Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

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Weigel [Waigel].

German family of engravers and publishers.

(1) Christoph Weigel (i) [der Ältere]

(2) Johann Christoph Weigel

(3) Christoph Weigel (ii) [der Jüngere]



(1) Christoph Weigel (i) [der Ältere]

(b Marktredwitz, bap. 30 Nov 1654; d Nuremberg, 5 Feb 1725). He learnt the craft of copper engraving in Augsburg (1673–81) and worked in Vienna, Frankfurt and Regensburg before settling in Nuremberg, where he married in 1698. He founded an art publishing firm which, through the heirs Tyroff and later Schmidt, existed into the 19th century; in it he also engraved and published music. His Ständebuch of 1698 follows very closely in its sections on music Michael Praetorius’s Organographia of 1618 and Kircher’s Musurgia of 1650. But it contains interesting details of the instrumental practice of the time, and stresses ‘the predominance of the organ among instruments and the leading role of Nuremberg in the construction of wind instruments’ (Krautwurst).


(2) Johann Christoph Weigel

(b Marktredwitz, bap. 15 July 1661; d Nuremberg, bur. 3 Sept 1726). Brother of (1) Christoph Weigel (i). Like his brother he settled in Nuremberg and worked there as an engraver and art dealer. Notable among the works he published are Pachelbel’s Erster Theil etlicher Chorale (c1700) and above all his own Musicalisches Theatrum (c1722). The latter is a collection of folio plates illustrating various instruments being played with a conductor, and is closely related to Mattheson’s Das neu-eröffnete Orchestre (Hamburg, 1713). After Weigel’s death his wife continued the business.


(3) Christoph Weigel (ii) [der Jüngere]

(b 1703; d Nuremberg, bur. 19 June 1777). Son of (2) Johann Christoph Weigel. He took over the business from his mother in 1734. The most important work published by the ‘jüngere Weigelsche Handlung’ (which survived with A.G. Schneider’s bookshop until 1807) was book 2 of Bach’s Clavier-Übung (1735/R).


MGG1 (F. Krautwurst)

J.C. Weigel: Musicalisches Theatrum (Nuremberg, c1722/R)

J.G. Doppelmayr: Historische Nachrichten von den Nürnbergischen Mathematicis und Künstlern (Nuremberg, 1730)

C. Schaper: ‘Neue archivalische Forschungen zur Lebensgeschichte von Professor Erhard Weigel (1625–1699)’, Archiv für Geschichte von Oberfranken, xxxix (1959), 97–140

Weigh House Chapel, Eastcheap.

London Presbyterian chapel. See London, §I, 7(iii).


Austrian family of musicians.

(1) Joseph (Franz) Weigl (i)

(2) Joseph Weigl (ii)

(3) Thaddäus Weigl



(1) Joseph (Franz) Weigl (i)

(b Bavaria, 19 May 1740; d Vienna, 25 Jan 1820). Cellist. On Haydn’s recommendation he was appointed a cellist at the Eisenstadt court of Prince Paul Anton Esterházy on 1 June 1761. In 1764 he married the daughter of the household accountant in Eisenstadt, (Anna Maria) Josepha Scheffstoss, who had been a ‘choral and chamber singer’ at the Esterházy court since 1760. In 1769 Weigl became principal cellist to the Italian opera at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna. Meanwhile his wife was engaged at the Burgtheater, where she appeared primarily in Gluck’s operas. Weigl’s expressive cello playing soon won him entry into the highest circles: in 1773 Burney heard Haydn quartets played by Starzer, d’Ordonez, Count von Brühl and Weigl at the home of Lord Stormont, the English ambassador to Vienna. In 1792 Weigl entered the Hofkapelle, and the Kapellmeister Salieri frequently suggested him as a soloist for music at court banquets. He is supposed to have written pieces for the csakan, a Hungarian recorder.


