Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Johann Baptist Gänsbacher

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GÄNSBACHER, Johann Baptist (17781844), a musical composer of repute, was born in 1778 at Sterzing in Tyrol. His father, a schoolmaster and teacher of music, undertook his son’s early education, which the boy continued under various masters till 1802, when he became the pupil of the celebrated Abbate Vogler. To his connexion with this artist and with his fellow pupils, more perhaps than to his own merits, Gansbacher’s permanent place in the history of music is due; for it was during his second stay with Vogler, then (1810) living at Darmstadt, that he became acquainted with Weber and Meyerbeer, who had also been attracted by the abbate’s reputation, and the close friendship which sprang up among the three young musicians, and was dissolved by death only, has become celebrated in the history of their art. But although Gansbacher owes the greater part of his reputation to this circumstance, he was himself by no means without merit. He creditably filled the responsible and difficult post of director of the music at St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, from 1823 till his death (July 13, 1844); and his compositions betray the musician of high gift and accomplishment. They consist chiefly of church music, not less than 17 masses, besides litanies, motets, offertories, &c., being amongst the number. He also wrote several sonatas, a symphony, and one or two minor compositions of a dramatic kind.