Weinert [Veinert, Wainert, Wajnert, Weynert], Antoni
(b Lusdorf, 2 June 1751; d Warsaw, 18 June 1850). Polish flautist and composer of Czech origin. He studied music in his native Bohemia, and in 1773 moved to Poland with Prince Lubomirski, remaining at his residence in Opole as a music teacher until 1774. He then moved to Warsaw, where he became a flautist in the theatre orchestra. From 1778 to 1795 he was first flautist in the court orchestra of King Stanisław August, where he played until 1795; he was also its director for many years (until 1795). After the fall of the Polish state he moved to Rogalin (near Poznań) as a musician at the ducal court of the Raczyńskis. In 1803 he returned to Warsaw and until 1839 was first flautist at the National Theatre; he taught singing, the piano and flute, at first privately, and later gave singing lessons at the Warsaw Conservatory until its closure in 1830. He also gave concerts as a flute player in Warsaw. He composed the Singspiele Skrupuł niepotrzebny (‘Unnecessary Scruple’; Warsaw, 1782), Donnerwetter (Warsaw, 17 January 1787) and Diabeł alchimista (‘Satan, the Alchemist’; Warsaw, 1797), all of which are lost, as well as cantatas, masses, piano works and songs.
Weinert’s son Filip (b Rogalin, 26 May 1798; d Warsaw, 15 Aug 1843) studied singing with Jan Gommert and later Brice at the Warsaw School for Music and Dramatic Art. He made his début at the Warsaw Opera in 1819 and sang there for a number of years. He also gave singing lessons and composed songs, now lost. Another son, Piotr (b Rogalin, c1800; d Warsaw, bur. 10 Nov 1827), studied the organ and composition at the Warsaw Conservatory, and became a piano teacher to the working classes and a composer of piano music. A younger Antoni Weinert, who may also have been a son of the flautist and composer, was an instrument maker who had a shop in Warsaw from about 1805 to 1828. His guitars were noted for their fine modelling and were very popular.
M.Karasowski: Rys historyczny opery polskiej [A historical outline of Polish opera] (Warsaw, 1859), 201–3
E.Nowakowski: ‘Dawne szkoły muzyczne w Warszawie’ [Old music schools in Warsaw], Echo muzyczne, teatralne i artystyczne, viii (1891), 186–8, 200–01, 225–7, 236 only, 253 only, 276–7, 304–5, 335–6, 364 only, 375 only, 405–6, 418 only, 428–9
B.Vogel: ‘Przemysł muzyczny w Królestwie Polskim w latach 1815–1830’ [Music trade in the Kingdom of Poland 1815–1830], Szkice o kulturze muzycznej XIX wieku, ed. Z. Chechlińska, iv (Warsaw, 1978)
A.Nowak-Romanowicz: ‘Utwór na smierc Ksiecia Józefa Poniatowskiego’ [A piece on the death of Prince Józef Poniatowski], Muzyka, xxvii/3–4 (1982), 99–109
A.Zorawska-Witkowska: Muzyka na duorze i w teatrze Stanislawa Augusta [Music at the court and theatre of Stanislaw Augustus] (Warsaw, 1995)
Weingartner, (Paul) Felix, Edler von Münzberg
(b Zara [now Zadar], Dalmatia, 2 June 1863; d Winterthur, 7 May 1942). Austrian conductor, composer and author. He studied composition at Graz, under W.A. Rémy. In 1881, on Hanslick’s recommendation, he went to Leipzig as a student of philosophy, and soon joined the conservatory. In 1883 Liszt took him under his wing at Weimar; Sakuntala, his first opera, was produced there in 1884. Later that year he obtained his first conducting post, at the Königsberg Opera, and after one season moved to Danzig for two. This pattern repeated itself at Hamburg and Mannheim. In 1891 Weingartner became court Kapellmeister of the Berlin Opera and director of the royal orchestral concerts. He resigned from the opera in 1898, but remained in charge of the concerts until 1907. From 1898 to 1903 he directed the Kaim concerts in Munich. In 1908 he succeeded Mahler at the Vienna Hofoper, resigning in 1911 but retaining control of the Vienna Philharmonic concerts until 1927. He was guest conductor at the Hamburg Opera (1912–14), principal conductor at Darmstadt (1914–19), and director of the Vienna Volksoper (1919–24). In 1927 he moved to Basle as director of the Allgemeine Musikgesellschaft concerts and until 1933 was director of the conservatory. From 1935 to 1936 he was again briefly at the head of the Vienna Opera (now the Staatsoper).
The manifold activity in German-speaking countries did not prevent Weingartner from building up an international career on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1898, on the first of numerous visits to London, his ‘quiet mastery of the orchestra and his sane readings of the classics’ (Colles, Grove3) made a deep impression. In 1905 came his first appearance at three successive seasons with the New York Philharmonic Society. In 1912 and 1913 he conducted the Boston Opera Company. His tours with the Vienna PO included visits to Latin America in 1922 and 1923. In Britain he was associated with the Royal Philharmonic Society (whose gold medal he received in 1939), the LSO and the Scottish Orchestra. He was in demand as guest conductor in several major European cities outside Germany and Austria.
