Jan Václav Voříšek

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Jan Vaclav Vorisek Hugo Worzischek by Engelmann.jpg
Jan Václav Voříšek

Jan Václav Hugo Voříšek (Czech pronunciation: [jan ˈvaːtslaf ˈɦuɡo ˈvor̝iːʃɛk] ; Johann Hugo Worzischek, 11 May 1791, in Vamberk, Bohemia – 19 November 1825, in Vienna, Austria) was a Czech composer, pianist and organist.

Vamberk Town in Czech Republic

Vamberk is a town in the Hradec Králové Region of the Czech Republic. It has c. 4,800 inhabitants.

Kingdom of Bohemia Monarchy in Central Europe, predecessor of modern Czech Republic

The Kingdom of Bohemia, sometimes later in English literature referred to as the Czech Kingdom, was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Central Europe, the predecessor of the modern Czech Republic. It was an Imperial State in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Bohemian king was a prince-elector of the empire. The kings of Bohemia, besides Bohemia, also ruled the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which at various times included Moravia, Silesia, Lusatia, and parts of Saxony, Brandenburg, and Bavaria.

Vienna Capital of Austria

Vienna is the national capital, largest city, and one of nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union.

Contents

Life

Voříšek was born in the town of Vamberk, Bohemia, where his father was schoolmaster, choirmaster and organist. As a child prodigy, he started to perform publicly in Bohemian towns at the age of nine. [1] His father taught him music, encouraged his playing the piano and helped him get a scholarship to attend the University of Prague, where he studied philosophy. He also had lessons in piano and composition from Václav Tomášek. He found it impossible to obtain sufficient work as a musician in Prague, so in 1813 at the age of 22, Voříšek moved to Vienna to study law and, he hoped, to meet Beethoven. In Vienna he was able to greatly improve his piano technique under Johann Nepomuk Hummel, but once more failed to gain full-time employment as a musician.

Organist musician who plays any type of organ

An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumental soloists. In addition, an organist may accompany congregational hymn-singing and play liturgical music.

Child prodigy person who, at an early age, develops one or more skills at a level far beyond the norm for their age

A child prodigy is defined in psychology research literature as a person under the age of ten who produces meaningful output in some domain to the level of an adult expert.

Piano musical instrument

The piano is an acoustic, stringed musical instrument invented in Italy by Bartolomeo Cristofori around the year 1700, in which the strings are struck by hammers. It is played using a keyboard, which is a row of keys that the performer presses down or strikes with the fingers and thumbs of both hands to cause the hammers to strike the strings.

Although Voříšek was enthralled by the classical style of Mozart, he was more intrigued by the incipient romanticism of Beethoven.

In 1814, as he was starting to compose, he did indeed meet Beethoven in Vienna. He also met other leading musicians there, including the composers Louis Spohr, Ignaz Moscheles, Hummel, and especially Franz Schubert with whom he became fast friends.

Louis Spohr German composer, violinist and conductor

Louis Spohr, baptized Ludewig Spohr, later often in the modern German form of the name Ludwig, was a German composer, violinist and conductor. Highly regarded during his lifetime, Spohr composed ten symphonies, ten operas, eighteen violin concerti, four clarinet concerti, four oratorios, and various works for small ensemble, chamber music, and art songs. Spohr was the inventor of both the violin chinrest and the orchestral rehearsal mark. His output occupies a pivotal position between Classicism and Romanticism, but fell into obscurity following his death, when his music was rarely heard. The late 20th century saw a revival of interest in his oeuvre, especially in Europe.

Ignaz Moscheles Czech conductor, music educator, composer and pianist

Isaac Ignaz Moscheles was a Bohemian composer and piano virtuoso, whose career after his early years was based initially in London, and later at Leipzig, where he joined his friend and sometime pupil Felix Mendelssohn as Professor of Piano at the Conservatoire.

Franz Schubert 19th-century Austrian composer

Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras. Despite his short lifetime, Schubert left behind a vast oeuvre, including more than 600 secular vocal works, seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of piano and chamber music. His major works include the Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667 , the Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 , the three last piano sonatas, the opera Fierrabras, the incidental music to the play Rosamunde, and the song cycles Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise.

He completed his law studies in 1821 and was appointed barrister to the Court Military Privy Councillor, for whom he mainly drafted legal documents. But in 1822, he at last found musical employment as second court organist and ended his legal career. He was appointed first organist in 1824.

He soon won esteem as a composer of orchestral, vocal and piano music for orchestra. In 1818 he became conductor of the Friends of Music Society (Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde) of Vienna.

Vorišek died, in Vienna, of tuberculosis in 1825 at the age of 34. He was buried at Währing cemetery, where within three years his idol Beethoven (in 1827) and his friend Schubert (in 1828) ended up as well. The cemetery is now a park named after Schubert, although the mortal remains of both Schubert and Beethoven were later moved to the Zentralfriedhof the Central Cemetery of Vienna.

Tuberculosis Infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. About 10% of latent infections progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kills about half of those affected. The classic symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing mucus, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. It was historically called "consumption" due to the weight loss. Infection of other organs can cause a wide range of symptoms.

Währing 18th District of Vienna in Austria

Währing is the 18th district of Vienna and lies in northwestern Vienna on the edge of the Vienna Woods. It was formed in 1892 from the unification of the older suburbs of Währing, Weinhaus, Gersthof, Pötzleinsdorf, Neustift am Walde and Salmannsdorf. In 1938 Neustift am Walde and Salmannsdorf were annexed to the neighbouring 19th District (Döbling). Because of several wealthy neighbourhoods, Währing is known today as one of Vienna’s upmarket districts, along with Döbling and Hietzing.

Music

Voříšek wrote only one symphony, his Symphony in D major, in 1821. Its style has been likened to Beethoven's first two symphonies,[ citation needed ] but its melodically inventive early Romantic idiom was similar to Schubert's.[ citation needed ]

The Symphony in D major, Op. 24, is the only work in this genre by the Bohemian-born composer Jan Václav Voříšek. He wrote it in 1821 at age 30; he died young, at only 34.

In his capacity as imperial court organist, Voříšek composed a Mass in B-flat major. Together with his single symphony, some of his piano works and his Violin Sonata in G major, Op. 5, the Mass has been recorded.

The first recorded use of impromptu as a musical term occurred in 1817, in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, an idea of the publisher to describe a piano piece by Voříšek[ citation needed ] . His Impromptus Op. 7 were published in 1822, pieces known to his friend Schubert who subsequently used the description for several sets of music for piano, as did Frederic Chopin and numerous other composers.

In 1823-24, like Schubert, he was one of the 50 composers to contribute a variation on the same waltz by Anton Diabelli for the Vaterländischer Künstlerverein on which Beethoven composed his 33 variations (Op. 120).

Selected discography

Footnotes

Further reading

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