(b Linz, 20 Nov 1652; d Kleinfrauenheid, Burgenland, 8 Sept 1706). Austrian composer and violinist. He came from a family in which his father and at least one of his brothers, Franz, were also musicians. He entered the monastery at Lambach as a novice and at the profession of his vows on 6 January 1671 received the monastic name of Romanus. On 30 December 1671 he enrolled at the Benedictine University of Salzburg, gained the bachelor's degree in 1672 and became a doctor of philosophy in 1673. He must then have returned to Lambach. He had doubtless begun his musical education at home. Later the high standard of musical life at the monastery at Lambach, which was certainly comparable with that of the Viennese court, was to offer him ample stimulation. Not least, his student years in Salzburg considerably extended his musical horizons, for it can be assumed that his first meeting with Biber, which took place there, spurred him on to mastery of the violin. Almost every aspect of his musical achievement was influenced by Biber, who gave concerts at Lambach in 1681 before the Emperor Leopold I. When he was chaplain and musical director of the Benedictine convent of Nonnberg in Salzburg, Weichlein could study Biber's work at close range from about 1688 to 1691. In 1688 he achieved success with a performance in Passau Cathedral of a sonata of his own for solo violin.
In 1691, preceded by a good reputation as a musician, Weichlein was appointed chaplain of Nonnberg’s daughter house at Sabione, near Bressanone. Here he modernized the practice of a cappella singing by introducing instrumental playing into the church, produced plays and, according to the convent’s chronicle, succeeded in bringing ‘musical perfection’ to the inmates through his industry as their composer. In 1705 the election of a new abbot at Lambach resulted in his being transferred to a quite different kind of position, that of parish priest at Kleinfrauenheid, in a border area of eastern Austria that in 1692 had been given by Prince Pál Esterházy to the Benedictines for recultivation; it had been devastated in the Turkish wars and was rife with looters. When famine compelled Weichlein to write to the abbot asking to be relieved of his ministry, his request was refused, and he died of typhus after being there for only about a year.
Weichlein's op.1, dedicated to the Emperor Leopold I, is a set of 12 sonatas for several instruments, stylistically interesting and equally suitable for performance in church or in a secular setting. Unlike Muffat, who modelled himself on Corelli, Weichlein fused the style of Biber's solo sonatas with that of the orchestral canzona, which had been cultivated in Austria since the beginning of the 17th century: his sonatas thus approach the solo concerto in style, an impression reinforced by their themes, cadenza-like passages for the first violin and the fact that they are suited to performance by a chamber orchestra. A striking use of popular melodies also characterizes Weichlein's style, which is truly Austrian and offers intimations of the early Classical style.
Weichlein’s brother, Franz (b Linz, 4 Oct 1659; d Graz, 30 July 1727) was an organist and composer. He attended the Jesuit Gymnasium at Linz from 1668 to 1674. He was organist of the collegiate churches at Zwettl (up to 1681) and Garsten (up to 1688) and of the parish churches of Linz (to 1690) and Graz (until his death). He wrote a certain amount of vocal and instrumental music, all of which is lost. It included music for a Jesuit play performed at Graz in 1701 and Musico-instrumentalisches Divertissement for three instruments (Augsburg, 1705).
Canon über das Post-Hörnl a violinis (Lambach, 1686); copper-plate in A-LA
Encaenia musices … cum 5 et pluribus instrumentis, op.1 (Innsbruck, 1695), ed. in DTÖ, cxxviii (1979)
M.Pincherle: ‘Sur une cadence-caprice pour violon de l'an 1695’, RdM, iii (1922), 164–7
H.Wessely-Kropik: ‘Romanus Weichlein: ein vergessener österreichischer Instrumentalkomponist des 17. Jahrhunderts’, Musikwissenschaftlicher Kongress: Vienna 1956, 689–707
(b Wolgast, Pomerania, 9 Jan 1620; d Königsberg, 24 July 1652). German composer. After musical studies in Wolgast and Hameln, Weichmann spent three years in Danzig, where he was an organist at St Peter in 1639 and 1640. From 1640 to 1643 he studied in Königsberg and then went to Wehlau for his first regular appointment as organist. He returned to Königsberg in 1647 as Kantor and director of music at the Altstadt church, where he remained until his death.
Weichmann was a prolific composer of vocal and instrumental music, both sacred and secular. While a member of the distinguished Königsberg school of song composers that included Albert and Neumark, he composed his most important collection of songs, Sorgen-Lägerin, which consists of 65 strophic lieder, sacred and secular; here and elsewhere he set texts by Opitz and Johann Franck among others. His requirements for the performance of his songs are a good voice, clear diction and an instrument capable of chordal realization of the figured bass.
Among his sacred works, most of them now lost, his lost setting of Psalm cxxxiii was a specially impressive cantata for five soloists, four-part choir, trombones or bassoons, clarinos or cornetts, violins and organ, beginning with an orchestral sinfonia followed by sections for various combinations of voices and orchestra. (H. Güttler: Königsbergs Musikkultur im 18. Jahrhundert, Königsberg, 1925/R)
Neue geistliche und weltliche Lieder (Königsberg, 1643)