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date: 20 September 2019

Ambros, August Wilhelmlocked

  • Philipp Naegele

Extract

(b Mauth [now Vysoké Mýto], Nov 17, 1816; d Vienna, June 28, 1876). Austrian music historian and critic. His mother, sister of the musicologist Kiesewetter, fostered his love of music, painting and architecture; the performance of older music in the Kiesewetter home belonged to Ambros’s strongest early impressions. He acquired a musical training, despite his father’s objections, through a keen enthusiasm, an exceptional memory and an unbounded capacity for work. A humanistic Gymnasium education, a doctorate of law completed in 1839 at Prague University and vast reading, with a youthful predilection for Jean Paul, underlay his later scholarship and influenced his prolix style. Robert Schumann was his spiritual and journalistic model, and as ‘Flamin’ he associated with enthusiastic young followers, including Hanslick as ‘Renatus’, in a Bohemian branch of the ‘Davidsbund’ to fight musical conservatism in Prague. He was indebted more to the concepts and methods of art historians and historians of antiquity, of law and of literature, than to such musical colleagues as Kiesewetter or Fétis....

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