Jan Václav Voříšek

Jan Václav Hugo Voříšek (May 11, 1791, Vamberk, Bohemia - November 19, 1825, Vienna, Austria), was a Czech composer of classical music, pianist, and organist.

Life

Voříšek was born in the town of Vamberk where his father was the schoolmaster, choirmaster and organist. A child prodigy, he started to perform publicly in Bohemian towns at the age of nine [Sleeve note of the CD (Supraphon , SU 3678-2001) [http://www.supraphon.cz/cs/katalog/databaze-titulu/detail-titulu/?idtitulu=2002735] ] .His father taught him music, encouraged his playing the piano, helped him get a scholarship to attend the University of Prague where he studied philosophy. He also had lessons in piano and composition from Tomàšek. He found it impossible to obtain sufficient work as a musician in Prague, so in 1813 at the age of 22 Voříšek moved to Vienna to study law and, he hoped, to meet Beethoven. In Vienna he was able to greatly improve his piano technique under the guidance of Hummel, but once more failed to gain full time employment as a musician.

Although Voříšek was enthralled by the classical music of Mozart, he was more intrigued by the romanticism of Ludwig van Beethoven.

In 1814, as Voříšek was beginning to compose music, he did indeed met Beethoven in Vienna. He also met other leading musicians there, including the composers Louis Spohr, Ignaz Moscheles, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and especially Franz Schubert with whom he fast became friends.

Voříšek completed his study of the law in 1821 and was appointed barrister with the Court Military Privy Councillor mainly in work drafting legal documents. However, in 1822 he at last gained a post as second court organist and ended his legal career. In 1824 he was appointed first organist

Voříšek became an esteemed composer of music for orchestra, voice and piano. In 1818 he had become the conductor of the Friends of Music Society ("Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde").

Voříšek died tragically of tuberculosis in 1825 at the age of 34. He was buried at Währing Cemetery, where within three years his friend Schubert and idol Beethoven were also to be buried. The cemetery is now a park named after Franz Schubert, though the remains of both Schubert and Beethoven were later moved to the Zentralfriedhof.

Music

Voříšek only wrote one symphony. Set in D major and written in 1821, it has been likened to Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 and Symphony No. 2Fact|date=April 2007. A representative of early Romantic music, its melodic invention foreshadowed that of Schubert.

As the Imperial Court Organist, Voříšek composed a Mass in B-flat major. Together with his single symphony and his Violin Sonata in G major, Op. 5, the Mass is among the few recorded works of Voříšek Fact|date=April 2007.

The first recorded use of the term Impromptu in the musical sense occurred in 1817, in the "Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung", an idea of the publisher to describe a piano piece by VoříšekFact|date=April 2007 . Vorisek's Impromptus Op.7 were published in 1822, pieces known to his friend Schubert who subsequently used the description for several sets of music for ^piano, as did, later Chopin.

elected Discography

* [https://www.cedillerecords.org/058.html Cedille Records] recording (CDR 90000 058) of Voříšek's Symphony in D and Mass in B-flat major performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra & Prague Chamber Choir conducted by Paul Freeman with program notes by Andrea Lamoreaux
* [http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=12693&name_role1=1&bcorder=1&comp_id=141064 ArchivMusic.com] entry to CD of Voříšek's Chamber Music including his Violin Sonata (Praga 250204) played by the Kocian String Quartet with review by James Reel, FANFARE
* [http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk Hyperion Records] recording (CDA 66800) Voříšek's Symphony in D Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Charles Mackerras
* Opus 111 recording OPS 30241 Fantasia Op.12, Impromptus Nos 1-6 Op.7 Sonata in B flat minor Variations in B flat Op. 19 Olga Tverskaya (piano)

Footnotes

External links

* [http://www.classical-composers.org/cgi-bin/ccd.cgi?comp=vorisek Classical Composers] entry to Voříšek
* [http://www.artpetra.cz/english/s_english.php?skl=45 Calendar of Composers] entry to Voříšek
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