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A dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450-1889) by eminent writers, English and foreign : with illustrations and woodcuts (Volume 4) online

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no light and shade could be obtained. But he
admits that the effijct was sometimes great, and
he did homage to the memory of Handel in a
characteristic manner, by composing a fugal piece
for the organ on the themes of the Hallelujah
chorus. The Festival ended on June 3, and he
next appears at Warsaw, writing to invite the
organ-builder Rackwitz of St. Petersburg to join
him. Rackwitz complied, and the two proceeded
to Rotterdam to place some free-reeds in an organ
there. In the early part of September he was
giving concerts at Coblenz, Mayence, and Frank-
tort. From thence he journeyed on, through
Worms, Carlsruhe, Durlach, and Pforzheim, tc.
EssHngen, where the enthusiastic inhabitants
presented him with the 'wine of honour,' usually
reserved for sovereigns." Rackwitz remained
at Frankfort, making a free-reed stop for the
Carmelite church,'' but Vogler probably rejoined
him in time for the coronation of Leopold II. on
Oct. 9. The Abbe now began to be held in honour
in his own country. At Frankfort his 'Halle-
lujah' fugue fairly astonished both friends and
enemies.'^ It was at this time he projected a
return to London with the view of establishing
a manufactory of free-reeds.'^ This intention was
not carried out : he returned to Stockholm, and
was followed by B. A. Weber, who gave up his
position as conductor at Hanover to obtain further
instruction from his old master. The early part
of 1 791 was employed in the composition of

1782. This is at variance with the title-page of Knecht's 'Portrait
Musical ' [for which see Peooe.\mme-Mi'3IC. vol. iii. p. 39 a], published
in ]7fi4 [see KSECHT. vol. li. p. 66 a]. Moreover Winter, who succeeded
Vogler as Kapellmeister, obtained the post in nSS, (A. M. Z. vol.
zxviii. p. 358). w A. M. Z. vol. xxv. p. 152.

11 Lexicon der Tonkunstler. 12 See 0E0.4S. vol. ii. p. .598 b.

13 On Vogler's performances in London see ' The Gazetteer and New
Daily Advertiser ' for May 8, 22. and 29, 1790.

i< Christmann and Schubart in Musik. Corrcspondenz 'or 1790, Xos.
15, 16.

15 Compare with the authorities just quoted A. M. Z. vol. xiv. p. 153.

IS Christmann and Schubart, I. c, give several instances.

17 Christmaaa,



'Athalie' and 'Gustav Adolf,' and in September
he was giving organ recitals in Hamburg. The
assassination of Gustavus Adolphus III., whom
he liked and respected,* on March i6, i 792, only
a few days after the production of his opera,
started him off with Weber on another long tour
through Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the
Netherlands,^ In the next year^ he undertook
a course of lectures on Harmony, and in 1794
betook himself to Paris to hear the choruses ac-
companied by wind-instruments with which the
new-born Republic solemnised its fetes, and add
the result of his observations to his 'Polymelos
or characteristic music of divers nations.' At
St. tSulpice he gave an organ performance for tlie
poor, the receipts of which were 15,000 livres.
On his return he gave a second course of lectures
in 1795,* and in 1796^ erected his ox-chestrion
at Stockholm. About this time his ten years' en-
gagement as Royal Music-director came to an
end, and he proposed to leave Sweden, But his
school was considered so successful^ that the
Regent prevailed on him to prolong his stay till
the spring of 1799.' In that year he received
from the Swedish Court an annual pension of
500 dollars, departed for Denmark, and made an
iinusually protracted stay in the Danish capital,
during which he brought out an important work
for the church, and another for the stage. The
former was his 'Choral-System,' in which he
reviewed Fux, Kirnberger, and Rameau, and pro-
fessed to demonstrate that all the Protestant
chorale-melodies were wiitten in the Greekmodes.
Of this work the Danish government ordered 100
copies for distribution gratis to organists. The
latter was the music to 'Hermann von Unna.'
This, though originally written to a Swedish
libretto by Spiildebrand, had not been performed
in Sweden. It now proved a great success.
Though the ticket office did not open till 4 in
the afternoon, people began to assemble round
it at 6 a.m. After these achievements Vogler
proceeded, in the summer of 1800, to Berlin.
There he gave ' Hermann' several times in Ger-
man by way of attracting the general public,
appealed to the savants by his 'Data zur Akustik,'
and to the religious world by his proposals to
reduce the cost of organ-building. He was en-
trusted with the reconstruction of the organ in
St. Mary's,* and gave a performance on it on
Nov. 28, 1800. Tlie King of Prussia commis-
sioned him to build an organ at Neu-Ruppin.
But this did not keep him in Prussia. He set