(2) Joseph Weigl (ii)

(b Eisenstadt, 28 March 1766; d Vienna, 3 Feb 1846). Composer and conductor, son of (1) Joseph Weigl (i). In 1769 he moved to Vienna, where his musical talent was quickly recognized by F.L. Gassmann. He studied singing and thoroughbass in 1775 with the Korneuburg choirmaster and schoolmaster Sebastian Witzig. In 1776 he entered the grammar school and studied music with Albrechtsberger until 1782. He began, but did not complete, courses in medicine and law. At the age of 16 Weigl wrote his first opera Die unnütze Vorsicht for a marionette theatre; it met with the approval of Gluck and Salieri, who were responsible for arranging a performance at the Burgtheater in 1783. Every Sunday Baron Gottfried van Swieten invited him to his musical matinées. There Weigl came into contact with Mozart, Salieri, Teyber and Starzer and works by Bach, Handel and Graun were played and studied, with Mozart accompanying at the fortepiano. ‘To hear a Mozart playing through the most difficult scores with his unique fluency, and at the same time singing and correcting the mistakes of others’, reported Weigl in his autobiography, ‘could not but excite the greatest admiration’. Salieri convinced Weigl’s father of his son’s talent, and himself gave the 19-year-old instruction in composition and introduced him to theatrical life at the court theatre. There Weigl had to accompany and take the singers through their parts. Among the works he rehearsed were Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (1786) and Don Giovanni (1788); at later performances of these operas he himself was the conductor. He probably also rehearsed Così fan tutte.

By 1790 Weigl was deputy Kapellmeister at the court theatre, and in July 1791 he was made Salieri’s successor by Leopold II. His first great success in the theatre came with La principessa d’Amalfi in 1794. Haydn (who was his godfather) congratulated him with the words: ‘not for a long time have I enjoyed any music as much as I did your La principessa d’Amalfi yesterday: it is novel in conception, noble, expressive – in short, a masterpiece’. During the 1790s Weigl composed not only Italian but also German operas (including Das Petermännchen and Das Dorf im Gebirge). After the creation of a court ballet company in 1791 Weigl began a fruitful collaboration with the dancers Antonio Muzzarelli, Salvatore Viganò and Giuseppe Traffieri. From Peter von Braun, who had taken over the court theatre as a lessee in 1794, Weigl received a special commission to compose an opera and two ballets every year. Among his most successful ballets were Pigmalione (33 times, 1794–5), Riccardo cor di Leone (32 times, February–August 1795), Il ratto d’Elena (38 times, 1795–6), L’incendio e la distruzione di Troja (20 times, 1796), Alonso e Cora (73 times, 1796–1800), Alcina (66 times, 1798–1801), Alceste (32 times, 1800–01), I spagnoli nell’isola Cristina (44 times, 1802–3) and La ballerina d’Athene (51 times, 1802–4). His first great operatic success abroad was L’amor marinaro (1797), which was played in all the larger theatres of Europe. Beethoven made use of the closing section of its terzetto ‘Pria ch’io l’impegno’ (no.12) as a theme for the variations of his Clarinet Trio in B, op.11.

