Anton Wranitzky

Biography

Born: June 13, 1761; Nová Ríse, Moravia   Died: August 6, 1820; Vienna, Austria  
Antonin Vranicky (also encountered with the old spelling of Wranitzky) was a highly regarded and influential teacher, violinist, and composer from Moravia who, like his older brother Pavel, was a major contributor to musical life in Vienna around 1800. After learning the rudiments of music in his hometown of Nova Rise in Moravia, he attended the Jesuit seminary in Brno where he studied law and philosophy whilst continuing his musical studies. Read more From 1790 Vranicky held numerous musical positions at the court of Prince Maximillian Lobkowitz of Bohemia. He traveled with the court between Prague and Vienna, as well as numerous other provincial towns in the region. However, it was his time in Vienna that seems to have most captured his imagination. Following the path and encouragement of his older brother, he permanently moved to Vienna where studied with Mozart, Haydn, and Albrechstberger.

When he settled in Vienna, Pavel helped him gain access to the highest circles of musical life in the Austrian capital and he quickly became friends of, and highly regarded by, both Beethoven and Haydn. Vranicky soon became a sought-after and influential teacher whose students included Joseph Mayseder, the violin virtuoso Václav Pichl, and violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh, the leader of the famous Razumowski Quartet. His popular tutor Violin Fondament for the violin was published in Vienna in 1804 and received many subsequent editions.

His compositions are generally typical of the high-classical Viennese style, though he often integrated operatic and theatrical elements into some of his instrumental works. The most notable example of the latter is probably his 1796 Symphony in D major, where each movement bears an evocative title: "Burst of Ardent Joy," "Tender Feeling of Gratitude," "Gleeful Expression of Requited Love," "Sweet Emotions," and "Benediction." His children were also highly accomplished musicians in Vienna; both of his daughters became famous singers -- Karoline was the first ever to sing the role of Agatha in Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz -- and his two sons Friederich and Anton were members of the court theater orchestra. Vranicky's music is well worth the attention of modern musicians and his violin concertos are fine examples of the Viennese concerto between Mozart and Beethoven. Much of his chamber music awaits exploration, though his fine Concertante Quartets have gained some attention. Read less