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Article

Walter Senn and Hildegard Herrmann-Schneider

[Johann Anton]

(b Kurtatsch, South Tyrol, Jan 9, 1748; d Stams, Oberinntal, Feb 27, 1805). Austrian composer and choirmaster. A member of the Cistercian order. His musical talent led him to be accepted as a boarder at the St Nikolaihaus in Innsbruck around 1760, where the students were maintained free of charge and performed as choristers or instrumentalists in the university church choir. At the same time he attended the Innsbruck Gymnasium; after concluding his studies there, in 1768 he probably studied philosophy at the University of Innsbruck. In 1770 his Singspiel Das alte deutsche Wörtlein Tut was performed at the Gymnasium theatre. In the same year he entered the abbey of Stams, notable for its cultivation of music. He devoted himself to the study of theology and in 1774 he was ordained a priest in Bressanone. He became violin teacher to the abbey school in 1785 and was promoted to head music instructor and choirmaster in ...

Article

Adolf Layer

revised by Stephan Hörner

(b after 1700; d Kempten, Aug 14, 1757). German organist and composer. He was a court musician in the service of the Prince-Abbot of Kempten. In 1731 he married there in the collegiate church of St Lorenz. Two works by him were published by Lotter in Augsburg: X Ariae de Deo & Sanctis, ad modernum stylum elaboratae (1729), and VI Lytaniae Lauretanae de B.V. Maria, cum annexis II Te Deum laudamus (1731) for four voices and instruments. These works remained in the publisher’s catalogue for two decades.

His son Joseph Ignaz Bieling (b Kempten, 7 March 1735; d Kempten, 7 Jan 1814) studied logic and possibly theology at Salzburg University in 1752, and while there was a pupil of Leopold Mozart. He married at the church of St Lorenz in 1762. He succeeded his father in the post of court organist, and in addition was Kapellmeister of the Hofmusik and Kammermusik, the last Kapellmeister to the princely court before the secularization of Kempten. Besides writing church music (in ...

Article

August Scharnagl

revised by Josef Focht

(b Altötting, Jan 11, 1727; d Passau, April 23, 1812). German Kapellmeister, violinist and composer. His grandfather Philipp Haindl (d c1681) was a choral director at Ebersberg (near Munich), and his father Johann Sebastian Haindl (1645–1732) was a choirboy at Munich Cathedral, a singer in the Damenstift at Hall, and the choral director at Altötting (1683–1706, and from 1715). F.S. Haindl first studied music with his stepfather, the tenor Wolfgang Stängelmayr, and as a choirboy at the Altötting collegiate church. He studied the violin at Munich and went to Innsbruck in 1748. In 1752 Duke Clemens of Bavaria appointed him first violinist at the Munich court, a post he held until about 1778, though he stayed much of the time at Innsbruck, where he met Leopold Mozart. After Duke Clemens's death in 1770 he frequently performed festival music at monasteries in the Tyrol, where most of his extant works are held. From ...

Article

Milan Poštolka

[Caetano, Cajetan]

(b Konojedy, nr Litoměřice, c1750; d Prague, Aug 27, 1794). Czech composer and choirmaster. He acquired his basic music education at a school in Konojedy. From 1763 he attended the Jesuit college at Breslau (now Wrocław), where he sang alto and was later an organist. Afterwards he studied theology at Prague, where he joined the Servite order (Ordo Servorum Beatae Mariae Virginis), became a priest and was appointed choirmaster at the monastic church of St Michael (1774). On the abolition of the Servite monastery (1786) he was appointed as a preacher in German at the Trinity Church in Prague. He studied composition with Habermann and the violin with F.A. Ernst, a pupil of Lolli.

Almost all Vogel’s instrumental works listed by Dlabač are lost, but his sacred works were among the most widely disseminated (in manuscript) in Bohemia during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They have a distinctly secular, high-Classical style, with many dance- and folk-like elements. According to Dlabač his models were Mysliveček, Haydn and Zimmermann. His solemn mass and ...

Article

Adolf Layer

revised by Hermann Ullrich

(bap. Augsburg, Oct 15, 1723; d Augsburg, Aug 21, 1772). German composer. The son of an Augsburg businessman and language teacher, he studied at St Salvator, the Jesuit Gymnasium in Augsburg, and then attended the theological seminary at Pfaffenhausen in Swabia, taking priestly vows in 1749. Even as a student his compositions attracted attention. After joining the choir of Augsburg Cathedral, he became vicar-choral and, in 1755, cathedral Kapellmeister, a post he held for 17 years. He wrote the music for school dramas for St Salvator, some of the texts of which have survived ( D-As , DI ), as well as symphonies (Brook), sacred arias and much sacred music (masses, vespers, litanies, psalms, etc.), in which ‘the late Baroque contrapuntal style merges with what are sometimes early classical melodic and harmonic aspects to form an organic unity’ (Krautwurst, 1984). His Canticum Zachariae (in D-Mbs ), a masterpiece of counterpoint, was performed regularly in Augsburg Cathedral during Holy Week from ...

