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Wenzel Johann Tomaschek (1774-1850)

An Autobiography

Stephen Thomson Moore , Translator
April 1, 2017



ISBN: 978-1-5764-274-7


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Wenzel Johann Tomaschek (1774-1850) was born into a provincial merchant family in Bohemia, and through his musical skill and determination became one of the leading figures in Czech music in the first half of the 19th century. As a member of the bourgeoisie, he spent the first two decades of his life expecting to enter a profession after university study, and throughout his life had a particular interest in literature and drama, developing a close personal relationship with Goethe, for whose poems he composed dozens of settings for solo voice with piano. He met and heard many contemporary musicians both in Prague and during visits to Vienna, and had a keen critical eye and ear, reflected in his sometimes cutting opinions of such figures as Steibelt and Wölfl. He also reported in detail on his conversations with Beethoven, painting a vivid picture of the master. His Autobiography was published in the German-Bohemian periodical Libussa in installments between 1845 and 1850. It has never been republished since then in German, though there was an edition in Czech in 1941. This is the first complete translation of this interesting and highly informative work, giving a view of the life and times of a leading cultural figure of the musical Romantic.


Stephen Thomson Moore , Translator: Tom Moore holds degrees in music from Harvard and Stanford and studied traverso with Sandra Miller. He is presently Head of the Sound & Image Department of the Green Library, Florida International University, Miami, Florida. Before moving to Miami he was a freelance translator from Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, and Italian, doing scientific and technical translation in a wide variety of subject areas. His translation from the Italian of Why We Like Music, by Silvia Bencivelli, was published by Music Word Media in 2012. From 2004 to 2007, he was visiting professor of music at the University of Rio de Janeiro (UniRio), where he co-directed the early music ensemble, Camerata Quantz. On traverso he has recorded with Kimberly Reighley and Mélomanie for Lyrichord (USA), and with Le Triomphe de l'Amour for Lyrichord and A Casa Discos (Brazil). He participated as flutist and interviewer for the CD released in Oct. 2006 marking ten years of music for flute by Sergio Roberto de Oliveira. Dr. Moore writes about music for Flute Focus, Flute Talk, Flutist Quarterly, BrazilMax, Musica Brasileira, 21st Century Music, Opera Today, and other journals. He contributes a composer interview to each quarterly issue of Sonograma, published in Barcelona, and has been the CD Review Editor for Early Music America since 2008. He has also sung professionally with the Symphonic Chorus of Rio de Janeiro, including performances of the Mahler symphonies no. 2 and 8 under Karabtschevsky, and with Concert Royal and Pomerium Musices of New York.