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Albrechtsberger,Johann Georg

vienna organist composition eng

Albrechtsberger, Johann Georg, famous Austrian organist, music theorist, pedagogue, and composer; b. Klosterneuburg, near Vienna, Feb. 3, 1736; d. Vienna, March 7, 1809. He studied organ and figured bass with Leopold Pittner, the dean of the Augustinians in Klosterneuburg, then was a choirboy at the Melk Abbey (1749–54), where he received instruction in organ and composition from Marian Gurtler, its regens chori, and from Joseph Weiss, its organist; he subsequently spent a year in Vienna at the Jesuit seminary before commencing his career as an organist in small towns. He was organist in Melk (1759–65), during which period his outstanding playing brought him to the attention of Emperor Joseph. In 1772 he was called to Vienna to serve as regens chori to the Carmelites; in 1791 he became asst. Kapellmeister at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and in 1793, Kapellmeister, holding the position with great distinction. In addition to his renown as an organist, he was widely esteemed as a teacher of composition. Haydn sent Beethoven to him for study in 1794–95. His important theoretical writings include Gründliche Anweisung zur Composition …(Leipzig, 1790; 3 rd ed., aug., 1821; Eng. tr., 1844), Kurzgefaste Methode, den Genemlbass zu erlernen (Vienna, c. 1791; 2 nd ed., aug., 1792; Eng. tr., 1815), and Clavierschule für Anfanger (Vienna, c. 1800). For his complete writings, see I. von Seyfried, ed., Johann Georg Albrechtsbergers sämmtliche Schriften über Generalbass, Harmonie-Lehre, und Tonsetzkunst (Vienna, 1826; 2 nd ed., 1837; Eng. tr., 1834). He was a prolific composer; his sacred music includes 35 masses, 48 graduals, 42 offertories, and 6 oratorios; his secular works include numerous quintets, quartets, and trios. For his instrumental works, see F. Brodsky and O. Biba, eds., Johann Georg Albrechtsberger: Instrumentalwerke in Documenta Musicologica (1968–75).

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