Robert Franz

Last updated
Robert Franz Robert Franz.jpg
Robert Franz

Robert Franz (28 June 1815 – 24 October 1892) was a German composer, mainly of lieder.

Contents

Biography

He was born Robert Franz Julius Knauth in Halle, Germany, the son of Christoph Franz Knauth. In 1847, Christoph Knauth adopted his middle name Franz as his new surname, and his son followed suit.

He suffered in early life from the hostility of his parents to a musical career. He was twenty years old when his father's animosity was conquered and he was allowed to live in Dessau to study organ playing under Friedrich Schneider. The two years of study under that famous teacher were advantageous chiefly in making him uncommonly intimate with the works of Bach and Händel, his knowledge of which be shown in his editions of the former's St Matthew Passion , Magnificat and ten cantatas, and the latter's Messiah and L'Allegro , although some of these editions have long been controversial among musicians.

In 1843 he published his first book of songs, which was followed by some fifty more books, containing in all about 250 songs. In his native Halle he filled various public offices, including those of city organist as well as conductor of the Singakademie and the Symphony. He also served as royal music-director and music master at the university. The first book of songs was warmly praised by Liszt and Schumann, and the latter wrote a lengthy review of it in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and later published it separately as well.

Deafness began to make itself apparent as early as 1841. Franz also suffered from a nervous disorder that in 1868 compelled him to resign his offices. His future was then provided for by Franz Liszt, Joseph Joachim and others, who gave him the receipts of a concert tour amounting to some 100,000 marks.

Franz in later life, by Valerian Gribayedoff, from a painting by Curt Herrmann Robert Franz, Herrmann.jpg
Franz in later life, by Valerian Gribayedoff, from a painting by Curt Herrmann

In 1878 or 1879, he made an extensive search for Bach manuscripts in various towns, villages and country houses in Germany. Supposedly, he discovered a park surrounding Schloss Witzthun where young trees were being protected from their supporting poles by paper instead of the customary cloth or leather. On examination, the paper turned out to be Bach manuscripts. After questioning the gardener, Franz found a trunk of them, including a number of violin sonatas. [1] Although this account was printed in the New York Times , Franz declared it was "entirely untrue". [2]

In addition to songs, he set the 117th Psalm for double choir and wrote and a four-part Kyrie; he also edited Emanuele d'Astorga's Stabat Mater and Francesco Durante's Magnificat . He also transcribed Schubert's String Quartet in D minor ("Death and the Maiden") for piano duet (1878) and made arrangements of Mozart's Quintets in C minor and C major.

He died in Halle.

Related Research Articles

Franz Liszt Hungarian composer and pianist

Franz Liszt was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger, and organist of the Romantic era. He was also a writer, a philanthropist, a Hungarian nationalist and a Franciscan tertiary.

Peter Schreier German tenor and conductor

Peter Schreier is a German tenor and conductor.

Hans von Bülow German musician

Hans Guido Freiherr von Bülow was a German conductor, virtuoso pianist, and composer of the Romantic era. As one of the most distinguished conductors of the 19th century, his activity was critical for establishing the successes of several major composers of the time, especially Richard Wagner and Johannes Brahms. Alongside Carl Tausig, Bülow was perhaps the most prominent of the early students of Hungarian virtuoso pianist, conductor and composer Franz Liszt—therein performed the first public performance of Liszt's Sonata in B minor in 1857. He became acquainted with, fell in love and eventually married Liszt's daughter Cosima, who later left him for Wagner. Noted for his interpretation of the works of Ludwig van Beethoven, he was one of the earliest European musicians to tour the United States.

Johann Christoph Demantius was a German composer, music theorist, writer and poet. He was an exact contemporary of Monteverdi, and represented a transitional phase in German Lutheran music from the polyphonic Renaissance style to the early Baroque.

Eduard Lassen composer, conductor

Eduard Lassen was a Belgian-Danish composer and conductor. Although of Danish birth, he spent most of his career working as the music director at the court in Weimar. A moderately prolific composer, Lassen produced music in a variety of genres including operas, symphonic works, piano works, lieder, and choral works among others. His most successful pieces were his fine vocal art songs for solo voice and piano which often used elements of German and Belgian folk music.

<i>Meine Seel erhebt den Herren</i>, BWV 10 church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach

In 1724 Johann Sebastian Bach composed the church cantata Meine Seel erhebt den Herren, BWV 10, as part of his second cantata cycle. Taken from Martin Luther's German translation of the Magnificat canticle, the title translates as "My soul magnifies the Lord". Also known as Bach's German Magnificat, the work follows his chorale cantata format.

