At the beginning of 1804, Hoffmann was assigned to Warsaw.
The provincial atmosphere of Plock oppressed Hoffmann. He complained to friends and sought to get out of the "vile place". At the beginning of 1804, Hoffmann was appointed to Warsaw.
In the large cultural center of that time, Hoffmann's creative activity took on a more intense character. Music, painting, literature take possession of him more and more. In Warsaw, the first musical and dramatic works of Hoffmann were written. This is a swing for the text by C. Brentano “Jolly Musicians”, music for the drama by E. Werner “Cross on the Baltic Sea”, one-act swing for “Uninvited guests, or the Canon of Milan”, opera in three acts “Love and Jealousy” on the plot of P. Calderon as well as the Es-dur symphony for a large orchestra, two piano sonatas and many other works.
Heading the Warsaw Philharmonic Society, Hoffmann, in 1804-1806, was a conductor in symphony concerts and lectured on music. At the same time, he painted the premises of the Society.
In Warsaw, Hoffmann became acquainted with the works of German romantics, major writers and poets: Aug. Schlegel, Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg), V. G. Wackenroder, L. Thicke, K. Brentano, who had a great influence on his aesthetic views.
Hoffmann and theater
Hoffmann's intense activity was interrupted in 1806 by the invasion of Warsaw by Napoleon’s troops, which destroyed the Prussian army and dissolved all Prussian institutions. Hoffmann was left without a livelihood. In the summer of 1807, with the help of friends, he moved to Berlin, and then to Bamberg, where he lived until 1813. In Berlin, Hoffmann did not find use for his versatile abilities. According to an ad in a newspaper, he found out about the position of bandmaster in the Bamberg City Theater, where he moved at the end of 1808. But not having worked there for a year, Hoffmann left the theater, not wanting to put up with routine and cater to the backward tastes of the public.
In search of a job in 1809, he turned to the famous music critic I.F. Rokhlits, the editor of the Universal Music Newspaper in Leipzig, with a proposal to write a number of reviews and short stories on musical topics. Rokhlits proposed to Hoffmann, as a theme, the story of a brilliant musician who came to complete poverty. So the genius “Kreisleriana” arose - a series of essays about the bandmaster Johannes Kreisler, the musical short stories “Cavalier Gluck”, “Don-Juan” and the first music-critical articles.
In 1810, when the composer's old friend Franz Holbein was at the head of the Bamberg theater, Hoffmann returned to the theater, but now as a composer, artist, decorator and even architect. Under the influence of Hoffmann, the works of Calderon in the translations of Aug were included in the repertoire of the theater. Schlegel (shortly before this was first published in Germany).
Hoffmann's musical creativity
In 1808-1813, many musical works were created:
- romantic opera in four acts “A drink of immortality”
- music for the drama “Julius Sabin” by Soden
- operas Aurora, Dirna
- one-act ballet “Harlequin”
- piano trio E-dur
- string quartet, motets
- four-part choirs a cappella
- Miserere with orchestra accompaniment
- many pieces for voice and orchestra
- vocal ensembles (duets, quartet for soprano, two tenors and bass and others)
- in Bamberg, Hoffmann began work on his best work - the opera Ondine
When F. Holbein left the theater in 1812, Hoffmann's position worsened, and he was forced to look for a position again. Lack of livelihoods forced Hoffmann to return to legal service. In the fall of 1814 he moved to Berlin, where from that time he held various positions in the Ministry of Justice. However, the soul of Hoffmann still belonged to literature, music, painting ... He rotates in the literary circles of Berlin, meets with L. Thick, K. Brentano, A. Chamisso, F. Fouquet, G. Heine.
At the same time, the popularity of the Hoffmann musician is growing. In 1815, his music for the solemn prologue of Fouquet was performed at the Royal Theater in Berlin. A year later, in August 1816, the premiere of "Undiny" took place in the same theater. The production of the opera was distinguished by its extraordinary splendor and was warmly received by the audience and musicians.
"Undine" was the last major musical work of the composer and at the same time a composition that opened a new era in the history of the romantic opera house in Europe. Hoffmann's further career was mainly connected with literary activity, with his most significant works:
- The Elixir of the Devil (novel)
- The Golden Pot (fairy tale)
- “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” (fairy tale)
- “Alien Child” (fairy tale)
- "Princess Brambilla" (fairy tale)
- “Baby Tsahes nicknamed Zinnober” (fairy tale)
- The Mayorate (novel)
- four volumes of stories “The Serapion Brothers” and others ...