Knecht, Justin Heinrich


b Biberach an der Riss, nr Würtemburg, Germany 1752, d Biberach 1817. At first self-taught, he later studied music under Krämer and from 1768 to 1771 at the Lutheran Coll at Esslingen am Nechar (under Schmidt), where he trained in organ keyboard, violin and singing. A versatile pupil with a flair for melody, he there learned to play in addition the flute, oboe, cor anglais and trumpet. From 1771 to 1792 he was Music Director and Organist at St Martin’s Church in Biberach, making a wide range of contributions to his home town’s rich cultural life. followed by an appointment there as Prof of Belles-Lettres. Moving to Stuttgart he became, only for some 2 years (1806–08), the conductor of its court and theatre orchestras before retuning to Biberach. He became known for the strictness of his teaching methods and the excellence of his teaching manuals, his only rival in contemporary talent reputedly being the Abt Vogler of Robert Browning’s celebrated poem. Among his many compositions were at least 15 works and some incidental music for the stage, choral works and organ music; he also contributed to music theory and was probably the first to produce an annotated concert programme. One symphony anticipated the scheme of Beethoven’s 6th, the ‘Pastoral’. Nos.603, 658,

Tunes and arrangements by Knecht, Justin Heinrich

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