Paul Wranitzky
Pavel Vranický (30 December 1756 – 29 September 1808) was a Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

n classical
Classical period (music)
The dates of the Classical Period in Western music are generally accepted as being between about 1750 and 1830. However, the term classical music is used colloquially to describe a variety of Western musical styles from the ninth century to the present, and especially from the sixteenth or...

A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

. His brother, Antonín
Antonín Vranický
Antonín Vranický , was a famous Czech violinist and composer of the 18th century. He was the brother of Pavel Wranitzky....

, was also a composer.


Wranitzky was born in Neureisch (Nová Říše
Nová Říše
Nová Říše is a village and municipality in Jihlava District in the Vysočina Region of the Czech Republic.The municipality covers an area of , and has a population of 855 ....

) in Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

 on December 30, 1756. He studied at the Faculty of Theology of University of Olomouc and later a theological seminary in Vienna.

At age 20, Wranitzky, like so many other Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

n composers of that period, moved to Vienna to seek out opportunities within the Austrian
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 imperial capital.

From 1790, Wranitzky served as conductor of both royal theater orchestras. He was highly respected by Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

, Haydn
Joseph Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

, and Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

; the latter two preferred him as the conductor
Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. The primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble...

 of their new works. Wranitzky was a prolific composer. His output comprises ten opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

s, 44 symphonies, at least 56 string quartet
String quartet
A string quartet is a musical ensemble of four string players – usually two violin players, a violist and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group...

s (some sources give a number as high as 73) and a large amount of other orchestra
An orchestra is a sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus...

l and chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

. His opera, Oberon – The Fairy King from 1789 was a favorite in this genre and inspired Emanuel Schikaneder
Emanuel Schikaneder
Emanuel Schikaneder , born Johann Joseph Schickeneder, was a German impresario, dramatist, actor, singer and composer. He was the librettist of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera The Magic Flute and the builder of the Theater an der Wien...

 to write The Magic Flute
The Magic Flute
The Magic Flute is an opera in two acts composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. The work is in the form of a Singspiel, a popular form that included both singing and spoken dialogue....

; in the mid-1790s, Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...

 sought to collaborate with Wranitzky on a sequel to the Mozart opera.

Wranitzky died in Vienna on September 29, 1808.

Although some scholars believe that he studied with Haydn, there is no proof of this. But there can be no question that he studied and was influenced by Haydn's quartets. Like Haydn, Wranitzky's quartet writing went through many stages of development beginning with the pre-classical and evolving to the finished sonata form of the late Vienna Classics. The majority of Wranitzky's quartets are in three movements; many share the qualities of the Parisian quatour concertant, with virtuoso writing in all four parts. In these works, he explored the emerging Romantic style with (for the time) daring harmonic progressions, theatrical gestures, and virtuoso display. Based on the ten Wranitzky quartets he's studied, the music historian and Reicha
Anton Reicha
Anton Reicha was a Czech-born, later naturalized French composer. A contemporary and lifelong friend of Beethoven, Reicha is now best remembered for his substantial early contribution to the wind quintet literature and his role as a teacher – his pupils included Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz...

 scholar Ron Drummond
Ron Drummond
Ronald Norman Drummond is an American writer, editor, and independent scholar, currently living in Troy, New York.-Writer:...

 writes, "I can safely and with absolute confidence say that Wranitzky's achievement as a composer of string quartets is a greater achievement, overall, than Mozart's. Lest that statement be misunderstood, let me clarify: it's simply that Wranitzky's output dwarfs Mozart's, and the quality of each man's (mature) productions is so superb that Wranitzky wins by sheer numbers."

Writing about Wranitzky's music in the last part of the 19th century, the famous French critic and musicologist François-Joseph Fétis
François-Joseph Fétis
François-Joseph Fétis was a Belgian musicologist, composer, critic and teacher. He was one of the most influential music critics of the 19th century, and his enormous compilation of biographical data in the Biographie universelle des musiciens remains an important source of information today...

 recalled: "The music of Wranitzky was in fashion when it was new because of his natural melodies and brilliant style. He treats the orchestra well, especially in symphonies. I recall that, in my youth, his works held up very well in comparison with those of Haydn. Their premature abandonment of today has been for me a source of astonishment."

Stage works

  • Die gute Mutter (J.B. von Alxinger, Vienna, 1795)
  • Das Maroccanische Reich oder Die unterirdischen Schätze (1795)
  • Die Dienstpflicht (s.a.)

  • Das Fest der Lazaronen (J. Perinet, Vienna, 1794)

  • Oberon, König der Elfen (libretto by F.S. Seyler, extensively revised by Karl Ludwig Giesecke
    Karl Ludwig Giesecke
    Karl Ludwig Giesecke was a German actor, librettist, polar explorer and mineralogist. In his youth he was called Johann Georg Metzler, in his later career in Ireland he was Sir Charles Lewis Giesecke.-Early life:His father was Johann Georg Metzler, a Protestant who worked as a tailor in Augsburg...

    . Vienna, 1789)
  • Der dreifache Liebhaber (Vienna, 1791)
  • Rudolph von Felseck (J. Korompay, Vienna, 1792)
  • Merkur, der Heiratstifter, oder Der Geiz im Geldkasten (Vienna, 1793)
  • Die Post-Station oder Die unerwartete Zusammenkunft (S.F. Künster, 1793)
  • Der Schreiner (A. von Kotzebue, Vienna, 1799)
  • Die drei Buckligen (Warsaw, 1808)

Other types of opera works
  • 1 quadro musicale romantico:
    • Johanna von Montfaucon (A. von Kotzebue, Vienna, 1799)

  • 1 Liedspiel:
    • Das Mitgefühl (F. Treitschke, Vienna, 1804)

  • 2 divertissement:
    • Das Picknick der Götter (Schönbrunn, 1804)
    • Die Erkenntlichkeit (Vienna, 1804)

  • 2 travestimenti-melologhi:
    • Medea
    • Macbeth

  • Die Weinlese (Vienna, 1794)
  • Zephir und Flora (Vienna, 1795)
  • Das Waldmädchen (Vienna, 1796)
  • Die Luftfahrer (Vienna, 1797)
  • Cyrus and Tomyris (1797)
  • Die Waise der Berghöhle (Vienna, 1810)
  • Walmir und Gertraud (ca. 1800)
  • Das Urteil des Paris (Vienna, 1801)
  • Der Raub der Sabinerinnen (Vienna, 1804)
  • Zufriedenheit mehr als Reichtum (Vienna, 1805)
  • Zelina und Gorano (Vienna, 1806)

Theatre music
  • Rollas Tod (A. von Kotzebue, Vienna, 1795)
  • Achmet und Zenide (A.W. Iffland)
  • Jolantha
  • Die Rache
  • Siri-Brahe

Other works

  • 1 Cantata
  • 56 symphonies: 29 published symphonies, 27 symphonies in manuscripts.
  • 3 piano sonatas
  • 1 Missa

  • For Piano,
  • Violin Concerto in C
  • Violin Concerto in D
  • Violin Concerto in F
  • Violin Concerto in G
  • Cello Concerto in C, op 27
  • Flute Concerto in D, op 24/op 1
  • Oboe Concerto in G
  • Concertante for Flute and Oboe in C, op 39
  • Concertino for Oboe and Cello in D (lost)
  • Concerto for two Flutes in G (lost)

Other orchestra works
  • Overture, Divertimenti, Tafelmusik, Dances
  • Quartets, Quintets, etc.

External links

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