In 1802 Weigl married Elisabeth Bertier, a maid-servant at the court; there were three children of the marriage (Leopold, Theresia and Leopoldine). In 1802 he was summoned to the Stuttgart Opera, but declined on account of his life appointment at the Viennese court. He had a special patroness in the Empress Marie Therese, the second wife of Emperor Franz II; it was for her that he wrote the opera L’uniforme (1800) and at its première in the theatre at Schönbrunn Castle she herself sang the principal role. In the 1807–8 season Weigl composed Cleopatra and Il rivale di se stesso for La Scala. The latter was an enormous success and had 111 performances in three years. He was offered an appointment as director of the Milan Conservatory but turned it down and in July 1808 returned to Vienna. The Singspiel Das Waisenhaus (1808) and Die Schweizerfamilie (1809) are highpoints in his dramatic output. The former had over 100 Viennese performances within ten years, and Die Schweizerfamilie was performed throughout the world during the 19th century. Weigl was one of the chief participants in the musical preparations for the Council of Vienna, where his opera Die Jugend Peter des Grossen (1814) was given as a festival performance. In 1815 he was once more called to Milan, where he composed the opera L’imboscata (1815) for La Scala and the cantata Il ritorno d’Astrea (1815) for the arrival of the Austrian Emperor Franz I. In February 1816 he returned to Vienna, where he finished his second commissioned opera for Milan Margaritta d’Anjou. The première, however, did not take place in Milan but in Vienna in 1819. His series of stage works ended in 1823 with Die eiserne Pforte, after which he composed principally sacred music. A decree of 22 January 1827 appointed him vice-Kapellmeister at court, and he held this position until 1838. At his retirement in 1839 he was awarded the gold Civil-Ehrenmedaille. Weigl was buried in the cemetery at Währing, but later a memorial was erected at the central cemetery in Vienna. He was an honorary member of the Milan Conservatory (1812) and the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna (1826) as well as several other musical associations; in 1828 he was given the freedom of the city of Vienna. Two manuscript autobiographies (one containing a list of works) are in the Vienna Nationalbibliothek.

Weigl’s Italian operas span from 1788 to 1816. Initially modelling his work on Mozart’s operas on the one hand and Neapolitan opera buffa on the other, Weigl achieved a stylistic blend that eventually developed into a mature style of his own. The semiseria genre allowed him to experiment with expanded forms and unusual orchestration. In their rescue opera L’uniforme Weigl and Carpani anticipate Fidelio not only in subject matter, but also in the active role of the chorus and the predominance of ensembles. In his last two Italian operas, L’imboscata and Margaritta d’Anjou, Weigl’s use of Romantic dramatic language can be seen in the chromaticism, preference for the mediant, large forms, symmetrical disposition of tonalities, interweaving of motifs, instrumental solos and independent part-writing, even for the viola.

Weigl’s sacred works belong to the tradition of post-Classical Viennese church music. They show a thorough contrapuntal skill; an essential feature of his fugal writing is the use of sequence, and protracted pedal points do not appear. In his masses the cello is freed from the bass line by being given broken chords and frequent solo passages. Weigl used unison passages to heighten tension, and his choral writing scrupulously observes the limitations of the voices.



all in A-Wn; thematic index in Grasberger, 1938

Masses, E, 1783; F, 1784; C, 1827, with grad Felix es sacra virgo Maria, F, off Beata est virgo Maria, E; D, 1828, with grad Suscepimus Deus misericordiam tuam, B, off Maria mater gratiae, A; E, 1829, with grad Diffusa est gratia, C, off Sancta Maria mater Dei, A; B, 1830, with grad Propter veritatem et mansuetudinem, G, off Assumpta est Maria in coelum, D; D, 1831, with grad Benedicta et venerabilis, F, off Te matrem Dei laudamus, B; F, 1832, with grad Benedicta et venerabilis, F, off Ave Maria gratia plena, A; G, 1833; A, 1834; E, 1837

Orats: La passione di Gesù Cristo (G. Carpani), 1804, A-Wgm, D-Dlb; La resurrezione di Gesù Cristo (Carpani), 1804, A-Wgm, Wn

Other sacred: Francisce pauper humilis, C, off


principal sources: A-Wgm, Wn, D-Bsb, Dlb, DS


Vienna, Burgtheater


Vienna, Kärntnertortheater

Die unnütze Vorsicht, oder Die betrogene Arglist (1, F.L. Schmidel), WB, 23 Feb 1783 [for marionette production]

Il pazzo per forza (dg, 2, C. Mazzolà), WB, 14 Nov 1788

La caffettiera bizzarra (dg, 3, L. da Ponte, after C. Goldoni), WB, 15 Sept 1790

Der Strassensammler (Lumpensammler) oder Ein gutes Herz ziert jeden Stand (komische Oper, 1, P. Weidmann), Vienna, Leopoldstadt, 13 Oct 1792

La principessa d’Amalfi (dg, 2, G. Bertati), WB, 10 Jan 1794; ov., arr. hpd (Vienna, ?1795)

Das Petermännchen (Schauspiel mit Gesang, 8, H. Spiess, rev. K.F. Hensler), Vienna, Leopoldstadt, 8 April 1794 [pt 1], ?Apri/May 1794 [pt 2], songs (Brunswick, n.d.)

