on each item. It appears to say “Al Sr. de Bar?? de su am.o Huerta.”
    • Nouvelle / Grande Fantaisie / de la Cachucha Nationale / avec / Nouvelles Variations / Pour la Guitare Espagnole, / Exécutées dans les Concerts publies à Paris et à Londres / Composée & Dediée / A / Don José Bousquet / Pour l’appréciation de son grand talent sur le Violon / par Don / F. Huerta / Oeuvre 64. | Prix 6 Fr. / A Paris, chez G. Baccalieri, Elève de Don F. Huerta, No. 2, Rue Vivienne.
      • Baccalieri published the same music by Huerta from the address Rue Vivienne No. 17. In our book we listed it as 1840 and I have found it listed in the 6 March 1841 Bibliographie de la France. The edition above from Rue Vivienne No. 2 would have been published later as Baccalieri appears at that address from at least 1845 through 1851. Note in the earlier edition Baccalieri does not call himself a student of Huerta. From 1846 Baccalieri advertises himself in city directories as a student of Huerta.
    • Mélancolie / Romance. / Dédiée à son Ami / Monsieur le Marquis de Custine / par / Francisco Huerta / Propriété de l’Auteur / Op. 63. [title page art has handwritten note “a mon ami Huerta” and Imp. Lemercier à Paris]
      • Huerta’s Symphonie Fantastique also carries the opus number 63.
    • Solitario, / Composed & respectfully Dedicated / To his Friend & Pupil / Charles Goding esq. / By / Don F. Huerta / Ent. Sta. Hall. / Price 2/ / My dear Sir, Allow me the honor of dedicating to you these few notes which I composed during a residence at Cork; where alone, in sickness, and deprived of friends, I had no other consolation than my Guitar. This dedication is a small mark of my admiration for your talents as a Guitarist, and my gratitude for the many favors you have had the kindness to confer on me. I have the honor to be, My dear Sir, Your very humble & ob.t Servant, / Don F. Huerta. / Published for the Author, and Sold by Mr. Davies, 31, Coventry Street, / and Mr. Panormo, 46, High Street, Bloomsbury.
      • His time in Cork was March – July 1839.
    • Seis Grandes Válzes / Para / Guitarra sola / compuestos y dedicados / a Da. Maria Almazàn / Por / Dn. A. T. Huerta / Propiedad del Autor. / Op.a 2a. / Preciosas: 6. Rs. / Madrid / Se halla en despacho del Establecimiento de Grabado y Estampado de Musica, Calle del Turco.
      • These are the exact same plates used by A. Meissonnier for the op. 2 published in our book. Huerta was in Madrid newspapers April – August 1823 performing, and by November 1823 was in Paris. He was only mentioned in Paris newspapers November 1823 – February 1824 and was in the US in April 1824. This edition above then was possibly published the middle of 1823 in Madrid, then Huerta took the plates with him to Paris and published with A. Meissonnier in late 1823.

Works dedicated to Huerta or Madame Huerta

There is a manuscript volume in the hand of Josiah Hudleston in the Royal Irish Academy of Music not scanned as part of the Hudleston Collection online. In this volume Hudleston dedicated an unpublished work to Madame Huerta, dated April 16, 1839.

Additional Portraits

Señor Huerta of Orihuela, Valencia, playing a Guitar, 1829 (pencil on paper). Attributed to George Cumberland (1754-1848). In Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

Reference to this portrait was found in Andrew Britton’s 2010 dissertation “The Guitar in the Romantic Period: its musical and social development, with special reference to Bristol and Bath” page 355. Cumberland helped organize one of Huerta’s first concerts in Bristol in 1829.

Thanks to the keen eye of Javier Suárez-Pajares another caricature in Le Charivari has been discovered!

12 Dec 1860 Le Charivari

Articles

References

References
1 Bristol Mirror, 13 Feb 1830, page 3 “The admirers of the Spanish Guitar had a musical treat in the excellent performance of our townsman, Pratten, at a select party, on Kingsdown, a few evenings since. His execution of Riego’s March, in imitation of Huerta, was admirable. Weber’s last waltz, as arranged by Pratten for the guitar, was very effective, and replete with all the original harmony.”

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