1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Albrechtsberger, Johann Georg

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ALBRECHTSBERGER, JOHANN GEORG (1736-1809), Austrian musician, was born at Kloster-Neuburg, near Vienna, on the 3rd of February 1736. He studied musical composition under the court organist, Mann, and became one of the most learned and skilful contrapuntists of his age. After being employed as organist at Raab and Maria-Taferl, he was appointed in 1772 organist to the court of Vienna, and in 1792 Kapellmeister of St Stephen's cathedral. His fame as a theorist attracted to him in the Austrian capital a large number of pupils, some of whom afterwards became eminent musicians. Among these were Beethoven, Hummel, Moscheles and Josef Weigl (1766-1846). Albrechtsberger died in Vienna on the 7th of March 1809. His published compositions consist of preludes, fugues and sonatas for the piano and organ, string quartets, &c.; but the greater proportion of his works, vocal and instrumental, exists only in manuscript. They are in the library of the Vienna Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. Probably the most valuable service he rendered to music was in his theoretical Works. In 1790 he published at Leipzig a treatise on composition, of which a third edition appeared in 1821. A collection of his writings on harmony, in three volumes, was published under the care of his pupil Ignaz von Seyfried (1776-1841) in 1826. There is an English version of this published by Novello in 1855. Beethoven knew his own needs when he put himself under Albrechtsberger on finding that Haydn was not thoroughly disposed for the trouble of training him; and though Albrechtsberger could see nothing in him, and warned his other pupils against "that young man who would never turn out anything in good style," he justified Beethoven's confidence.