Thomas Baltzar

Biography

Born: 1630; Lübeck, Germany   Died: July 27, 1663; London, England  
German violinist and composer Thomas Baltzar was a native of Lübeck, born around 1630 into a long-established family of musicians active in that town. After studying with Johann Schop and some others, Baltzar served as violinist in the final months of the Swedish court of Queen Christina and, after she abdicated, returned to Lübeck to assume a minor position in 1655. Later that year, Baltzar departed for England, where he spent the rest Read more of his short life, never returning to Continental Europe. In September 1656 Baltzar was one of the musicians in the Siege of Rhodes, a collaboration between librettist William Davenant and several composers -- including Matthew Locke and Henry Lawes -- believed to have been the first English opera. English author John Evelyn witnessed one of Baltzar's recitals and recorded that Baltzar "plaid on that single Instrument a full Consort, so as the rest, flung-downe their Instruments, as acknowledging a victory." However, Baltzar spent most of the waning days of the Commonwealth away from London in Oxfordshire, and his appearances in Oxford were further noted by local chroniclers such as antiquary Andrew Wood, who stated that Baltzar's playing was of a kind "which I nor any in England saw before" and that one in the audience approached Baltzar "to see whether he was a devill or not, because he acted beyond the parts of a man." By the time of the Restoration, Baltzar's reputation was of such prominence that he was able to command top dollar as a violinist in the consort of Charles II. But by July 1663, Baltzar -- barely over 30 -- had died of what Wood called "the French pox and other distempers," aggravated by Baltzar's dependency on alcohol.

The 17 pieces Baltzar published in John Playford's 1684 publication The Division Violin were the only printed exemplars of Baltzar's work to appear in the 17th century. Manuscripts of six more works, including his masterpiece, the Sonata for 3 violins in C major, are known from elsewhere. That is yet more music of Baltzar's music that was once available is documented through auction catalog listings stretching into the early 19th century, but apparently none of these additional works are extant. Read less
Browse 1-12 of 12 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Label: Aparte   Catalog: 68 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Joseph Vilsmayr,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Johann Paul von Westhoff,  Thomas Baltzar  ... 
    Performer:  Thibault Noally
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  • 2.
    Grand Tour
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 1002 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Dario Castello,  Alessandro Stradella,  Biagio Marini,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Settecento
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  • 3.
    Division-musick
    Label: Ramee   Catalog: 1204 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Simpson,  Thomas Baltzar,  Solomon Eccles,  John Banister  ... 
    Performer:  Amandine Beyer,  Johannes Strobl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musicke & Mirth
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  • 4.
    Stylus Phantasticus / Siedel, Bell'arte Salzburg
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 16572 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Peter Sidon,  Dietrich Becker,  Johann Vierdanck,  Johann Adam Reincken  ... 
    Conductor:  Annegret Siedel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell'Arte Salzburg
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  • 5.
    A Choice Collection - Held By The Ears / Palladian Ensemble
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 324 Release Date: 08/01/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Matthew Locke,  Nicola Matteis,  Thomas Baltzar,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Susanne Heinrich,  Rachel Podger,  Pamela Thorby,  William Carter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Palladian Ensemble
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  • 6.
    Baltzar: Works For Unaccompanied Violin / Patrick Wood
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1224 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Baltzar,  John Jenkins
    Performer:  Patrick Wood
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  • 7.
    Violino Arioso / Ariadne Daskalakis
    Label: Tudor Records   Catalog: 7081 Release Date: 04/04/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Thomas Baltzar,  Nicola Matteis  ... 
    Performer:  Ariadne Daskalakis,  Helene Lerch,  Gabriella Strümpel
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  • 8.
    Ruth Ziesak Sings Sacred Arias
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 67125 Release Date: 01/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christian Geist,  Thomas Baltzar,  Christoph Bernhard,  Johann Adam Reincken  ... 
    Performer:  Ruth Ziesak
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Baroque Compagney
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  • 9.
    English Chamber Music Of The 17th Century / Sonnerie Trio
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 499762 Release Date: 04/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Baltzar,  Johann Schop,  Nicola Matteis,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Stubbs,  Andrew Lawrence-King
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sonnerie Trio
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  • 10.
    Reel Of Tulloch - Baroque Music Of Scotland & Ireland
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 90291 Release Date: 03/06/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Baltzar,  William McGibbon,  Chris Norman,  James Oswald  ... 
    Performer:  Scott Pauley,  Patricia Halverson,  Emily Davidson,  Julie Andrijeski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chatham Baroque
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  • 11.
    Musica Baltica / Reinhard Goebel, Musica Antiqua Köln
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 459619 Release Date: 08/10/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Vierdanck,  Anonymous,  Johann Valentin Meder,  Vincenzo Albrici  ... 
    Conductor:  Reinhard Goebel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Antiqua Cologne
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  • 12.
    Henry Purcell And His Time / Scaramouche
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 4792 Release Date: 08/19/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Matthew Locke,  William Lawes,  Thomas Baltzar,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Caroline Balding,  Jaap ter Linden,  Ulrike Wild,  Andrew Manze  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scaramouche
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