Giulietta e Pierotto (dg, 2, G. De Gamerra), WB, 16 Oct 1794, excerpts (Offenbach, n.d.)

I solitari (dramma tragi-comico, 3, De Gamerra), WK, 15 March 1797, excerpts (Vienna, n.d.)

L’amor marinaro ossia Il corsaro (dg, 2, De Gamerra), WB, 15 Oct 1797, vs (Vienna, n.d.; Bonn, n.d.); also as Der Korsar aus Liebe

Das Dorf im Gebirge (Schauspiel mit Gesang, 2, A. von Kotzebue), WB, 17 April 1798, vs (Breslau, n.d.)

L’accademia del maestro Cisolfaut (2, De Gamerra), WK, 14 Oct 1798

Die Herrenhuterinnen (Spl, L.B. Picard), WK, 26 Nov 1804, notturno (Vienna, n.d.)

L’uniforme (heroisch-komische Oper, 3, G. Carpani), Schönbrunn; as Die Uniform, WK, 15 Feb 1805, vs (Vienna n.d.)

Vestas Feuer (heroische Oper, 2, J.E. Schikaneder), Vienna, An der Wien, 7 Aug 1805

Il principe invisibile (4, ?after F. Foignet), Laxenburg, 4 Oct 1806

Kaiser Hadrian (grosse Oper, 3, P. Metastasio and J. Sonnleithner), WK, 21 May 1807

Ostade oder Adrian von Ostade (1, G.F. Trietschke), WK, 3 Oct 1807, vs (Bonn, n.d.)

Cleopatra (os, 2, L. Romanelli), Milan, Scala, 19 Dec 1807

Il rivale di se stesso (2, Romanelli), Milan, Scala, 18 April 1808, excerpts (Milan, n.d.); as Liebhaber und Nebenbuhler in einer Person, Vienna, 1812

Das Waisenhaus (Spl, 2, Treitschke), WK, 4 Oct 1808, vs (Vienna, n.d.); Fr. trans., B-Bc

Die Schweizerfamilie (lyrische Oper, 3, I.F. Castelli, after C.G. d’Aucour de Saint Just), WK, 14 March 1809 (Vienna, n.d.); as Emmeline, ou La famille suisse, Paris, 1827, arr. Crémont (Paris, 1827)

Die Verwandlungen (Operette, 1, after Viscount de Ségur), ?Berlin, Feb 1810

Der Einsiedler auf den Alpen (1, Treitschke), WK, 13 June 1810

Franziska von Foix (heroisch-komische Opera, 3, Castelli), WK, 7 Feb 1812

Der Bergsturz (Spl, 3, A.F. Reil), WK, 19 Dec 1813, vs (Leipzig, n.d.)

Die Jugend (Jugendjahre) Peter des Grossen (3, Treitschke, after J.-N. Bouilly), WK, 10 Dec 1814, vs (Mainz, n.d.)

L’imboscata (2, Romanelli), Milan, Scala, 8 Nov 1815, excerpts (Milan, n.d.)

Margaritta d’Anjou ossia L’orfana d’Inghilterra (melodramma eroicomico, 2, Romanelli), WK, 16 March 1819 (in Ger. trans.)

Die Nachtigall und der Rabe (1, Treitschke), WK, 20 April 1818, vs (Vienna, n.d.)