> Christmann. 2 To this date some assign his travels in the East.

3 Fetis says 1792.

4 This is explicitly stated by himself. See ' Intelligenz Blatt '
attached to A. M. Z. of June 25, 1800. 6 A. M. 2. vol. xxv. p. 153.

6 B. A. Weber is the only musician of note who studied under
Vogler at Stockholm. The school in 1796 consisted of 17 pupils, while
theorchestraofthe Academy consisted of twenty-eight Swedes. Four
of these Swedes, whose total ages did not exceed 36 years, executed one of
Vogler's quartets in public, while mere children of the singing school
performed several entire operas! Perhaps Vogler did more real service
to Swedish music by giving excellent performances of Gluck's music.
(A. M. Z. vol. xxiii. p. 257.)

' He was at Stockholm April 2?, 1799 (A. M. Z. i. p. 592). In July
he was travelling between Copenhagen and Hamburg (see his attack
on Mliller in A. M. Z. vol. i. Intell. Blatt. xviii. p. 95). and was at
Copenhagen on Nov. 1, 1799 (A. M. Z. vol. ii. Intell. Blatt. vi.>

8 The specification of this organ may be found in the Intelligen2-
Blatt attached to the A. II. Z. for Feb. 4, ISOU


off to Leipzig, gave three organ recitals in the i
spring of I So I, and then went on about June tcj
Prague, At Prague he was received with great
honour, and made governor of a musical school.
His introductory lecture treated the questioii
' What is an Academy of Music?* and the interest
he excited was shown in the crowded audiences
that attended his course on the theory of music
The orchestrion was again erected, and after eight
months' delay, and two disappointments, was
heard on Easter Sunday, 1802. The Bohemian!
do not seem to have thought much of it, and i"
may have been in consequence of this failure tha'
he left Prague for Vienna, arriving about the ent
of 1S02.' He was reported to be invited t<
Vienna to write an opera, and rumours of th«
forthcoming work were constant throughout 1803
' Samori,' liowever, did not actually appear til
May 17,1 804, at the Theatre an-der-Wien, afte
more than fifty rehearsals. It enjoyed a mc
derate success, but on the course of operati
history at Vienna it exercised no influence at al]
Two other of Vogler's works were given there
' Castor and Pollux' (with additions and alter
atious), in a concert-room on Dec. 22 and 23

1 503, and ' Athalie' at the Redoutensaal in Nov

1504. Neither made much impression. Whil
at Vienna, Vogler celebrated the thirtieth anni
versary of his ordination. An interesting oil
cumstance connected with his stay there is hi
meeting with Beethoven, and their extemporisiuj
in turn on the piano. [See vol. i. 183 a.] Ad
other is that here Gansbacher and, through hia
C, M. von Weber, ^* became his pupils. Webe
made the PF. arrangement of ' Samori.* Vogle
had now been more than two years in Vienna
and his wandering instincts revived. He spent th
summer of 1 805 at Salzburg, en route to Munich.'
There he gave organ recitals, and at Christmas ha>
his Pastoral Mass performed in the Court Chape
When Napoleon, on his return from Austerlits'
paused at Munich to celebrate the marriage c
Eugfene Beauhamais with the Princess Ai
gusta of Bavaria, the Abb^ was the musics
hero of the hour, and ' Castor and Pollux' wa ]
performed on the wedding day, Jan. I4, 1806.
He made some little stay in Munich, occupyin
himself as usual in simplifying organs and put
lishing theoretical works. In September 180 :
he turns up at Frankfort, and shortly afte:|
wards" received an invitation from the Gran;
Duke of Darmstadt, Louis I., for whom he ha
written 'Lampedo' nearly thirty years before
to settle in that town. The Duke gave him ]
salary of 3000 florins, a house, with dinner an
supper every day from his own kitchen, fou'
wax candles a day and firewood ad libitun
the titles of Kapellmeister, and Privy Councillc
for Ecclesiastical Affairs, and the order of Mer

9 This date is taken from A.M. Z. vol. v. p. 374. The Biograph
Gansbacher states that Vogler came to Vienna about the end cf ISff

10 Life of C. M. v. Weber, by his son. Gansbacher (Biographic) sa
that he first made acquaintance with Weber at Vogler's house.

11 Fetis's statement that Vogler left Vienna In consequence of tl
war is refuted by dates.

1'- One of the pieces in ■ Polymelos 'iswritten In commemoration

this marriage. ,

'J Vogler is lound in Darmstadt in If 06. (A. M. Z. vol. xxv. p. »




)f the first class. In return for these honours
md emoluments he was not expected to per-
brm any duties, or to take part in the opera unless
it the performance of one of his own works.
rhe Duke thought himself well repaid by the
nere presence of such a celebrity.

Here then, at last, this musical Odysseus found
I resting-place. Here he opened his last and most
luccrssful Tonschule; and in the remaining six
ind a half years of his life became very fond of
he dull old town. It contained, in fact, every-
hing necessary to make it a haven of rest. The
iccusations of charlatanism that he had so often
lombatted down to 1S02,* at any rate did not
)enetrate to Darmstadt. The musicians of the
)lace held him in honour; he was surrounded
)y admiring and brilliant pupils, and his vanity
ejoiced in the sunshine of Court favour. Wiien
he old love of change returned on him he could
'ary his routine of teaching and composing by
hort trips in the neighbourhood. Munich and
ts organs were a favourite haunt," especially in
mtunin. In 1 8 1 o he visited Frankfort, May ence,
Elanau, and Offenbach, with Weber, and made
mother visit to Frankfort for the production of
lis pupil's opera 'Sylvana' on Sept. 17. Two
rears later he journeyed through Munich to
^I'^ienna, where it was noticed that he 'preserved
lis long acknowledged mastery ' of the organ. H e
;mployed himself in composing for stage, concert-
•oom, and church, and his best work, the Requiem,
sras the occupation of his last days. On May 4,
[814, his friend Gottfried Weber visited him on
massing through Darmstadt and remained till mid-
l&y on the 5th. The Abbe was as lively and genial
IS ever. The two friends analysed music together,
ind talked of the principles of art and especially
)f music. Vogler expressed his hopes of being
jerniitted to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary
)f his ordination. The following day (May 6),
it half past four in the morning, the old musician
lied of apoplexy. He was buried on the evening
)f the 7th, quietly, amid tokens of respect and
jrief from those who knew him, from his old
icholar,the Grand Duchess, downwards. Wherever
me of his numerous pupils was to be found, the
ntelligcnce came like a heavy blow, for it an-
nounced the loss of a musician zealous for his art
xnd of a man devoted to his friends.^

Vogler was short in stature, and latterly
became corpulent. His arms were of great
length, his hands enormous, and his general
ispect has been described as that of a large
'at ape. His singular character was strongly
ringed with vanity, and not without a touch of
UTogance. He delighted to array himself in his
aurple stockings and gold buckles, with his black
dlk ecclesiastical mantle and the grand cross of
;he Order of Merit given him by the Grand Duke

' ' See the preface to the ' Handbuch zur Harmonic Lehrc'
- He did not confine his attention to the organs however, as Wf» find
lim buying kettledrums of an improved model in Munich. (A. II. Z.
ol. liT. Intell. Blatt. xv.)

5 See the touching letters of Gottfried and C. M. v. Weber on rec>:iv-
ng the news of Vogler's death. In the former, by the way. Vogler's
ige seems wrongly given. In 1845 the Historical Society of Wurzburg
ilaced a tablet in the house in which Vogler was born, with the
rMcription ' Geburtshaus des Tonkunstlers Georg Joseph Vogler,
Icboreo den 15. Juui 1749, gestorbeu deu 6. Mai 1814.'

of Hesse.* He would take his prayer-book with
him into society, and often kept his visitors
waiting while he finished his devotions. Be-
neath his quaint exterior lay remarkable mental
gifts, a great insight into character, and a power-

From a portrait In the Hope Corectfon, Oxford.

ful memory. Nor were his egotism and afiecta-
tion without counterbalancing excellences. He
was always anxious to avoid a quarrel, ready to
acknowledge the merits of brother artists,^ and
to defend them, even if they had opposed him,
provided their music was good. The civility
which he showed to Mczart is in marked contrast
to Mozart's behaviour towards him. Moreover,
his vanity did not blind him to his own defects.
He was well aware that harmony, not melody,
was the department in which he excelled. ' Had
I your flow of melody,' he said to Sterkel, ' and
you my science, we should be both great men.'

An enthusiastic contemporary^ calls him 'an
epoch-making man.' The expression is too strong,
but as a musical iconoclast Vogler certainly did
excellent service. His incessant attacks on the
pedantic methods of musical instruction and
systems of harmony in vogue, and on the old
methods of organ-building, were often extrava-
gant and untrue, as, for example, the statement
that Bach did not know what a chorale was. But
all refoimers are betrayed into exaggeration,
and such utterances must not make us overlook
the benefits that flowed from his demolition
of musical fetishes. His attacks on rooted pre-
judices stimulated not only his pupils Weber and
Meyerbeer, but acted indirectly on a wide circle.

As a composer it was his aim to retain the
simple and severe beauty of the old church
music and yet enrich it with the wealth of har-
mony at the command of modern music. He was
thus most happy in his treatment of a canto fermo.
He brought to this task a facility in vocal counter-
point gained in the ecclesiastical schools of Italy,

< The analysis prefixed to ' Die Scala' has a sort of facsimile of
Vogler's signature attached to it. The autograph is as eccentric as the
man, being encircled with the most comical flourishes,

.' See Christmann's report of a coDve(satiou with Vogler.

« Schubart, Aesthetik.



anfl an intimate acquaintance with the resources
and effects of an orchestra acquired as Kapell-
meister at Mannheim.^ As a composer for the
theatre he did not attain any great good fortune.
Against the success of 'Castor and Pollux,' and
'Hermann von Unna,' must be set very many
failures. 'Samori,' on which he spent the greatest
pains, pleased for a while, in spite of its weak
libretto and often laboured music ; but Vogler's
influence on opera at Vienna was in reality n il.
The overture to 'Hamlet,' on the other hand,
was the forerunner of the programme overture
now almost too common. We are told* that in
composing this work Vogler hit on an idea, then
new, viz. he first studied the tragedy and then
arranged his composition so as to express the
principal scenes iu music. His clavier music,
though perhaps useful as exercises, is unim-
portant, and his organ music has not borne the
test of time. [Progkaume Music, vol. iii., p.
39 a.] His Symphony in C and his Requiem are
his best works, and contain original and striking
music. The former was played at the Gewand-
haus under Mendelssohn in 1S3S and 1S39, ^^^ ^J
the Euterpe in the season 1S44-5. The overture
to 'Samoi'i,' whose insignificant themes and fine
development make it a type of its composer, was
performed later still, in iS47,and the characteristic
Pastoral Mass was both popular and impressive.
A striking success was achieved by the Psalm
' Ecce quam bonum ' at Choron's first Sacred
Concert at Paris in 1S27, and though the pro-
gramme included works by Scarlatti, Marcello,
Handel, Haydn, and Mozart, we are told that the
honours rested with Vogler.*

But it was as an organist and theorist that
Vogler made most stir. It would be difficult to
find an important town in Central Europe in
which he had not performed on the organ. He
could stretch two octaves with ease, and practice
had turned this natural advantage to such good
use that he was indisputably the first organist of
his age. His quaint eccentricity shows itself here
as elsewhere. He would travel about playing in
the most ad captandum style such things as
'Cheu-Tew, a Chinese song,' 'a Hottentot melody
in three notes,' ' The Fall of the walls of Jericho,'
'Thunder-storms,' and the like,* as if with the
design of concealing his complete command of
the highest ranges of organ-playing. His ex-
tempore playing never failed to create an iiii»
pression, and in the elevated fugal style he easily
distanced all rivals. 'One was amazed at his
performance in the severe style,' says Rink;
and his study of the construction of the organ
gave him an unerring instinct in the selection
of stops. The illnatuied criticism of Mozart in
his letter to his father of Jan. 17, 177S, is by no
means generally endorsed by other contem-

1 Chrislmann mentions that in an orchestra arranged on Vogler's
principles four double basses were used and tuned in four different
ways, by which ingenious device au open string was obtained lor
every note. In ■ Die Scala ' two pairs of kettledrums are used to play
a scale passage— probably the first instance of the employment of four
drums. |Cp. Drum. vol. i. p. 4M a ; Timbales, vol. iii. p. 116.]

2 .'■chubart. Aesthetik. 3 A. 31. Z. vol. xxix. p. 558.

* Christmann mentions a performance int'-nded to represent 'The
Last Jud^-ment <i<-coi(fiii!; to Itubent.' Ticiorial Music has perhaps
oever beeu pushed beyond this.


porary writers. They declare that in transposi
ing and accompanying, Vogler had remarkabltij
readiness and skill, and that as a reader at sigh '|
he ' was perhaps unsurpassed and unique.' *

In organ building,® his first practical efibrt:jij
were made in 1J84. Five years later he com j
pleted an instrument which he called theOrchesI
trion, and gave performances on it at various date;
at Amsterdam, London, Stockholm, and Prague
It is described as being 9 feet square, 6 fee
high on each side, and 9 in the centre. Thii
box contained about 900 pipes, and had shutter
for crescendos and diminuendos. The reed-stop;
were Free Reeds, and variety of power ii
their case was gained by three canvas screens
in the windtrunk. As to the efiiect produced
opinions were much divided. At Amsterdan
it was asserted to be the iion plus ultra of organ
building, at Prague it was declared a failure
Vogler was also prepared to * simplify ' oh
organs. He claimed to work such a metamor
pilosis in an instrument in three weeks that its
effect would be largely enhanced, though mauj
of the old pipes were removed. The cost of at
organ on his sj'stem was alleged to be a thiri
of that of one built in the old way. Such pr©
tensions were sure to provoke keen opposition
At Berlin he was charged with stealing the pipei
removed in 'simplifying' tlie organ in St. Mary'i
Church. The falsity of the charge was demon-
strated, but it shows the feeling against him.

His proposals were four-fold: viz. (i) T<
avoid the use of expensive large pipes; (2) To
introduce Free Reeds; (3) To arrange the pipes
in a different order on the windchest, and (4]
To remove Mutation Stops.

(i) The means by which the cost of organs
was diminished without depriving them of
their resources lay in Tartini's theory that just
as a note gives certain harmonics, so the har-
monics of a note if combined give the funda^
mental note. The first harmonics of a pipe ol
32 feet would be represented by pipes of 16 feet
and of 10 J feet. It was therefore possible by
employing a pipe of 16 feet and a pipe of 105
feet together to obtain a 3 2 -feet sound without
having to use a 32-feet pipe. Time appears, on
the whole, to have decided in favour of Tartini
and Vogler on this point. It is true that some
organ-builders and organists still hold that the
' third sound ' is but a poor apology for the real
pipe-produced sound, and that every organ of any
pretensions still contains large pipes. On the
other hand, a Quint on the Pedal Organ is un-
doubtedly coming into great favour as an adjunct
to or substitute for the 32-feet stop. The reader
will find instances of the 'Trias Harmonica'
either with or without a 32-feet stop at St.
Michael's, Tenburv, Cutler's HaU, SheflBeld (Ca-
vaille-Coll), Shefiield church (Brindley& Foster),

