Franz Benda

Biography

Born: November 22, 1709; Alt-Benatek, Czechoslovakia   Died: March 7, 1786; Neuendorf, Germany  
Franz Benda was one of the leaders in a generation of Bohemian musicians who entered Austrian and German musical life, filling important roles in the development of late Baroque and early Classical music.

Frantisek Benda (later Germanized to Franz) was the oldest of five musical children of a linen weaver and village musician who had married Dorota Brixi, an offspring of another major Bohemian music family. This was the foundation of a
Read more dynasty of musicians that continues to this day, when one can readily obtain compact discs performed by a family group called the Benda Musicians.

Frantisek, the eldest, became a choirboy at St. Nicholas church in Prague when he was nine, giving him the opportunity for musical studies. However, he ran away from its discipline at 11 to Dresden, Germany, where he got a similar position and learned violin. He returned to Prague in 1723, becoming alto soloist in a Jesuit seminary, where he received a good general and musical education, remaining there until his voice changed and he then returned home and resumed violin studies.

When he got a little older, he fell in love with a baker's daughter and petitioned the local count for permission to learn the secrets of Bohemian gingerbread. The count offered as an alternative to pay Benda's way to Prague for more violin studies. After ten weeks, his teacher there, Konicek, pronounced him a fully trained professional. Benda later said he learned more by following around a Jewish street musician named Lebel.

The 16-year-old Benda escaped Bohemia without permission and got work in Poland. Benda formed a house orchestra for Governor Suchaczewski that was so good he was hired away by the King of Poland, Augustus II the Strong, in 1732. The king died a year later, leaving Benda unemployed. He went to Dresden, got a job, and came to the attention of King Frederick the Great of Prussia, who hired him in 1740 to a job Benda kept for life. He even accompanied Frederick (who was a flute player) on his military campaigns. He had six children, among whom four (two boys and two girls) became professional musicians. His main compositional legacy is an assortment of violin sonatas written at the Prussian court, in which he influenced the future development of violin playing. These manuscripts also contain many observations about style and ornamentation of the period, valuable to research in the "authentic" performance movement. Read less
Browse 26-32 of 32 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Jan Jiri And Frantisek Benda: Violin Concertos Vol 1
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553902 Release Date: 11/20/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Benda,  Jan Jiri Benda
    Performer:  Ariane Pfister-Benda,  Josef Suk
    Conductor:  Christian Benda
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suk Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 27.
    David & Igor Oistrakh - Bach, Händel, Vivaldi, Benda, Et Al
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 463616 Release Date: 03/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Benda,  George Frideric Handel,  Henri Wieniawski,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Vladimir Yampolsky,  Hans Pischner
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  David Oistrakh
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 28.
    Label: Intim Musik   Catalog: 38 Release Date: 05/14/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Benda,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Ashildur Haraldsdóttir
    Conductor:  Thord Svedlund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Umeå Sinfonietta
    CD: $17.99
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  • 29.
    From The Court Of Frederick The Great / Kuijken, Van Asperen
    Label: Sony Classical Vivarte Series   Catalog: 66267 Release Date: 03/19/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Joachim Quantz,  Johann Gottlieb Graun,  Franz Benda,  Johann Gottfried Müthel  ... 
    Performer:  Wieland Kuijken,  Bob van Asperen,  Barthold Kuijken
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  • 30.
    Stamitz: Flute Concerto / Helasvuo, Saraste, Helsinki
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 268 Release Date: 09/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Benda,  Carl Stamitz
    Performer:  Mikael Helasvuo
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $21.49
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  • 31.
    Benda: Flute Concertos / Andras Adorjan, Milan Munclinger
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 151101 Release Date: 03/04/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Benda
    Performer:  András Adorján
    Conductor:  Milan Munclinger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Rediviva
    CD: $22.49
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  • 32.
    Music, My Love / Jean-Pierre Rampal
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 45548 Release Date: 05/25/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Fernande Le Borne,  Johann Joachim Quantz,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Veyron-Lacroix,  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Jean Huchot,  Lily Laskine  ... 
    Conductor:  Placido Domingo,  Jean-Pierre Wallez,  Claudio Scimone,  Michel Colombier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Paris Orchestral Ensemble,  Paris Baroque Ensemble  ... 
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