Michael Haydn - Contemporary composers


VÁCLAV PICHL (1741 - 1805)

  Václav or Wenzel Pichl was born on September 25th 1741 in Bechyne, Bohemia. He had his first musical training with the local choir-master and school-teacher Jan Pekorný. In 1753 he became a chorister at the Jesuit College in Breznice five years later moved to Prague, entering St. Wenceslaus Seminary as a violinist. Here he studied philosophy, law and theology at the university.

In 1762 Pichl was engaged as violinist in the Church of Our Lady before Týn in Prague and in 1765 he met his later close friend Dittersdorf, who engaged him for his orchestra. Or rather the Bishop of Grosswardein's orchestra. In 1769 Pichl returned to Prague and was appointed Kapellmeister to Count Ludwig Hartig. And in 1770 he went to Vienna, where he was given a position as violinist at the Kärntnerthor-theater.

Empress Maria Theresia appointed Pichl as Kapellmeister to her son Archduke Ferdinand, Austrian Govenor of Lombardy, in 1775. He was to live the next twenty years in or around Milan, though he travelled widely in Italy.

In 1796 the French invasion of Lombardy forced Pichl back to Vienna, where he more or less spent the rest of his life. He died there on January 23th 1805, as the result of a stroke.

Pichl's output according to his own list, includes twenty operas, thirty masses, eightynine symphonies, thirty concertos and a huge amount of chamber music. Several of his symphonies has been ascribed to other composers, such as Haydn and Dittersdorf. Conversely others works has been ascribed to Pichl.


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