Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

Wrangell [Vrangel'], Baron Vasily Georgiyevich

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Wrangell [Vrangel'], Baron Vasily Georgiyevich

(b St Petersburg, 13/25 June 1862; d St Petersburg, 25 Feb/10 March 1901). Russian composer. Until 1883 he was a member of the corps des pages, and as a young man showed signs of musical talent. He studied for a time in Paris, then entered the Ministry of Internal Affairs. From 1885 to 1890 he attended classes at the St Petersburg Conservatory, and soon began to make a name for himself as a composer. A suite for orchestra (1890) was praised by the critics. In 1892 he and Glazunov founded the Obshchestvo Muzïkal'nïkh Sobraniy (Society for Musical Meetings). At their regular meetings music by Russian and European composers and by members of the society was played and discussed. Wrangell was deeply interested in Russian music, and during his editorship of the journal Nuvellist (1898–9) he championed the cause of contemporary Russian composers.

Though music was a part-time occupation for Wrangell, he found time to compose several large-scale works, including two ballets. In one of these, Doch' Mikado (‘The Mikado’s Daughter’, 1897), he made delightful use of pseudo-Japanese melodies and oriental orchestral colour. He was certainly acquainted with Tchaikovsky’s ballets, and the ‘exotic’ music of The Mikado’s Daughter may have its origins in some of the characteristic dances from the second act of The Nutcracker. Wrangell’s music in general is pleasing rather than profound, and displays little originality. However, he had a marked gift for attractive, lyrical melody and his songs were once very popular with concert artists and salon performers in Russia and elsewhere.


Stage: Le mariage interrompu (ballet), 1896; Dmitriy Samozvanets [The False Dmitry] (incid music, Chayev), 1896; Doch' Mikado [The Mikado’s Daughter] (ballet, 3), St Petersburg, 9 Nov 1897, arr. pf (St Petersburg, 1898)

Orch: Suite, 1890; Fantasy, pf, orch, 1893; Sym., D, 1894; other works

Inst: Str Qt, 1892; Pf Trio, 1893; 6 Pieces, pf, op.1; 3 Impromptus, pf, op.13

Vocal: 3 Romances, op.20, 1896 (St Petersburg, n.d.); 8 Songs, op.37, 1899

Principal publishers: Bessel, Jürgenson, Schirmer, Zimmerman


Homo novus’: ‘Zametki’ [Notes], Teatr i iskusstvo (16 Nov 1897)


Wranitzky [Vranický, Wraniczky, Wranizky], Anton [Antonín]

(b Nová Říše, Moravia, 13 June 1761; d Vienna, 6 Aug 1820). Czech composer, violinist and music teacher active in Vienna, brother of Paul Wranitzky. He attended the grammar school at the Premonstratensian monastery in Nová Říše and later studied philosophy and law at a Jesuit seminary in Brno. His earliest musical training included violin lessons from his brother; he was also known for his beautiful voice. Before December 1783 he became choirmaster to the chapel of the Theresianisch-Savoyische Akademie in Vienna (until the abolition of church music there with the reforms of Joseph II). In Vienna he studied composition with Mozart, Haydn and J.G. Albrechtsberger, and became renowned as a violin teacher and virtuoso. By 1790 he had entered the services of Prince J.F. Maximilian Lobkowitz as a composer, music teacher, Konzertmeister and (from 1797) Kapellmeister of the prince’s private orchestra; in these duties he was active at Vienna, Prague and the prince’s country seats in Bohemia (at Roudnice, Jezeří and Bílina). After the prince took charge of the Vienna court theatres (1807) and later sole direction of the opera, he appointed Wranitzky orchestra director of the court theatre – according to the obituary register, a post he held until his death. From 1 August 1814 he was also the orchestra director of the Theater an der Wien. He assisted the prince in leading the Hoftheater-Musik-Verlag from 1812 to 1816 (see Weinmann). After the prince’s death Wranitzky remained in the service of his successor.

Like his brother, Anton Wranitzky was a friend of both Haydn and Beethoven. (Haydn approved Wranitzky’s arrangement of The Creation for string quintet see letter to Griesinger, 1 October 1801.) As a composer, performer and teacher he was a founder of the Viennese violin school. He used his own pedagogical work, the Violin Fondament, in his teaching, and had as pupils the outstanding violinists Ignaz Schuppanzigh and Joseph Mayseder. Wranitzky’s numerous violin concertos stand between the Classical and Romantic styles, and his 21 published string quartets are early examples of the emerging theatrical style in Viennese chamber music. The symphonies, mostly consisting of four movements with a slow introduction, remain for the most part within the high Classical style, though two are programmatic: the ‘Aphrodite’ Symphony of 1792, composed for the wedding of Prince Lobkowitz to the Princess von Schwarzenberg, and the Symphony in D major of 1796, which has five movements headed ‘Burst of Ardent Joy’, ‘Tender Feeling of Gratitude’, ‘Gleeful Expression of Requited Love’ (a minuet with two trios), ‘Sweet Emotions’ and ‘Benediction’, anticipating features of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. With the exception of the Violin Concerto op.11 and several chamber pieces, Wranitzky’s works survive entirely in manuscript, the majority in the former Lobkowitz collection, now in the Národní Muzeum, Prague. His daughters Anna Kraus-Wranitzky (1801–51) and Karoline Seidler-Wranitzky (1790–1872) were well-known singers; Karoline was the first Agathe in Weber’s Der Freischütz. His sons Friedrich (a cellist) and Anton (a violinist) were members of the court theatre orchestra at Vienna.


