Agthe, Carl Christian
- Dieter Härtwig
(b Hettstedt, June 16, 1762; d Ballenstedt, Nov 27, 1797). German organist and composer, father of Albrecht Wilhelm Johann Agthe. He first learnt music with his grandfather Johann Michael Agthe, Kantor at the Rathsschule, and his great-uncle Andreas Agthe, a local organist; he later continued his musical studies as a choirboy and as a member of the local Stadtpfeiferei. From 1776 to 1782 he was director of music with the Hündelberg theatrical company in Reval (now Tallinn), where he composed his first Singspiele. He then moved to Ballenstedt to join the court orchestra of Prince Friedrich Albrecht of Anhalt-Bernburg as an organist and harpsichordist. There he became known as one of the best organists of his time and, after further studies with F.W. Rust, as an active composer of Singspiele, songs and instrumental pieces. His best-known work is a setting of Kotzebue’s Der Spiegelritter (1795), which was first performed by an amateur society in Ballenstedt and several times revived. Agthe himself undertook the publication of his only extant published works – two volumes of songs and a set of three easy keyboard sonatas....