Sunday, September 28, 2014

Johann Mattheson - Sonata No.2 in G major

Image via Das Wik
You don't often run across a composer who can fairly be described as "badass".  Johann Mattheson puts the lie to the claim that classical music is for pantywaists.

Mattheson was friends with Georg Frederic Handel - both were born around the same time in Hamburg and grew up in the same musical community.  They had an argument during a performance of Mattheson's opera Cleopatra in 1704, an argument that soon escalated to swordplay.  Mattheson very nearly killed Handel, who was only saved because a button on the great composer's coat deflected Mattheson's thrust.

The two quickly got over their mutual murderous rage and spent the rest of their lives as fast friends.  Pretty badass, all in all.

Mattheson  went on to be not only a composer, but a diplomat, traveling all over Europe.

A final footnote of badassery is that the complete list of Mattheson's compositions all went missing after World War II.  They were discovered in Armenia in 1998 and returned to Hamburg.  All in all, a wide ranging character, that Herr Mattheson.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Interesting, and just a 'bit' different than Handel and the others of the time.