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Michael Kassler

(b Woburn, Beds., Sept 24, 1766; d London, Jan 6, 1826). English geologist and writer on music. He was a tenor in the Surrey Chapel Society which met weekly in Southwark to practise sacred music. In 1791, when that society became part of the Choral Fund, Farey served as secretary and librarian and became acquainted ‘with numbers of the most eminent’ practitioners of music. The next year he returned to Woburn as the Duke of Bedford’s land steward and warden of Woburn parish church; from 1802 he lived in London.

Farey found the study of systems of musical temperament ‘a favourite source of amusement, while relaxing from … professional studies and practice’. His thoughts on music appeared mainly in numerous articles in the Philosophical Magazine and reappeared in contributions to David Brewster’s Edinburgh Encyclopaedia and to Abraham Rees’s Cyclopaedia: indeed Rees named only Charles Burney and Farey as ‘co-adjutors’ of the musical articles in the ...

Article

Lothar Hoffmann-Erbrecht

(b Zwickau, bap. Feb 5, 1732; d Gera, Aug 2, 1792). German composer and Kantor. He probably received his musical education from his father, Johann Gottfried Gruner (d 1763), a Kantor in Zwickau and Gera. In 1764 he succeeded his father as Kantor at the Landesschule and Johanniskirche in Gera and held these positions until his death. His compositions include keyboard concertos, chamber works, a secular cantata and sacred pieces; most are easy and pleasant pieces for musical dilettantes revealing little originality, although he was highly esteemed by his contemporaries. When his house was destroyed by the large Gera fire in 1780, 1102 people (among them J.F. Reichardt and C.P.E. Bach) subscribed to 1368 copies of his first set of six keyboard sonatas (1781), and his works were still popular in 1800, when a volume of his choral works was published posthumously.

Article

(b Rosenthal, Saxony, Feb 2, 1714; d Dresden, June 2, 1785). German composer, organist and Kantor.

The son of a Lutheran pastor, he spent his childhood from 1714 in Porschendorf (Pirna district). After his father’s death in 1722 he attended the Annenschule in Dresden, where in 1734 he composed his earliest extant work, the cantata Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild. He sometimes stood in for the organist at the Annenkirche, J.G. Stübner, who was probably his organ teacher. On 14 May 1735 he matriculated at Leipzig University in law; a class report from the professor A. Kästner (16 September 1741) reads: ‘For three years the candidatus juris has availed himself of my praelectionum iudicarum and striven to master the fundamenta iuris. He has, however, always allowed music to be his main task’. At this time he also took lessons from Bach in composition and keyboard playing, as mentioned by J.A. Hiller (...

Article

Richard Jones

revised by Peter Wollny

( b Oelsnitz, Nov 25, 1737; d Merseburg, March 14, 1801). German Kantor and composer . He studied music first under the Oelsnitz Kantor J.G. Nacke, and then at the Thomasschule, Leipzig (1749–56). Penzel studied law at Leipzig from 1756 until 1761. After an unsuccessful attempt in 1762 to obtain his father's position as sexton at Oelsnitz, in 1765 he succeeded A.F. Graun as Kantor at Merseburg.

Penzel is chiefly remembered for his numerous copies of Bach's works, some of which are important sources for modern editors. These copies (from sources at the Thomasschule and in the possession of W.F. Bach) comprise mainly cantatas, but also instrumental music. His manuscript collection was inherited by his nephew Johann Gottlob Schuster who sold most of it to Franz Hauser in 1833 (now in D-B ), while the remainder was acquired by the Leipzig publisher C.F. Peters (now in LEm ). Of his own compositions all that survive are four four-part arias (Leipzig, ...

Article

Almonte Howell

( b Cifuentes, nr Madrid; d Madrid, Jan 2, 1800). Spanish liturgist and singer . He may have been the Vicente Andrés Pérez from Cifuentes (b 4 Feb 1746) who was admitted as a choirboy to the seises of Toledo Cathedral in 1756. In 1770 he entered the royal chapel in Madrid as a tenor and remained there until his death. During his career, he was especially noted for his excellence as a singer, teacher and interpreter of plainsong, and for his activity in chapel affairs. He collected and annotated many documents concerning the chapel (now in E-Mn ) along with autographed theoretical works from his library. His major work is the Prontuario del cantollano gregoriano … según práctica de la muy santa primada iglesia de Toledo, a three-volume anthology of plainsong submitted to the Imprenta Real in 1786 but not published until 1799–1800 after years of delays and a personal appeal to the prime minister Godoy. An enlarged second edition appeared in ...

Article

Dieter Härtwig

(b Beierfeld, April 2, 1735; d Niederzwönitz, nr Zwönitz, July 19, 1811). German Kantor and composer. In 1749, through the assistance of G.A. Homilius, he was awarded a scholarship to the Dresden Kreuzschule, where he studied for six years. In 1755 he became Kantor and schoolteacher in Hohenstein-Ernstthal, where he remained until his retirement in 1808, having established an outstanding reputation as a Kantor and organist.

Tag was a prolific composer of Kantorenmusik in a style combining elements of the Baroque and Empfindsamkeit. At the centre of his creative output were his sacred cantatas; written between 1760 and 1780, predominantly to Pietist texts, they reflect the influence of Hasse and J.G. Naumann (a personal friend of Tag’s) and are particularly striking for their conservative adherence to fugue and their penchant for tone-painting and symbolism. The masses, of the two-movement missa brevis type with recitatives and arias, closely resemble the cantatas. After ...

Article

Dieter Härtwig

(b Hohenstein-Ernstthal, June 2, 1777; d Glauchau, July 12, 1839). German Kantor and composer, nephew of Christian Gotthilf Tag. He received his early education from his uncle, then attended the Leipzig Thomasschule for eight years, where he was encouraged by J.A. Hiller. After studying philosophy and theology at Leipzig University he became Kantor in Jessen (1803). In 1805 he went to Glauchau as Kantor, director of music and schoolteacher. Unlike his uncle, he composed few works; his known publications include two sacred choral pieces (Worte der Beruhigung bey unverschuldeten Schicksalen, 1813, and the litany Ewiger, erbarme dich, 1815) and 12 variations on Gaudeamus igitur for keyboard and flute, all published in Glauchau. A Gloria for chorus and instruments survives in manuscript, and his Hosianna! Davids Sohn for Advent was mostly transmitted orally until its publication by Walter Hüttel.

EitnerQMGG1 (W. Hüttel)...