Florian Leopold Gassmann

(1729 - 1774)

Florian Leopold Gassman

Composer, born in Brüx, Bohemia. After early music training with the choirmaster at Brüx, he went to Italy; in 1757 his Meropewas produced in Venice. Following several more successes in that city, in 1763 he was appointed ballet composer to the Viennese imperial court, succeeding Gluck. Back in Venice in 1766, he met the 16-year-old Salieri and brought the youth to Vienna with him. The following year his popular L'amore artigianowas performed at the Burgtheater. In 1768 he married Barbara Damm, who bore two daughters, Maria Anna (1771-1858) and Therese (1774-1837); both became well-known singers. In 1770, during the meeting of Joseph II and Frederick II, Gassmann composed La contessina,which became his best-known work; partly in the wake of its success he was appointed court Kapellmeisterin 1772, He immediately set about reorganizing the chapel's administration. One of Vienna's most important 18th-century musicians, he composed at least twqenty-two operas; vocal works including the oratorio La Betulia liberata(1772); sacred choral works; secular cantatas (Amore e Venere,1768; L'amor timido); instrumental works, including more than thirty symphonies; and chamber works, including eight string quintets (publ. 1772) and thirty-seven string quartets.

XIIC: From the 'Galant' to the 'Biedermayer'