Article

August Scharnagl

revised by Robert Münster

[Johannes Baptist]

(b Meran [now Merano], June 20, 1730; d Andechs, nr Ammersee, April 3, 1797). German composer, choir director and organist. He was a choirboy at the chapel of the royal convent in Hall, and sang in school comedies at the Jesuit Gymnasium there (1743–5); he continued his studies at the monastery of Polling, Bavaria, and at Freising. In 1749 he entered the Benedictine monastery at Andechs and in 1754 was ordained priest. According to his foreword to the offertories op.1, he studied at Andechs with the music director Gregor Schreyer, was the monastery's assistant director of music (1755), organist and director of the Tafelmusik (1757), leader of the Figuralchor (1760) and singing master (1761–2). In 1763, to encourage his compositional activity, Abbot Meinrad Moosmüller sent him to visit the Italian Opera in Munich. In 1767 he became the music director and leader of the boys’ classes at the Andechs monastery. In ...

Article

Robert Münster

German family of musicians of Italian descent. They were active in the courts of Mannheim and Munich.

(b ?Rome, before 1700; d Mannheim, bur. Oct 15, 1758). Violinist and composer. He was actually named Toesca, and was descended from an old Italian noble family of Saorgio in the county of Nice. His father Giovanni Battista Toesca was chamberlain to the Duke of Gravina, Prince Orsini, in Rome. Alessandro toured England and Germany and was employed from 1719 to 1724 as court musician in the service of the Landgrave Ernst Ludwig of Hesse in Darmstadt. On 2 January 1725 he was engaged as second maître des concerts at the Württemberg court at Stuttgart. His first wife, the court singer Giovanna Toeschi, died on 26 July 1726; before 1730 he married again, his second wife being Octavia de Saint Pierre (possibly an aunt of the singer Dorothea Wendling). Soon after the death of Duke Eberhard Ludwig on ...

Article

Peter Holman and Robert Rawson

[Godfrey]

(b ?Olomouc, c1660; d Mannheim, bur. Aug 31, 1730). Moravian viol player and composer. Georg Finger, his father or brother, was cantor at St Moriče, Olomouc. Gottfried was presumably in the service of Prince-Bishop Karl Liechtenstein-Kastelcorn, for pieces composed and copied by him survive in the prince-bishop's music collection at Kroměříž. According to Riemann, Finger was in Munich in 1682, and he was in London by spring 1687: he received a post in James II's new Catholic chapel by a warrant dated 5 July 1687, backdated to 25 March. In 1688 he published his op.1, which he dedicated to James II, stating that the music was intended for use in the Catholic chapel. Finger did not follow the king into exile in 1688, but remained in London and started a successful freelance career. He began by publishing three collections of easy and tuneful music designed to appeal to amateurs: ...

Article

Shelley Davis

(b Schweissing [now Svojšín], c1722; d Ehrenbreitstein, July 17, 1798). German composer of Bohemian descent. As a youth he studied the keyboard and violin in Prague. In 1746 he began service in the orchestra of the Prince-Bishop of Augsburg (Joseph, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt). After mid-1749 he embarked on a three-year trip to Italy and for a year studied counterpoint at Naples with Francesco Durante and Girolamo Abos. By 1758 he was Konzertmeister of the prince-bishop's orchestra. In 1768 Clemens Wenzeslaus, Elector of Trier, succeeded to the bishopric of Augsburg and took over the orchestra, moving some of its personnel to Ehrenbreitstein, his electoral residence; Lang was made Konzertmeister there in 1769 and remained even after the elector moved across the Rhine into the new palace at Koblenz in 1786. Lang's official duties included leading the strings and advising the elector's Musikintendant, Baron von Thünnefeld, on orchestral administration. In ...

Article

Jean K. Wolf

German family of musicians. They were active at the courts of Mannheim and Munich.

(b c1690; d Oct 12, 1773). Flautist and composer. The earliest known reference to him occurs in a list of the musicians at the Margrave of Baden's court in Rastatt in 1706. In Düsseldorf on 1 January 1715 he married Anna Margaretha Essers (d 1725), by whom he had four children; he served there as flautist to the Palatine electors Johann Wilhelm and (from 1716) Carl Philipp. He later moved with the court to Heidelberg (1718) and to Mannheim (1720). In 1727 he married his second wife Rosina Arnold (d 8 February 1774), who bore him five children. His name appears, in various forms, in the Mannheim orchestra lists from 1723 to 1773, although by 1756 he had retired; he earned a substantial salary and gave flute lessons to Elector Carl Theodor until ...

