Johann Wenzel Stamitz

Biography

Born: June 19, 1717 in Nemecký    Died: March 27, 1757 in Mannheim, Germany  
Johann Stamitz was an important composer of the early Classical period, notable as the chief member of the so-called Mannheim School. His innovations in the development of the symphony clearly place him in the pioneering ranks of his time. Stamitz was the first major composer to become identified with the use of four movements in the symphony. Moreover, he often used a third movement minuet with a trio, a form that many others would adopt later Read more on, including Beethoven. His first movements often approximated the structure of what would become the typical sonata form of first subject, second subject, development and reprise. He produced at least 72 symphonies, though about 58 survive. He also wrote ten orchestral trios, nine of which come from his mature period and nearly rank with his symphonies in importance. In addition, he wrote a number of concertos, chamber music, and sacred music. None of his original manuscripts have survived, thus creating difficulties in dating some of his compositions.

Stamitz was born probably in mid-June, 1717. His father was an organist and schoolmaster who gave him his first music lessons. In 1728, young Johann, already proficient on the violin, entered the Jesuit-run Gymnasium in Jihlava, known for its excellence in music education. He left the gymnasium in 1734, and, after a brief period of study at Prague University, seems to have launched a career as a concert violinist. His activities from this point until 1741 are not known, though one can speculate that whatever career inroads he made were mostly insignificant.

By 1742, however, he had become a respected violinist in Mannheim and the following year advanced from a lower-chair position in the Mannheim Court orchestra to the first chair post. He was eventually appointed conductor, (actually "leader") of the ensemble. Stamitz undoubtedly wrote many of his early symphonies during the early- and mid-1740s. He probably began writing for the Court chapel by the latter time, as well.

In 1744, Stamitz married Maria Antonia Lüneborn. He was shaping his Mannheim Court ensemble now into one of the finest orchestras in Europe. As a conductor, he was known to be a perfectionist, able to achieve performances of the highest standards. He toured Germany with the group, both he and the players receiving lavish praise in every city where they performed. The orchestra became associated with a group of composers, the so-called Mannheim School, at the head of which stood Stamitz, and whose members included Ignaz Holzbauer (1711 - 1783), Franz Xaver Richter (1709 - 1789), and later on Christian Cannibich (1731 - 1798) and Stamitz's son, Karl (d. 1801).

In 1750, Stamitz was appointed director of chamber music at the Court. This was a newly-created post, probably given him as a result of the success of his compositions in this genre. By now, some of his six trios for violin, flute, and basso continuo had been written, as well as sonatas for violin and basso continuo.

