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Klaus Beckmann


(b probably at Knöringen, nr Günzburg, 1690; d Eichstätt, Dec 2, 1758). German composer. He probably attended a Jesuit Gymnasium in south Germany and studied music in Italy. From about 1711 until his death he was in the service of the Eichstätt court, at first as a violinist, from February 1714 as a chamber musician and valet, from 1715 (while continuing as a valet) as vice-Hofkapellmeister and from 1721 as Hofkapellmeister. With the modest forces at his disposal, he was responsible for all aspects of music at the court. Concertos form the most important element in his surviving output. All of them – 17 for violin, one for oboe – are solo concertos of the Vivaldian type. Along with such men as Heinichen, Pisendel and Stölzel he was thus one of the earliest composers to disseminate Vivaldi’s style in Germany; indeed his op.1 is the first published collection of solo concertos by a German composer. The wide cultivation of his concertos testifies to his contemporaries’ high opinion of them. His vocal music, on the other hand, is of little interest; neither his cantata-like works, which aspire to virtuosity, nor his hymns, which are simple pieces for everyday use, rise above a pedestrian level. Though his music was known to Corrette (...


Hans Radke

revised by Tim Crawford

(b Steyr, bap. April 28, 1676; d Munich, March 26, 1754). Austrian lutenist. He was the son of Wolff Jacob Lauffensteiner, towerkeeper in Steyr, and Anna Susanna Werfferin. By 1709 he had settled in Graz as a lutenist. From 1712 he was a valet and lutenist in the service of the Bavarian court, and was in the service of the Bavarian princes during their internment in Graz; he taught them the lute and other instruments. In 1715 he went with the prince's retinue to Munich, entering the private service of the prince, Duke Ferdinand; as valet he accompanied his master in the field and on his travels. In 1739, on the duke's death, he was granted a pension. For his services to the electoral House of Bavaria Duke Clemens August, Archbishop of Cologne, appointed him chamber counsellor (Hofkammerrat).

Lauffensteiner's works include several ensemble concertos in suite or partita form. His music as a whole is highly idiomatic for the lute, in a style uniting traditional French forms, textures and ornaments with a tendency towards italianate cantabile melody over a supporting bass line. In this his pieces, of which over 100 movements survive, come close to those of S.L. Weiss, to whom his music is frequently misattributed in manuscript sources – a measure of its high quality in the estimation of his contemporaries....


Member of Mozart family

(b Augsburg, Nov 14, 1719; d Salzburg, May 28, 1787). Composer, violinist and theorist.

He was the son of an Augsburg bookbinder, Johann Georg Mozart (1679–1736), and attended the Augsburg Gymnasium (1727–35) and the Lyceum adjoining the Jesuit school of St Salvator (1735–6), where he frequently performed as an actor and singer in various theatrical productions; he was also an accomplished organist and violinist. In 1737 Leopold broke with his family and matriculated at the Salzburg Benedictine University, studying philosophy and jurisprudence. He took the bachelor of philosophy degree the next year, with public commendation, but in September 1739 he was expelled for poor attendance and indifference. Shortly after, he became a valet and musician to Johann Baptist, Count of Thurn-Valsassina and Taxis, Salzburg canon and president of the consistory; it was to Thurn-Valsassina that Mozart dedicated his ...