Daniel in der Löwengrube, oder Baals Sturz (heroische Oper, 3, Reil), WK, 13 April 1820

König Waldemar, oder Die dänischen Fischer (Spl, 1, Castelli), WK, 11 May 1821

Edmund und Caroline (1, Treitschke after B.-J. Marsollier des Vivetières), WK, 21 Oct 1821

Die eiserne Pforte (grosse Oper, 2, J. Ritter von Seyfried, after E.T.A. Hoffmann: Das Majorat), WK, 27 Feb 1823


Doubtful: La sposa collerica, 1786, unperf.

other stage


Vienna, Burgtheater


Vienna, Kärntnertortheater

Ballets (all pubd kbd arrs. Vienna, n.d.; MSS in A-Wgm, Wn, elsewhere): Il simbolo della vita umana (A. Muzzarelli), WB, 10 May 1794; I molinari (Muzzarelli), WB, 16 June 1794; Pigmalione (Muzzarelli), WK, 1 Aug 1794; Riccardo cor di Leone (S. Viganò), WK, 2 Feb 1795; Il ratto d’Elena (Muzzarelli), WB, 16 May 1795, pubd kbd arr.; L’incendio e la distruzione di Troja (Muzzarelli), WK, 2 Jan 1796, pubd kbd arr.; Alonso e Cora (G. Traffieri), WK, 30 March 1796, pubd kbd arr., str qt arr. (Vienna, n.d.); Alcina (Traffieri), WK, 25 Jan 1798, pubd kbd arr.; I bacchanti, Vienna, 1799; Rolla oder Die Spanier in Peru (Traffieri), WK, 13 March 1799; Clothilde, Prinzessin von Salerno (Viganò), Vienna, 1799; Die Waise der Höhle (F. Clerico), WB, 14 March 1800, collab. P. Wranitzky, pubd kbd arr.; Alceste (G. Gioja), WK, 6 Aug 1800, kbd arr. (?Vienna, 1802); Zulima und Azem (Gioja), WK, 29 Nov 1800; Das närrische Wesen, Vienna, 29 Nov 1800; La ballerina d’Athene (Muzzarelli), WK, 31 Aug 1802, pubd kbd arr.; I spagnoli nell’isola Cristina (Viganò), WK, 16 March 1802, arr. wind insts, D-DS; I giuochi istmici (Viganò), WK, 13 July 1803; Caio Marzio Coriolano (Viganò), Milan, 1804; Die vier Elemente, Vienna, 6 June 1806; La parodia dei 4 elementi, Vienna 1806; Orientalisches Divertissement (Taglioni), ?1807; Prometeo (Viganò), Milan, 1813; Wilhelm Tell, collab. A. Gyrowetz

Incidental music in: Fürstengrösse (F.W. Ziegler), 1791; Die Pilger (Ziegler), 1791; Die Sonnenjungfrau (von Kotzebue), 1791; Die Weiberehre (Ziegler), 1792; Die Hochzeit im Reich der Toten

Allerley (Liederspiel), A-Wn

Amletto (melodrama, 2), 1791

Many pieces added to operas by Paisiello, Zingarelli, Mozart, Cimarosa, Mayr, Winter and others

other vocal

Cantatas (first perf. in Vienna unless otherwise stated, MSS in A-Wgm, Wn, D-DS): Flora e Minerva, 1791; Venere ed Adone, Eszterháza, 1791; Diana ed Endimione, 1792; Auf Erzherzog Karls Rückkunft, 1797; Die Gefühle der Dankbarkeit oder Die Gefühle meines Herzens, 1797; L’amor figliale, 1800; La festa di Carolina negli Elisi (De Gamerra), 1801; Il giorno di nascità, 1801; Il miglior dono, 1801; Le pazzie musicale, 1802; Der gute Wille, 1803; Die Musen, 1805; Il riposo dell’ Europa (L. Prividale), 1806; I sacrifizio, 1806; Der Sieg der Eintracht (Castelli), 1811; Die Pilgerreise (M. von Collin), 1812; Venere e Marte, Raudnitz [now Roudnice], 1812; Die Kraft der Weihe oder Die Weihe der Zukunft (Sonnleithner), 1814; Il ritorno d’Astrea (V. Monte), Milan, 1815; Des Volkes Wunsch (Castelli), 1826; others

Landwehrlieder (H.J. von Collin), chorus, orch (Redoutensaal, Vienna, 1809)

