Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/340

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��and Ander (1864). The inscription on his toinb- tone runs

Here lies Job. Michael Vogl,

the German minstrel, born 10 Aug. 1768, died Is) Nov. 1840. To the revered and tenderly loved

Husband and Father. [C. F. P.]

VOGLER, GEOHGE JOSEPH, the Abbe, is one of the most curious and striking figures in the annals of music. He was born at Wiirzburg on June 15, 1749, and evinced from an early age a religious cast of mind and an aptitude for music. His attachment to the organ dated from his tenth year. Both his father and his step- father, one Wenceslaus Stautinger, 1 were violin- makers. While learning the organ his step-father let him have a pedalier attached to his harpsichord, and Vogler practised with such determination all night that no one would live on the floor below.

At the same time his independent turn of mind exhibited itself. He elaborated a new system of fingering, 2 and contrived to learn the violin and other instruments without a teacher; and even while a pupil at the Jesuits' College he played much in the churches, and made a name for him- self in the contrapuntal preludes which were regarded as the test of an organist's skill. 3 How long this sort of life lasted is not very clear, but Vogler himself declares that he was at Wurz- burg as late as 1 769.

His departure must have taken place very shortly after this. He proceeded in the first place to Bamberg to study law. In 1771 he went from Bamberg to Mannheim, then one of the chief musical centres of Germany, and obtained permis- sion to compose a ballet for the Court Theatre, which produced such an impression that the Elector, Karl Theodor, was led to provide him with funds to go to Bologna and study counter- point under Padre Martini. Starting about the beginning of 1773 Vogler travelled by way of Venice. He there met Hasse, and also a pupil of Padre Valotti, from whom he first heard of the system of harmony that he subsequently advocated with such vehemence. 4 The original object of his journey was not achieved, for, though kindly received by Martini, they speedily conceived a repugnance for each other. Vogler could not tolerate a slow and graduated course of counter-

n'nt ; and Martini complained that his pupil 1 neither perseverance nor aptitude. Vogler soon abandoned the trial, and repaired to Padua with a view of studying for orders, and learning composition from Valotti, who had been for nearly fifty years musical director of San Antonio. But the old organist's method of teaching was wholly distasteful to his disciple, and in five months Vogler went on to Home, where he was ordained

��1 or Voglert family we only hear further that poor relatives were a drain on his purse. Christmann speaks of him as improverished by this circumstance in 17812, and Gfinsbacher makes the same statement In 1808,

2 Muzart describes this system as ' miserable.' Letter Jan. 17, 1778. See also the Graduale (De Profundls) of the Missa 1'astoricia.

, -i The account in the text follows the statements usually made with reference to Vogler's proceedings at Bologna and Fadua. But in the Musikallsche Correspondenz of Spires for 1790, No 15, Professor Christmann asserts that the Elector Palatine himself directly recom- mended Yogler to Valotti.


priest at the end of 1 773.* In the Papal city he was made Apostolic Protonotary and Chamberlain to the Pope, knight of the Order of the Golden Spur, and member of the Academy of the Arca- dians. He also found time to gain some instruc- tion from, the Bohemian musician Mysliweczek, and armed with these ecclesiastical credentials and musical experience he returned in 1775 to Mannheim. 6 The Elector at once appointed him Court Chaplain, and he proceeded forthwith to compose a ' Miserere ' with orchestral accompani- ments, and was made second Kapellmeister, a result partly owing to the influence of some ladies of the court, if Mozart may be trusted. 7 The Mannheim orchestra was then the finest in Europe, and it was there that Vogler obtained his knowledge of orchestral effect. It was there also that he first put himself forward as a teacher, and established the first of his three schools. He maintained that most previous teachers had pursued erroneous methods, and promised to make his pupils composers by a more expeditious system. Into this task he threw himself with the greatest energy, publishing expositions of his theory (see list of works), and editing a monthly magazine which recorded the proceedings of tha school. All this naturally provoked much opposi- tion, but, to judge by its fruits, his school must have had some merits, for amongst those who were actually students or came directly under its influence were Winter, Hitter, Kraus, Danzi. and Knecht an ardent disciple. At Mannheim Vogler made enemies as well as friends, and it is probable that when Mozart visited Mannheim in the winter of 1777 he fell into that section of the musical world there. On no other supposition can we fully explain the tone in which he speaks of Vogler in his letters, which will not concede to the Abb a single redeeming feature. Vogler at any rate was studiously attentive to Mozart, and after having several times in vain invited Mozart to call on him, put his pride in his pocket, and went to call on the new-comer. 8 During Mozart's visit the Elector-Palatine became Elector of Bavaria, and in the same year (1778) removed the Court to Munich. Vogler's devo- tion to his school kept him at Mannheim, and he did not, in all probability, go to Munich till 1780. His five years at Mannheim are marked by other achievements than the Ton- schule. At the end of 1 777 we find him opening a new organ built after his design at Frank- fort. The next year, in all likelihood, he was summoned to Darmstadt by the heir ap- parent the Prince who provided him with a home in his last years to compose the music for a melodrama called ' Lampedo ' (or ' Lam- predo'). 9 Another work was the overture and entr'actes to 'Hamlet,' brought out at Mannheim in 1779. These were succeeded by an operetta, 'Der Kaufmann von Smirna,' written about 1780 for the theatre at Mayence.

8 A. M. Z. vol. vl. p. 250.

6 According to a statement In hts Choral System' (p. 6) It wa* hi this year that he learnt the basis for his system from Valotti. i Letter, Nov. 13, 1777. Mozart's Letter of Jan. 17, 1778.

For a detailed account see the A.M. Z. vol. i. uus. 23 and 24.

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