Johann Stamitz: Classical Era composer
Born as Jan Václav Antonin Stamic and later Germanized as Johann Wenzel Anton Stamitz, he was an influential composer and violinist. He was born on June 19, 1717 in Deutschbrod, Bohemia, now called Havlíčkův Brod, Czech Republic. Stamitz received a musical education from his father from a young age, and attended the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Prague for the academic year of 1734 – 1735, and shortly thereafter left the university to become a violin preformer. In 1741, he was employed as a string player in the court orchestra of Mannheim, Germany. Stamitz went on to marry Maria Antonia Luneborn on July 1, 1744, the couple had 5 children, two of which died in infancy. One of their children, named Carl Phillip Stamitz went on to have a successful musical career. By 1745, he was appointed as the concertmaster of the court orchestra at Mannheim, with a role as the conductor and lead violinist. In the years of 1754 – 1755, he travelled to France to conduct for the Concert Spirituel and the Concert Italien, which were the two most important concert series of 18th – century Paris. He returned to Mannheim in 1755, his health rapidly deteriorated and he died in Mannheim on March 27, 1757 at the age of 39. The entry of his death contains the following quote: “March 30, 1757. Buried, Jo'es Stainmiz, director of court music, so expert in his art that his equal will hardly be found “. Overall, he was an accomplished individual and died at a very young age.
In terms on contributions to Classical-Era music, Stamitz is credited with many innovations. As the concertmaster of the Mannheim orchestra, he lead it to a standard unparalleled in it's day. Another extremely influential contribution he made was the formation of the Mannheim School, which refers to the approach and techniques of the Mannheim Orchestra in the 18th century. Musical innovations include the famous Mannheim rocket, which was a series of fast, ascending melodic notes and lengthy crescendos developed by the whole orchestra. Of his 75 symphonies that he wrote from 1741 to 1757, only 58 survive. Famous works written by Stamitz include his Symphony in D, Op.3, No.2, his Symphony in Eb, Op.11, No.3., and his Symphonies in G, A and Bb named “Mannheim 1, Mannheim 2 and Mannheim 3 respectively. However, (Mannheim 1) was likely written by a close contemporary named Antoine Mahaut. Along with these Symphonies, he had a focus on the development of the wind instruments and has created many flute concertos such as his Flute Concerto in C major along with the Clarinet Concerto in Bb . His best known sacred work was written in 1755, and named the Mass in D. Interestingly, no signed manuscripts of his work survive to this day, and there are very few documents that chronicle his career, unlike many prominent musicians of his time.
Stamitz was a vital figure in the transition between the Baroque and Classical eras, and his music shows ideals from both....