Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/721

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


� ��STEIN.

for themselves, as * Matthaus Andreas Stein,' and Nanette Streicher, geborene Stein.' Streicher, who had hitherto managed only the commercial part of the business, now took his full share of the work. Both firms endeavoured to perfect their instruments in every possible way, 1 while still adhering to the traditions of their father, and Stein of Vienna became as celebrated as Stein of Augsburg had been. In 1823 the Streichers took into partnership their son Johann Baptist (born in Vienna 1795). Nanette Strei- cher was at once an energetic and capable woman of business, a pianist of remarkable ex- cellence, a person of great general cultivation, and a model wife and mother. Her name is closely connected with that of Beethoven. It is well known that she did much to help him in his domestic arrangements, lightened the burden of his housekeeping, and even looked after his bodily health. Thayer, in his ' Beethoven ' (iii. 239), gives us a striking picture of their relation- ship, for which the reader must be referred to that excellent work. [See also vol. i. of this Dictionary, p. 1906.] Nanette Streicher died Jan. 1 6, 1835, and was followed by her husband on May 25 of the same year. The business is still carried on by their son, J. B. Streicher. Her brother,

3. MATTHAUS ANDREAS STEIN, was born at Augsburg, Dec. 12, 1776, accompanied his sister to Vienna, set up for himself in 1802, married Nov. 12, 1796, and died May 6, 1842. His son,

4. KAEL ANDREAS, also a pianoforte-maker and composer, was born in Vienna Sept. 4, 1797, early showed talent for music, and became an excellent pianist and teacher. He was a pupil of Forster in harmony and composition, and published a considerable number of works principally for his instrument. He also left in MS., among others, two PF. concertos with orchestra, two orchestral overtures, and a comic opera ' Die goldene Gans,' words by Langbein. He appeared several times in public, but latterly devoted himself entirely to the factory, in the working of which his father had early initiated him. In 1829 a patent was granted to him. Karl Andreas travelled much, and his pianos were appreciated abroad, as well as by the first artists of his own country. In 1844 he was appointed Court pianoforte maker. His book on the playing, tuning, and preserv- ation of Stein pianofortes,' 2 contains valuable matter. He died Aug. 28, 1863. [C.F.P.]

5. His uncle, FRIEDBICH, was born at Augsburg May 26, 1784, and at the age of ten went to Vienna, and studied counterpoint and composition with Albrechtsberger. He became one of the first pianoforte-players of the capital, and was considered to be a very promising composer. He appeared rather frequently in the Augarten and Burgth eater concerts as a player of concertos, especially those of Mozart. Keichardt (April I, 1809) calls him: 'A performer of great power

1 From this period dates the so-called ' Viennese mechanism.' the principle of which was really the same as that of the Augsburg pianos.

2 -Kurze Bemerkungen ii. d. Spielen, Stimmen. u. Erhalten <L F.T.e.c. Wien. 1801.'

��STEINWAY.

��709

��and genius. ... A rare power, combined with the deepest feeling, characterised his performance. He played some of Beethoven's most difficult pieces, and variations of his own composition, full of invention and deep sentiment, and of mon- strous difficulty. Since then I have heard him at home on his magnificent Streicher pianoforte, and am confirmed in my opinion of his assiduous study and great talents.' These eulogies are borne out by other contemporary notices.

Friedrich Stein is the subject of Eies's anecdote (Notizen, p. 115). Beethoven had played his Concerto in G at his own concert, Dec. 22, 1808 (see vol. i. p. 187), with astonishing spirit and speed, and immediately after called upon Ries to play it in public, with only five days for its study. Ries naturally shirked such a task, preferring to play the C minor one instead. At this his master was offended, and turned to Stein, who accepted the task, but was unable to accomplish it, and played the C minor instead, not satisfactorily. This anecdote, which has kept Stein's name alive, leaves unintentionally a false impression as to his powers. Ries would have played the C minor Concerto better ; for he had carefully studied it under Beethoven himself, and was then in his full strength. Stein had had no such instruction, and was forced to play it with little practice, when so far gone in consumption that he died four months later.

Stein was an industrious composer, but few of his vocal compositions reached the stage. He left 3 operettas and a ballet, of which only one 'Die Fde radiante' came to public performance. Also a set of Songs, a Violin Concerto, a Grand Sonata for the PF., and a PF. Trio. He also arranged Beethoven's 4th and 6th Symphonies, and most of Mozart's and Cherubini's Overtures, for two PFs.

His widow, CAROLINE, daughter of a Vienna official named Haar, was also a very fine pianiste. Like her husband, she depended upon teaching for her subsistence. [A.W.T.]

STEINWAY AND SONS, an eminent firm of pianoforte makers in New York, distinguished by the merit of their instruments and by their commercial enterprise, which, in comparatively few years, have placed their firm in equal rank with those famous older makers in Europe whose achievements in the improvement and develop- ment of the instrument have become historical.

Henry Engelhard Steinway (originally STEIN- WEG) was born February 1 5, 1 797, at Wolfshagen, in the Duchy of Brunswick. The youngest of a family of twelve, at the early age of 15 he was the sole survivor of his family. From the age of 17 to 21 he served in the army, and during that time his natural taste for music led him to learn the zither. On his discharge, which was honourably obtained, from the army, he thought of becoming a cabinet-maker, but was too old to serve the five years apprenticeship and five years as journeyman which the guild required prior to his becoming a master. He therefore went for a year to an irregular master, and then turned to organ-building, which was free from

�� �