Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Johann Molter

Johann Melchior Molter was a German violinist and prolific composer, perhaps a genius, born on this date (February 10) 1696 (JS Bach was 11 years old). In 1717 he went from Eisenach to work in Karlsruhe as a violinist. From 1719 to 1721 he studied composition in Italy. From 1722 to 1733 he was court music director at Karlsruhe. In 1734 he became music master at the court of Duke Wilhelm Heinrich of Saxe-Eisenach. In 1742 he returned to Karlsruhe and began teaching at the Gymnasium there. From 1747 until his death Molter was employed by Margrave Carl Friedrich, the son of his first employer. Molter's works include an oratorio, several cantatas, 3 operas, over 160 symphonies, overtures, and other works for orchestra, about 100 concertos (especially many trumpet concertos and clarinet concertos), and many chamber music works. I especially like his trumpet concertos. His music is inventive and of a very sunny disposition. Many of the concertos are available on current CDs - YouTube has some amateur videos of low-quality performances. For Molter, I recommend the playlists on Pandora Radio. Molter died in 1765 (Mozart was 9 years old).

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