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Johann Baptist Vanhal
1739 - 1813
Czech Republic
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J.B. Vanhal
Johann Baptist Vanhal -also Jan Krtitel Wanhall or Van Hal- (12/05/1739 - 26/08/1813), an Austrian composer of Bohemian origin, born in Nechanitz.
Source:Grove's dictionary of music and musicians
Via its ongoing publication of his symphonies and now his choral works, Artaria Editions Ltd, of Wellington, New Zealand, has begun an unparalleled public relations campaign to resurrect the contemporary reputation of Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739-1813). This immensely gifted colleague of Haydn wrote over four-dozen settings of the Missa ordinarium during his years in Vienna. A quick tally on my digital abacus tells me that number is roughly twice the combined output in the genre of Haydn and Mozart. While this may not seem unusual at first, it becomes something of a conundrum when one considers that – after leaving his Bohemian roots – Vanhal never held a post requiring the composition of liturgical music. Vanhal was a musically savvy freelance composer, and, with no continual financial support from a duke, count or member of the rapidly developing wealthy middle class, there was little or no profit to be made from writing such a large body of Masses.
Author:Robert Emmett
Requiem
Period:Early Romanticism
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
In memory of:the composer's father
We know that Vanhal composed a setting of the [Requiem] Mass following the death of his father and that he later enjoyed a professional relationship with the monastic order at Göttweig. The association with the monastery may be responsible for the existence of a number of the masses, but this is purely speculation. For whatever reasons, the works exist and will form the launch pad for Naxos’s new series of 18th-century sacred music that will parallel the label’s efforts on behalf of the 18th-century symphony and concerto.
Author:Robert Emmett
Requiem
Period:Early Romanticism
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass