Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christoph Graupner - Magnificat

Christoph Graupner was the chapelmeister/composer at the court of a petty German princeling in Hesse-Darmstadt, composing Baroque music for his Cathedral and court.  The Prince, as was true for so many of the German aristocracy in the early part of the 18th Century came into financial straights, and Graupner found that his paychecks stopped coming.  With a wife a kids to support, he looked around for other musical jobs in other principalities, and was offered a job in Leipzig based on this composition, a Magnificat for the Cathedral there.

Quite frankly, they wanted Telemann, but he got a big pay raise and dropped out of the running.  When the Prince of Hesse-Darmstadt found out that Graupner was about to leave he not only settled in full but game him a big raise to keep him on staff.  This left Graupner in the position of having to decline the offer from Leipzig.

Fortunately, he knew someone who would be a good "Plan C" for the Leipzig post, and wrote a letter of recommendation for his friend who:
is a musician just as strong on the organ as he is expert in church works and capelle pieces ....
His friend?  Johann Sebastian Bach, who was given the position as the Kantor in Leipzig.  The rest, as we would say, is history.

Today is Graupner's birthday, born in 1683.  If you like Baroque music (as I do), it's sad that he's only ever found in Bach's shadow.


Chickenmom said...

Thank you - very, very enjoyable on this Sunday morning!

Phyllis (N/W Jersey)

Old NFO said...

Interesting piece of history, I didn't know that! Thanks, and yes good way to start Sunday!

libertyman said...

A new one for me.
Always informative.