MSS in CZ-Pnm unless otherwise stated; partial thematic catalogue in Blažek (1936)


Concs.: 1 for vn, op.11 (Offenbach, 1803), ed. E. Hradecký (Prague, 1958); 14 others for vn, incl. 1 in A-Wgm, 1 ed. J. Feld (Prague, 1933), 1 ed. Hradecký (Prague, 1959), ed. with pf acc. in MAB, xvi (1954, 2/1965); 1 for 2 vn; 2 for vn, vc; 1 for 2 vn, vc; 1 for 2 va, ed. Hradecký (Prague, 1958); 1 for vc

Syms.: ‘Aphrodite’ Sym., C, 1792; D, 1796; c, ed. in The Symphony 1720–1840, ser. B, xii (New York, 1984) [incl. thematic catalogue of syms.]; 12 others

Other: Overtura caratteristica; Overture Omasis (tragedy); serenatas, notturnos, various insts; dances, marches, orch/wind ens


Str qnts/sextets: 3 qnts, vn, 2 va, 2 vc, op.8 (Offenbach, c1801–2); Grand quintuor, vn, 2 va, 2 vc, op.10 (Vienna, 1803); 6 qnts, 2 vn, 2 va, vc, A-Wgm, CZ-Pnm; 6 sextets, 2 vn, 2 va, 2 vc; 2 qnts, vn, 2 va, 2 vc; J. Haydn: The Creation, arr. 2 vn, 2 va, vc (Vienna, 1800)

Str qts: 6 as op.1 (Vienna, 1790–91); 3 as op.2, bk 1 (Vienna, 1790); 3 as op.3, bk 1 (Vienna, 1792); 3 as op.4, bk 1 (Offenbach, 1800); 3 as op.5 (Offenbach, 1800); 3 as op.13 (Vienna, 1806); 3 in A-Wgm, CZ-Pnm

Trios, vn, va, vc: 6 trii concertanti, op.1; 9, C, e, A, D, F, E, G, B, D; 1, D, A-Wgm; others, I-Fc

Other: 2 sonates, vn, vc, op.6 (Offenbach, 1800), also as op.36 (Paris, n.d.); 3 duos, 2 vn, op.9 (Vienna, c1802); 3 duos, 2 vn, op.12 (Vienna, 1804); 3 duos, 2 vn, op.20 (Offenbach, c1809); 2 sextets, fl, ob, vn, 2 va, vc; 3 qnts, ob, vn, va, vc, vle; 3 qts, fl, vn, va, vc; Trio, 2 ob, eng hn, CZ-K; 6 Duets, vn, va, op.2; variations (vn, gui)/2 vn/vn solo, some pubd; dances, marches, variations, pf 2/4 hands


Sacred: masses; W.A. Mozart: Ave verum corpus k618, arr. as Magnae Deus potentiae (grad); others, CZ-K and elsewhere

Secular: arias, songs, choruses, canons, some in A-Wgm, CZ-K, D-Bsb

pedagogical works

[Vorläufiges] Violin Fondament nebst einer vorhergehenden Anzeige über die Haltung so wohl der Violin, als auch des Bogens (Vienna, 1804 and subsequent edns)


R. Mužíková: ‘Složení lobkovické kapely v roce 1811’ [The Lobkowitz orchestra in 1811], MMC, no.12 (1960), 57–68

A. Weinmann: Verzeichnis der Musikalien aus dem K.K. Hoftheater-Musik-Verlag (Vienna, 1961), 6ff, 13ff

E. Hennigová-Dubová: Symfonie Antonína Vranického (diss., U. of Prague, 1968)

O. Biba: ‘Die Wiener Kirchenmusik um 1783’, Jb für österreichische Kulturgeschichte, i/2: Beiträge zur Musikgeschichte des 18. Jahrhunderts (1971), 7–79, esp. 45

R. Hickman: Six Bohemian Masters of the String Quartet (diss., U. of California, Berkeley, 1979)

S. Klíma: ‘K biografii Antonína Vranického (1761–1820)’, HV, xxiii (1986), 330–44

R. Hickman: ‘The Flowering of the Viennese String Quartet in the late Eighteenth Century’, MR, l (1989), 157–80

For further bibliography see Wranitzky, Paul.


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