5 Once, at least, Vogler met Beethoven, viz. at Sonnleithner's house
In the winter of 1F03—4. ISeeBEETHOVE.S", vol. i. p. ISSa.JOSnsbacher,
who then heard both extemporise fur the first time, admired Bee-
thoven, but was perfectly enchanted with the Adajio and Fuuue
thrown off by Vogler. So eicited was he that he could not go to
bed after it. and knocked up his friends at unseasonable hours to
quiet his ejcitement by describing what he had heard. (Biograpbie.)

<; ' Data zur Akustik.'


Bow and Bromley Institute, the Temple
irch (Schulze), the Free Trade Hall, Manches-
(Kirtland & Jardine), and York Minster.

2) The free-reed was derived from a Chinese
^n, and was applied about 1780 to organ
J-stops by a Copenhagen organ-builder named
■snick, who had settled at S. Petersburg.
jler was so impressed with Kirsnick's experi-
it that he induced Kackwitz, Kirsnick's as-
ant, to follow him to Stockholm, and make
eral stops on this principle. When Vogler
lined to Germany in 1799 he carried the
ention with him wherever he went, and it
1 through his advocacy that people first
lised its capabilities. To this initiative must
attributed not only the free-reed stops in
ans, but also the Harmonium and its varieties.

3) Vogler arranged the pipes of an organ in
itonal order — the large pipes at the left end
;he soundboard, and the small pipes at the
it end. Most organ-builders adhere to the
system ; but Voglei-'s arrangement has found
erents, amongst whom may be noted the cele-
ted Schulze of Paulinzelle (who built his organ

the Exhibition of 1851 on this principle),
.Icker of Ludwigsburg, and Messrs. Kirtland
rardine and Forster & Brindley in England.

4) On the fourth point Vogler has achieved an
loubted success. The Mixtures still found in
ans, are not the overwhelming ones that he
liled, and further modifications in this respect
possibly still to come. Outside the particular
istions raised by Vogler, his influence on organ-
Iding was considerable, and much of the im-
vement therein in the last seventy years may
ascribed to his attacks.

Is a theorist Vogler developed the tenets of
lotti. His system of harmony was founded
acoustics, and its fundamental principle was
t not orJy the triad (common chord), but
) the discords of the seventh, ninth, and
renth could be introduced on any degree of the
[e without involving modulation. He went
n beyond this, and allowed chromatically
'red ibnns of these chords aud inversions of
tn. But his system never took much root.
;ording to Kneeht, its most ardent advocate,
iras full of practical advantages, placed in a
ir light the formation of the scales, simplified
iring and thorough-bass, and got rid of all sorts
neaningless and confusing terms, ' dominants
t do not dominate, Vorschlags, Nachschlags,
.' Two other writers have founded their sys-
is on that of Vogler, F. J. C. Schneider and
ensperger ; but it has passed into oblivion,
t is as a teacher that Vogler has most
ims on posterity, for no musician has ever
I so many remarkable pupils. As a teacher of
jing he was in great request, and the cele-
ted Madame Lange (Aloysia Weber) owed
lost everything that was admirable in her
:,'ing to his instruction.' It was, however, to
teaching of composition that he directed his
atest efforts ; and from his Schools at Mann-
m, Stockholm, and Darmstadt came forth

> Schubart, Aeslhetik, p, VJo,



Winter,- Hitter, Kraus, Danzi, Kornacher, B. A.
Weber, Baron von Poisel, Gansbacher, C. M. von
Weber, and Meyerbeer. Sterkel also received

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