Knechtel, Johann George
- Thomas Hiebert
(b ?Prague, c1715; d ?Dresden, after 1766). Horn player, probably from Bohemia . Dlabacž mentions two ‘very good’ horn- and trumpet-playing brothers from Prague named Knechtel, one of whom may have been Johann George. Knechtel played first horn in the renowned Dresden court orchestra from 1733 or 1734 until about 1756. According to Dahlqvist, it is likely that he ‘retired’ as horn player in order to become a court cellist at Dresden during the years 1756–67. Knechtel wrote one concerto for horn in D (Katalog Wenster Litteratur I/10, S-L ; also found in a version for viola in E♭ in D-Dl ) and has another concerto attributed to him in the same collection (in E♭, I/11). These works, as well as many of J.F. Fasch’s ensemble concertos written during Knechtel’s employment with the Dresden orchestra, show him to have been a master of the high (so-called clarino) register. Thus Knechtel developed the tradition of virtuoso first horn players in Dresden in the first half of the 18th century (others there during the period included Johann Adalbert Fischer and J.A. Schindler) whilst expanding upon this tradition through his skill in the performance of quick chordal figures and large leaps in a quasi-violinistic idiom. While Knechtel was perfecting the extreme high range, his partner at second horn, A.J. Hampel, was developing the lower compass of the horn. Knechtel is also thought to have composed a set of 12 ‘Menuets et Polonaises’ for keyboard dated ...