Many other lieder pubd separately


all MSS in A-Wn

Orch: Hpd Concertino, D, 1801; 12 minuets, 2 vn, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 bn, fl, pic, 2 hn, 2 tpt, timp, triangle; Marcia carouselle; 4 quadrilles; others

Other inst: Concertino, fl, ob, cl, bn, hp, c1815, ed. in Mw, xlvi (1972); Opus symphonicum, eng hn, fl d’amore, va d’amore, tpt, hpd, vc, 1799 [? same as Sonata a 7 for same insts, except glock substituted for hpd]; 6 trios, ob, vn, vc; March, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 bn, 2 hn


(3) Thaddäus Weigl

(b 8 April 1776; d Vienna, 29 Feb 1844). Composer, conductor and publisher, son of (1) Joseph Weigl (i). He studied music theory with Albrechtsberger, who acquainted him with the works of Bach and Handel; (2) Joseph Weigl (ii) introduced him to the music of Haydn and Mozart. From 1795 he worked as an arranger (especially of piano scores) for the court theatre’s music publishing house, and in 1796 the firm sent him on a business journey that took him all over Europe. In 1801 he was granted a licence for a publishing firm of his own, which he founded in 1803. From that time he often stood in for his brother as vice-Kapellmeister at the Kärntnertortheater, and in 1806 he was granted the title of composer to the court theatre. Between 1799 and 1805 he had five operettas (including Idoly and Die Marionettenbude) and 15 ballets (including Bacchus et Ariane, Cyrus und Tomyris and Die Vermählung im Keller) performed. As vice-Kapellmeister of the court theatre he took over the direction of the musical archives and thoroughly reorganized them. Later he resigned from practical music-making to devote himself entirely to his work as a publisher. Apart from works by his brother, he chiefly published works by Viennese contemporaries and operatic arrangements. Several songs by Schubert first appeared under his imprint. In 1832 the firm’s inventory and publishing rights were put up for auction and were acquired in part by the firms of Diabelli, Artaria and M.J. Leidersdorf.






A. Schmidt: Denksteine: Biographien (Vienna, 1848), 163–205

A. de Eisner-Eisenhof: ‘Giuseppe Weigl: una biografia’, RMI, xi (1904), 459–83

E. Fulter: ‘Beethoven und Weigl’, SMz, lxviii (1928)

W. Bollert: ‘Joseph Weigl und das deutsche Singspiel’, Aufsätze zur Musikgeschichte (Bottrop, 1938), 95–114

F. Grasberger: Joseph Weigl (1766–1846): Leben und Werk mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Kirchenmusik (diss., U. of Vienna, 1938)

A. Weinmann: Verzeichnis der Musikalien aus dem K.K. Hoftheater-Musik-Verlag (Vienna, 1961)

H.H. Hausner: ‘Joseph Weigl … Daten aus seinem Leben und Schaffen’, MISM, xiv/3–4 (1966), 9–17

O. Biba: ‘Königlicher Besuch im Palais Auersperg: eine Festkantate von Lorenzo da Ponte und Joseph Weigl’, Das Josefstädter Heimatmuseum, xlix–l (1968), 212–23

R. Angermüller: ‘Zwei Selbstbiographien von Joseph Weigl (1766–1846)’, DJbM, xvi (1971), 46–85

A. Weinmann: Verzeichnis der Musikalien des Verlages Thadé Weigl (Vienna, 1982)

T. Reichenberger: Joseph Weigls italienische Opern: mit einem biographischen Nachtrag (diss., U. of Vienna, 1983)

T. Reichenberger: ‘Giuseppe Weigl (1766–1846), Wiener Hofkapellmeister und italienischer Opernkomponist’, Die italienische Oper in Dresden von Johann Adolf Hasse bis Francesco Morlacchi: Dresden, 1987, 508–15

D. Link: The National Court Theatre in Mozart’s Vienna: Sources and Documents 1783–1792 (Oxford, 1998)

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