Article

Adolf Layer

revised by Stephan Hörner

(b Brescia, 1729; d Hanau, Nov 21, 1797). Italian composer. After the early death of his parents in an earthquake he went to Innsbruck, entered the service of Baron Pircher and studied at Innsbruck University. In 1752 he composed a school drama for the Jesuits. Two years later he became conductor of an Italian opera troupe, with which he visited Cologne, Brussels, Lille and other cities. In 1756 he took charge of the court chapel of Prince-Bishop Joseph, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, in Augsburg and Dillingen an der Donau. He travelled widely as a performer and composer, becoming a member of the Bologna Accademia Filarmonica (1758) and composing an oratorio for Mannheim (1762) and operas for Munich (1765) and Padua (1767). After the landgrave’s death in 1768, Sales, taking with him some of the Augsburg musicians, moved to the court of the Trier Elector Clemens Wenzeslaus (who had succeeded to the title of Prince-Bishop of Augsburg) at Ehrenbreitstein am Rhein. There he headed the court chapel, one of the largest in Germany, although he was not appointed court Kapellmeister until ...

Article

Jochen Reutter

(b ?Holleschau [now Holešov], Dec 1, 1709; d Strasbourg, Sept 12, 1789). German composer of Moravian descent. Holleschau in Moravia is traditionally regarded as his native town, but there is no entry in the Holleschau church records to confirm this. The archives do, however, show that his father Matthias served in this town as a soldier. Richter could therefore at least have spent his childhood there, and his name does appear with the attribute ‘Holleschoviensis’ (‘of Holleschau’) in the registers of the Jesuit seminary at Ungarisch Hradisch (now Uherské Hradiště), where he was a pupil (1722–7). In Richter’s death certificate the remark ‘ex Kratz’ (‘of Hradiště’) may therefore be the result of a confusion between the towns of his birth and his schooling, as is also the case in Marpurg’s description ‘aus Ungarn’ (‘from Hungary’).

Between 1727 and 1736 Richter probably spent some time in Vienna: this is implied by his intensive study of Fux’s ...

Article

Rita Benton

Austro-French family of composers, musicians, publishers and piano makers, active in France. (For the firm of piano makers, see Pleyel.)

(b Ruppersthal, June 18, 1757; d Paris, Nov 14, 1831). Composer, music publisher and piano maker. He founded a major publishing house and a piano factory and his compositions achieved widespread popularity in Europe and North America.

Pleyel’s baptismal certificate in the parish office names his father Martin, a schoolteacher, and his mother Anna Theresia (Maria Christina Theresa in MGG1). He is said to have studied with Vanhal while very young, and in about 1772 he became Haydn’s pupil and lodger in Eisenstadt, his annual pension being paid by Count Ladislaus Erdődy, whose family at Pressburg was related to Haydn’s patrons, the Esterházys. The count showed his pleasure at the progress of his protégé by offering Haydn a carriage and two horses, for which Prince Esterházy agreed to provide a coachman and fodder....

Article

Eugene K. Wolf, Fritz Kaiser and Jean K. Wolf

[Stamic]

Bohemian family of musicians. The family can be traced back to Marburg an der Drau in Styria (now Maribor, Slovenia). From there Martin Stamitz emigrated to the Bohemian town of Pardubice, where his name is first recorded in 1665. About 1710 Martin’s son Antonin Ignác (1686–1765) moved to Německý Brod, where he was appointed organist and choirmaster of the Dean’s church and later became a wealthy landowner and town councillor. In 1714 he married Rosina (Rozyna) Böhm von Loisbach; the third of their 11 children, and the first to survive, was (1) Johann Stamitz.

The spelling of the name in contemporary sources is extraordinarily erratic, the most common variants being Stamiz, Steinmetz, Steinmez, Stammiz, Stametz, Stammitz, Staimitz, Stamits and Stammetz. Every known signature by a member of the family uses the form Stamitz, even in documents in which the language and the forms of the first names are Czech....

Article

Georg Feder and James Webster

(b Rohrau, Lower Austria, March 31, 1732; d Vienna, May 31, 1809). Austrian composer, brother of Michael Haydn. Neither he nor his contemporaries used the name Franz, and there is no reason to do so today. He began his career in the traditional patronage system of the late Austrian Baroque, and ended as a ‘free’ artist within the burgeoning Romanticism of the early 19th century. Famous as early as the mid-1760s, by the 1780s he had become the most celebrated composer of his time, and from the 1790s until his death was a culture-hero throughout Europe. Since the early 19th century he has been venerated as the first of the three ‘Viennese Classics’ (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven). He excelled in every musical genre; during the first half of his career his vocal works were as famous as his instrumental ones, although after his death the reception of his music focussed on the latter (except for ...