Magnificat (Bach) musical composition by Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach's Magnificat, BWV 243, is a musical setting of the biblical canticle Magnificat. It is scored for five vocal parts, and a Baroque orchestra including trumpets and timpani. It is the first major liturgical composition on a Latin text by Bach.

The St Luke Passion, BWV 246, is a Passion setting formerly attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach. It is included in the BWV catalog under the number 246. Now it appears in the catalogues under the heading apocryphal or anonymous.

Psalm 137 Psalm

Psalm 137 is the 137th psalm of the Book of Psalms, and as such it is included in the Hebrew Bible. In English it is generally known as "By the rivers of Babylon", which is how its first words are translated in the King James Version. It is Psalm 136 in the slightly different numbering system of the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate versions of the Bible. Its Latin title is "Super flumina Babylonis".

Johann von Herbeck Austrian musician

Johann Ritter von Herbeck was an Austrian musician, born in Vienna, best known for leading the premiere of Franz Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony.

Although Franz Liszt provided opus numbers for some of his earlier works, they are rarely used today. Instead, his works are usually identified using one of two different cataloging schemes:

Great Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542

The Great Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542, is an organ prelude and fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach. It acquired that name to distinguish it from the earlier Little Fugue in G minor, which is shorter. This piece is not to be confused with the Prelude and Fugue in A minor, which is also for organ and also sometimes called "the Great".

<i>Ave verum corpus</i> (Mozart) Choral work composed by Mozart, K. 618

Ave verum corpus, , is a motet in D major composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1791. It is a setting of the Latin hymn Ave verum corpus. Mozart wrote it for Anton Stoll, a friend who was the church musician of St. Stephan in Baden bei Wien. The motet was composed for the feast of Corpus Christi; the autograph is dated 17 June 1791. It is scored for SATB choir, string instruments and organ.

Most of Johann Sebastian Bach's extant church music in Latin —settings of the Mass ordinary and the Magnificat— dates from his Leipzig period (1723–50). Bach started to assimilate and expand compositions on a Latin text by other composers before his tenure as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, and he continued to do so after he had taken up that post. The text of some of these examples by other composers was a mixture of German and Latin: also Bach contributed a few works employing both languages in the same composition, for example his early Kyrie "Christe, du Lamm Gottes".

<i>Christen, ätzet diesen Tag</i>, BWV 63 church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach composed for the first day of Christmas

Christen, ätzet diesen Tag, BWV 63, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the Christmas cantata for the First Day of Christmas, possibly in 1713 for the Liebfrauenkirche in Halle. He performed it again for his first Christmas as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, on 25 December 1723.

Max Meyer-Olbersleben was a German composer and pianist.

Meine Seele erhebt den Herren is Martin Luther's translation of the Magnificat canticle. It is traditionally sung to a German variant of the tonus peregrinus, a rather exceptional psalm tone in Gregorian chant. The tonus peregrinus is associated with the ninth mode or Aeolian mode. For the traditional setting of Luther's German Magnificat that is the minor mode for which the last note of the melodic formula is the tonic, a fifth below its opening note.

Philipp Wolfrum German conductor, composer and musicologist

Philipp Julius Wolfrum was a German conductor, musicologist, composer, organist and academic teacher. He was influential to university education in church music in Heidelberg, and in 1907 became the town's Generalmusikdirektor.

<i>Weihnachtslieder</i>, Op. 8 (Cornelius) A song cycle of six lieder related to Christmas by Peter Cornelius, who set his own poems for voice and piano in 1856

Weihnachtslieder, Op. 8, is a song cycle of six lieder related to Christmas by Peter Cornelius, who set his own poems for voice and piano in 1856. The full title is: Weihnachtslieder : ein Cyklus für eine Singstimme mit Pianofortebegleitung : Op. 8 / Text und Musik von Peter Cornelius. Cornelius dedicated the songs to his sister, Elisabeth Schily. The song "Die Könige" about the Biblical Magi has been translated and published separately. English versions come under the title "The Three Kings". It incorporates in the piano accompaniment Philipp Nicolai's hymn "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern".

References

Footnotes

  1. Savage, Charlie (9 February 1879). "Discovery of Missing Music". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 December 2007.
  2. "Musical Notes". New York Times. 23 February 1879. Retrieved 25 January 2014.