Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/81

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KONTSKI.
69
KRAFT.

Later on he travelled a great deal, chiefly in Russia, but also in France and Germany, and made a certain sensation by his really exceptional technical proficiency, not unaccompanied by a certain amount of charlatanism. In 1837 he is said (see Mendel) to have attracted the attention of Paganini, then in Paris on his road back from England, and to have formed a friendship with the great virtuoso which resulted in his receiving some lessons[1] from him (an honour which he shared with Sivori) and ultimately becoming heir to his violins and violin compositions. This however requires confirmation. In 1853 he was appointed solo-violinist to the Emperor of Russia, and in 1861 Director of the Warsaw Conservatoire, which post he still retains. He played a solo at one of the Russian concerts given in connection with the Exhibition at Paris in 1878. His compositions (fantasias and the like) are musically unimportant. [App. p.692 "add date of death, June 29, 1879."]

[ P. D. ]

KOTZWARA, Franz, born at Prague, was in Ireland in 1790, when he was engaged as tenor player in Gallini's orchestra at the King's Theatre. On Sept. 2, 1791 he hanged himself, not in jest but in the greatest earnest, in a house of ill-fame in Vine Street, St. Martin's. He had been one of the band at the Handel Commemoration in the preceding May. Kotzwara was the author of the Battle of Prague, a piece for P.F. with violin and cello ad libitum, long a favourite in London. Also of sonatas, serenades, and other pieces, some of them bearing as high an opus number as 36, if Fétis may be believed. He was a clever, vagabond, dissipated creature.

[ G. ]

KOŽELUCH (German Kotzeluch), Johann Anton, Bohemian musician, born Dec. 13, 1738, at Wellwarn; was Choirmaster first at Rakonitz and then at Wellwarn. Desirous of further instruction he went to Prague and Vienna, where he was kindly received by Gluck and Gassmann, was appointed Choirmaster of the Kreuzherrn church, Prague; and on March 13, 1784, Capellmeister to the Cathedral, which he retained till his death on March 3, 1814. He composed church-music, operas, and oratorios, none of which have been published. Of much greater importance is his cousin and pupil,

Leopold, born also in Wellwarn in 1754, or according to some 1748. In 1765 he went to Prague for his education, and there composed a ballet, performed at the national theatre in 1771 with so much success that it was followed in the course of the next six years by 24 ballets and 3 pantomimes. In 1778 he went to Vienna, and became the pianoforte master of the Archduchess Elizabeth and favourite teacher of the aristocracy. When Mozart resigned his post at Salzburg (1781) the Archbishop at once offered it with a rise of salary to Kozeluch, who declined it on the ground that he was doing better in Vienna. To his friends however he held different language—'The Archbishop's conduct towards Mozart deterred me more than anything, for if he could let such a man as that leave him, what treatment should I have been likely to meet with?' The respect here expressed was sadly at variance with his subsequent spiteful behaviour towards Mozart, the original cause of which is said to have been Mozart's reply to his remark on a passage in a new quartet of Haydn's 'I should not have written that so.' 'Neither should I: but do you know why! because the idea would never have occurred to either of us.' This reproof Kozeluch never forgot. He used to say that the overture to 'Don Giovanni' was no doubt fine, but that it was full of faults; and of that to 'Die Zauberflöte,' 'Well! for once our good Mozart has tried to write like a learned man.' At the coronation of the Emperor Leopold II. at Prague (1791) even his own countrymen the Bohemians were 'disgusted with his behaviour to Mozart, who was in attendance as court composer. He nevertheless succeeded him in his office (1792) with a salary of 1500 gulden, and retained the post till his death on May 7, 1811 (not 1814). His numerous compositions include 2 grand operas, 'Judith' and 'Debora und Sisara'; an oratorio, 'Moses in Ægypten'; many ballets, cantatas, about 30 symphonies, and much pianoforte music, at one time well known in England, but all now forgotten. His chief interest for us lies in his association with Mozart and Haydn.

[App. p.692 "As to the date of death the authorities are at variance, the date 1814 being supported by Dlabacz and Wurzbach, as well as by the less trustworthy evidence of Fétis and Mendel. The testimony of the first is especially weighty, since his dictionary was begun in 1815, when the date of so important a musician's death must have been well known. Almost all the authorities give May 8 as the day: Dlabacz's May 3 is probably a misprint for 8. It should be added that he arranged some Scotch songs for Thomson of Edinburgh, in allusion to which, Beethoven, in a letter of Feb. 29, 1812 (Thayer, iii. 449), whether inspired with disgust at Kozeluch's underselling him, or with a genuine contempt for his music, says, 'Moi je m'estime encore une fois plus supérieur en ce genre que Monsieur Kozeluch (miserabilis).' He again calls him 'miserabilis' (Thayer, iii. 200)."]

[ F. G. ]

KRAFT, Anton, distinguished cellist, born Dec. 30, 1752,[2] at Rokitzan near Pilsen in Bohemia, son of a brewer and amateur, who had his son early taught music, especially the cello. He studied law at Prague, where he had finishing lessons from Werner, and Vienna, where Haydn secured him for the chapel of Prince Esterhazy, which he entered on Jan. 1, 1778. On the Prince's death in 1790 he became chamber-musician to Prince Grassalkowitsch, and in 1795 to Prince Lobkowitz, in whose service he died Aug. 28, 1820. On one of his concert-tours he was at Dresden in 1789, and with his son played before Duke Karl, and before the Elector the night after the court had been enchanted by Mozart. Both musicians were staying at the same hotel, so they arranged a quartet, the fourth part being taken by Teyber the organist.[3] Haydn valued Kraft for his power of expression, and for the purity of his intonation, and in all probability composed (1781) his cello concerto (André) for him. According to Schindler[4] the cello part in Beethoven's triple concerto was also intended for Kraft. As he showed a talent for composition, Haydn offered to instruct him, but Kraft taking up the new subject with such ardour as to neglect his instrument, Haydn would teach him no more, saying he already knew enough for his purpose. He published 3 sonatas with accompaniment, op. 1 (Amsterdam, Hummel); 3 sonatas, op. 2 (André); 3 grand duos concertantes for violin and cello, op. 3, and 1st concerto

  1. This is corroborated by Hanslick, Aus dem Concert-saal, p. 429.
  2. This is the date in the baptismal register, but 1751, or 49, are usually given.
  3. Mozart also played with the Krafts his Trio In E (Köchel 542); see Nohl's 'Mozart-Briefe,' No. 251. N.B. No. 246 is wrong.
  4. Vol. i. p. 147; see also Thayer's ' Beethoven,' vol. ii. p. 299.