Froberger, Johann Jacob
- Howard Schott
(b Stuttgart, bap. May 19, 1616; d Héricourt, nr Montbéliard, France, 6/May 7, 1667). German composer, organist and keyboard player. Considered the foremost mid-17th century German composer of keyboard music, he was court organist in Vienna, studied with Frescobaldi in Rome, and travelled and performed in the Low Countries, England, France, Germany and Italy. He crafted a distinctive personal idiom from stylistic features of Italian, French and German keyboard music. His works strongly influenced Louis Couperin and German keyboard composers into the time of J.S. Bach.
Notwithstanding Froberger’s importance in the history of keyboard music and the esteem in which he was held in the late 17th and 18th centuries, documentation of his life is fragmentary. The 18th-century accounts by Walther (WaltherML) and Mattheson (MatthesonGEP) are inaccurate. Walther, for instance, gave Halle rather than Stuttgart as Froberger’s birthplace and fixed his birthdate 19 years too late. It was only in the 1930s (see Seidler) that these mistakes were finally rectified. Halle, however, was where his family came from; his grandfather, Simon, lived there, and his father, Basilius, was also born there in ...