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Andreas Hammerschmidt

Musicologists respect Andreas Hammerschmidt as the utmost representative author of mid-seventeenth hundred years German chapel music, but his functions are hardly recognized to nonspecialists. During his life time, however, Hammerschmidt’s functions were broadly performed, plus they weren’t viewed as especially German; Hammerschmidt was among the 1st composers in his area to look at the Italian design of sophisticated instrumental accompaniment to polyphonic choral liturgical functions. Though created in Bohemia, Hammerschmidt was of Saxon descent, the spot to which his family members came back in Andreas’ youngsters. His education is definitely a secret; scholars have already been more lucrative disproving links to feasible educators than outlining his real studies. At the very least, Hammerschmidt spent 1633-1634 as organist in the services of Count number Rudolf von Bünau; he acquired an important body organ post in Freiburg in past due 1634 (not really formally appointed before middle of the next yr). Hammerschmidt devoted his 1st published structure to Freiburg’s mayor and councilors in 1636, maybe in order to flatter his method into a even more liveable income. In past due 1639 he remaining Freiburg for the positioning of organist in the Johanniskirche in Zittau, where he spent the rest of his profession (although he’s thought maybe also to been employed by in Denmark sooner or later). Hammerschmidt flourished in Zittau, regardless of the hardships from the Thirty Years Battle. The Zittau chapel kept three organs which Hammerschmidt could test, while also directing the choir, and his compositions quickly gained widespread interest; by 1655 one article writer defined him as “world-celebrated.” By firmly taking on a great number of pupils, getting the only certified keyboard instructor in Zittau, portion as an body organ consultant through the entire region, and attaining a political session as community and forest superintendent for Waltersdorf an der Lauscha, Hammerschmidt could make a significant comfy living. This allowed him to fund the publication of some 400 functions (mainly sacred parts) in 14 amounts. Hammerschmidt classified many of them as motets, concertos, and arias, and, apart from the rather old-fashioned motets, they generally honored the “sacred concerto” design and format that was attaining money during his profession, using a text-centered, madrigal-like strategy. None from the body organ works Hammerschmidt definitely wrote have got survived, but he do publish two series of parts for string ensemble, and one which presumably could possibly be performed by German community brass bands of that time period. Hammerschmidt’s position being a once-prominent however now obscure musician is normally reflected with the explanation on his tombstone: “Orpheus of Zittau.”

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