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date: 12 November 2019

Riemschneider [Riemenschneider], Johann Gottfriedlocked

  • Winton Dean

Extract

(b ?Halle; flc1720– after 1739). German bass and composer. He was the son of Gebhard Reimschneider (1657–1701), Kantor of the Marienkirche at Halle, and is said to have been a schoolfellow of Handel’s. He sang at Hamburg from about 1720, appearing in at least five operas by Keiser (1723–7) and arrangements of Handel’s Tamerlano and Giulio Cesare. In 1729 Handel engaged him for London where he made his début as Clodomiro in Lotario and sang in Giulio Cesare (Achillas), Partenope (Ormonte) and the pasticcio Ormisda (1730). Rolli wrote in a letter of December 1729 that his voice was ‘more of a natural contralto than a bass. He sings sweetly in his throat and nose, pronounces Italian in the Teutonic manner, acts like a sucking-pig, and looks more like a valet than anything’. The progressive reduction of the parts given him by Handel suggests no great confidence in his powers; his voice was a high baritone (compass of ...

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