By the early-1750s, Stamitz was turning out symphonies of greater sophistication. They were usually comprised of four movements now, and his handling of structure and thematic development was more assured. In the summer of 1754, Stamitz departed for Paris, where he was already a celebrity owing to his widely performed compositions. He enjoyed much acclaim on his tour there. The composer returned from Paris in 1755, and thereafter not much is known about his remaining years. Though Stamitz was still a young man, his health must have begun to decline rapidly. He died at the age of thirty-nine. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 39 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    100 Great Symphonies
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054602 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Sammartini,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf,  Johann Christian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Kevin Mallon,  Christopher Hogwood,  Thomas Füri,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aradia Ensemble,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Camerata Bern  ... 
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  • 2.
    Baroque Bohemia & Beyond Vol 7
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1251 Release Date: 02/04/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Krtitel Kuchar,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Josef F. Norbert Seger,  Jan Hatas  ... 
    Conductor:  Vojtech Spurny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Birth of the Symphony: Handel to Haydn / Egarr, Academy of Ancient Music
    Label: Aam Records   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Xaver Richter  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Egarr
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
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  • 4.
    Das Alte Werk - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 46438 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Performer:  Herbert Tachezi,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frans Brüggen,  Jeannette Van Wingerden  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Werner Ehrhardt,  Giovanni Antonini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Leonhardt Consort,  Studio for Early Music  ... 
    On sale! $199.99
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  • 5.
    Fiori Musicali
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: 190 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Sammartini,  Heinrich Ignaz Biber,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Lorena Espina,  Alexandra Uhlig,  Robert Buschek,  Klemens Sander  ... 
    Conductor:  Christian Birnbaum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baroque Ensemble of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $48.99
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  • 6.
    Music of Old Cities & Royal Courts
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 283312 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gregor Joseph Werner,  Frederick the Great  ... 
    Performer:  Tivadar Bantay,  Christa Richter-Steiner,  Theo Altmeyer,  Lisa Otto  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernhard Paumgartner,  Karl Forster,  Wolfgang Meyer,  Hans von Benda  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica,  Baryton Trio,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Philips Original Jackets Collection  [55-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001767702 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elisabeth Unger,  Claudio Arrau,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Bernard Haitink,  Frans Brüggen,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
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    CD: $148.49
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  • 8.
    Clarinet Concertos / Sabine Meyer
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 73572 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Carl Stamitz,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Franz Krommer  ... 
    Performer:  Sabine Meyer,  Sergio Azzolini,  Bruno Schneider,  Diethelm Jonas  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Vonk,  Iona Brown,  Jörg Faerber,  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn
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  • 9.
    The Concerto Koln Christmas Album
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300276 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
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  • 10.
    Johann & Carl Stamitz: Clarinet Concertos
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64572 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Stamitz,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz
    Performer:  Sabine Meyer
    Conductor:  Iona Brown
    CD: $12.99
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  • 11.
    PentaTone - The First 10 Years
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186500 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Performer:  Julia Fischer,  Sa Chen,  Arabella Steinbacher,  Bram Beekman  ... 
    Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg,  Simon Murphy,  Lawrence Foster,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra,  Russian National Orchestra,  Chamber Soloists of The New Dutch Academy  ... 
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  • 12.
    Baroque Bohemia & Beyond Vol 5 / Petr Chromcak, Czech Chamber Philharmonic
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1101 Release Date: 11/22/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf,  Wenzel Kallick,  Dominik Josef Skroup,  Jan Krtitel Neruda  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Kos,  Igor Fantisak,  Eliska Adamova,  Karel Vencour  ... 
    Conductor:  Petr Chromcak
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 13.
    Johann Stamitz: Flute Concertos / Aitken, Katkus
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570150 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Wenzel Stamitz
    Performer:  Robert Aitken
    Conductor:  Donatas Katkus
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra Lithuania
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  • 14.
    Stamitz, Hoffmeister, Pokorny: Clarinet Concertos / Brunner
    Label: Tudor Records   Catalog: 7008 Release Date: 06/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Franz Xaver Pokorny,  Franz Anton Hoffmeister
    Performer:  Eduard Brunner
    Conductor:  Hans Stadlmair
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Stamitz: Clarinet Concerti, Orchestral Quartet, Etc / Ferro, Bjorlin, Deinzer, Engel, Et Al
    Label: Phoenix Edition   Catalog: 177 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Stamitz,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz
    Performer:  Hans Deinzer,  Jann Engel
    Conductor:  Gabriele Ferro,  Ulf Björlin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
    CD: $11.99
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  • 16.
    Gluck, Stamitz: Sinfonie A Tre / Camerata Beroliensis
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 2 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Christoph W. Gluck
    Performer:  Fiona Stevens,  Yeo Yat-Sun,  Johannes Gebauer,  Katie Rietman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Berolinensis
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  • 17.
    Music At The Court Of Mannheim / Harnoncourt, Et Al
    Label: Teldec Das Alte Werk   Catalog: 433212 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Christian Bach,  Ignaz Holzbauer,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Franz Xaver Richter
    Performer:  Jürg Schaeftlein,  Alice Harnoncourt,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Kurt Theiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
    CD: $12.99
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  • 18.
    Johann & Carl Stamitz / Hall, Camerata Chicago, Et Al
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2860 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Wenzel Stamitz
    Conductor:  Drostan Hall
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  • 19.
    The Art Of The Trumpet - Albinoni, Haydn, Telemann, Vivaldi, Takemitsu, Etc / Hĺkan Hardenberger
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000972002 Release Date: 09/11/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Hĺkan Hardenberger,  Reinhold Friedrich,  Karl-Ernst Schröder,  Sergio Azzolini  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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    On sale! $39.98
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  • 20.
    Stamitz: Viola Concertos / Peruska, Belohlavek
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3929 Release Date: 06/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Carl Stamitz,  Anton Stamitz
    Performer:  Jan Peruska
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Chamber Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonia
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  • 21.
    Baroque Bohemia & Beyond Vol 1 - Benda, Richter, Bárta, Stamic, Vanhal
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1001 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Baptist Vanhal,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Franz Xaver Richter,  Josef Bárta  ... 
    Performer:  Vojtech Spurny
    Conductor:  Vojtech Spurny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 22.
    Discover - Music Of The Classical Era
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558180-81 Release Date: 11/01/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Roman Hoffstetter,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf  ... 
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  Kálmán Berkes,  Joseph Payne,  Phoebe Payne  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Uwe Grodd,  Mátyás Antal,  Kálmán Berkes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kodály String Quartet,  Capella Istropolitana,  Failoni Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 23.
    Super Audio Cd Sampler Vol 2
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186086 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried August Homilius,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Bram Beekman,  Andrew Marriner,  Julia Fischer,  Mari Kodama
    Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Ed Spanjaard,  Simon Murphy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Netherlands Chamber Choir  ... 
    SuperAudio CD: $11.99
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  • 24.
    Mozart, Haydn, Henze, Stamitz / Kavakos
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 629041 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Hans Werner Henze,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos
    Conductor:  Leonidas Kavakos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Salzburg
    CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    J. Stamitz, F.x. Richter: Early String Symphonies Vol 2
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186029 Release Date: 03/23/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Franz Xaver Richter
    Conductor:  Simon Murphy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Dutch Academy
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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