Although Weingartner as a young man was profoundly influenced by Wagner and Liszt (and left vivid descriptions of them in his memoirs), his name was scarcely associated with the progressive school that followed them. He is remembered as one of the most eminent classical conductors of his day, outstanding for the clarity and economy of his beat, for the lack of exaggeration in his interpretations, for the precision without rigidity of his tempos. His writings, which include an important essay on conducting, reveal a gift for analysis and exposition applied not only to the symphonic repertory (notably to Beethoven) but to its interpreters (e.g. Bülow). Weingartner was a man of personal distinction, cultivated but quarrelsome, quick to take offence. Evans wrote of his ‘sensitiveness to vexations which a stronger man would have ignored’. He was anxious to succeed in opera both as conductor and composer, but in the two most important posts of his career, Berlin and Vienna, opposition led him to resign from the opera long before he gave up the concerts that normally went with it. He was at his finest in the concert hall, but while he may have been born with one skin too few for the rough and tumble of the theatre, the view that his temperament was essentially undramatic was not fully borne out by distinguished performances of Tannhäuser and Parsifal at Covent Garden in 1939. British admirers who revered him as the authority on Beethoven might have been surprised by his fondness for comic opera, which he was able to indulge in Vienna. Weingartner’s operas had some success in their time, Genesius (1892) being quite widely performed. Yet the recognition he longed for as a prolific composer of large-scale music continued to elude him.
Weingartner was the first major conductor to leave a representative sampling of his art in recordings. He made acoustic recordings (1910–14 and 1923–5) of symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart, all of which he re-recorded after the introduction of electrical recording in 1925. He left complete cycles of Beethoven and Brahms symphonies and a healthy list of works by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Liszt and Wagner. Weingartner also appeared on film: in 1913 he conducted for Oskar Messter in Berlin (these silent films are lost), and in 1932 he made a film of the Freischütz overture.
As an editor Weingartner was associated with Charles Malherbe in the projected complete edition of Berlioz. He made orchestrations of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata op.106, of Weber’s Aufforderung zum Tanz, and completed the scoring of Schubert’s Symphony in E d729. Weingartner was five times married. His third wife was the singer Lucille Marcel (1877–1921). His fifth, Carmen Studer, was one of his conducting pupils.
Ops (all texts by Weingartner): Sakuntala, op.9 (after Kalidasa), Weimar, 1884; Malawika, op.10 (after Kalidasa), Munich, 1886; Genesius, op.14 (after H. Herrig), Berlin, 1892; Orestes: Agamemnon, Das Totenopfer, Die Erinyen, op.30 (after Aeschylus), Leipzig, 1902; Kain und Abel, op.54, Darmstadt, 1914; Dame Kobold, op.57 (after Calderón), Darmstadt, 1916; Die Dorfschule, op.64 (after Jap. play: Terakoya), Vienna, 1920; Meister Andrea, op.66 (after E. Geibel), Vienna, 1920; Der Apostat, op.72, unperf.
Other works: 3 sym. poems, 2 ovs., other orch pieces; music for 1v, orch and chorus, orch; 5 str qts; 2 sonatas, vn, pf; other chamber works, pf pieces, songs
Principal publishers: Breitkopf & Härtel, Universal
Über das Dirigieren (Leipzig, 1896, 5/1920; Eng. trans., 1906, 2/1925, repr. in Weingartner on Music & Conducting, New York, 1969)
Die Symphonie nach Beethoven (Leipzig, 1898, 4/1926/R; Eng. trans., 1904)
Ratschläge für die Aufführungen der Symphonien Beethovens (Leipzig, 1906, 3/1928/R as Ratschläge für Aufführungen klassischer Symphonien, i; Eng. trans., 1907, as On the Performance of Beethoven’s Symphonies, repr. in Weingartner on Music & Conducting, New York, 1969)
Akkorde: gesammelte Aufsätze (Leipzig, 1912/R) [incl. reminiscences of Weingartner’s youth in Graz]
Ratschläge für Aufführungen klassischer Symphonien, ii: Schubert und Schumann (Leipzig, 1923; Eng. trans. as ‘On the Performance of the Symphonies of Mozart’, Journal of the Conductors’ Guild, vi/3 (1985), 66–78)
Weingartner on Music & Conducting (New York, 1969) [comprising Eng. trans. of German essays]
F.Weingartner: Lebenserinnerungen (Vienna, 1923, 2/1928–9; Eng. trans., 1937, as Buffets and Rewards)
W.Merian, H.Oppermann and O.Maag, eds.: Festschrift für Dr. Felix Weingartner zu seinem siebzigsten Geburtstag (Basle,1933)
E.Evans: ‘Felix von Weingartner’, MR, iii (1942), 214–18