In the late 1980s musicologist Paul Banks discovered, in the Austrian National Library archives, a symphony in E major by twenty-year-old Hans Rott. The discovery attracted some considerable attention.
Born on 1 August 1858 in Vienna, the son of a singer and an actress, Rott studied at the Vienna Conservatory. Anton Bruckner was his organ teacher, and Gustav Mahler was a fellow student. Hans Rott had a highly successful early career, but things soon began to go wrong in his life - his mother died, his father suffered a bad accident, and Brahms rejected his Symphony. Following an incident on a train in which Rott drew a gun and threatened a fellow passenger, he was judged insane, and taken to hospital. After a suicide attempt, he was transferred to a Viennese insane asylum, where he 'survived' for more than three years until his death there on 25 June 1884, aged just 25.
Pernicious passion - The Lieder of Hans Rott, by Tess Crebbin
Shopping for opera ... - Tess Crebbin investigates the largest classical CD store in continental Europe
CD Spotlight. A monumental work - Hans Rott's Symphony in E, with Patric Standford. '... outstanding recording.'