Johann Matthias Sperger

(1750-1812)


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• Introduction

If one should measure the contribution of all bassists and composers to the heritage of Viennese bass than it would be difficult to find anyone that has contributed more to the development of this tradition than Johann Matthias Sperger. Not only did he write the most literature for this system, but has also preserved the greatest number of other solo pieces by his contemporaries. If his personal collection was somehow not preserved at the Mecklenburgische Landesbibliothek, the complete outlook of our modern classical bass curriculum would have been different, since we would not have our well known Vanhal, Dittersdorf and Hoffmeister concerti and along the Sperger's entire life work. Lastly, Sperger has brought the development of Viennese solo performance to the highest level at the period, as he followed on traditions of Friedrich Pischelberger and Joseph Kämpfer and left the technical demands at the such a level that up to this day his standards stand unchallenged. He was certainly the first bassist in history to bring the range and technique of solo playing to the limits that we recognize today and it is important to note that these standards were first achieved on the Viennese Tuning and not the modern one.

Most of the solo literature that followed after his time could not be matched to his achievement and it is only by the development of solo playing of the second half of 20th century that the solo standards have come to approach Sperger's own. If we look on his solo achievement from the perspective of modern literature than he would have certainly been able to perform all of the Dragonetti and Bottesini repertoire, and would have likewise found the standard curricular literature such as Koussevitzky or Eccles of a medium difficulty. Leaving the Bottesini  legacy aside, in our time we have started to approach his technical standards only with the post romantic repertoire such as Gliere or Tubin pieces.

At the present time, the majority of his solo legacy still awaits public performance in the original (e.g. Viennese Tuning), although his duo sonatas and certain concertos along with some chamber pieces are slowly taking a deserved place among the the standard repertoire too. His compositions for other solo instruments such as viola, violoncello and mostly the trumpet and horn concerti have all already been recorded, which brings us to the paradox that Sperger's name may be more familiar (in some instances) among the brass circles than the bassist groups. The purpose of this Sperger portal is to assemble in one place all available bass-related information on this composer's incredible achievement and along encourage the rediscovery of Sperger's true bass legacy which is now listed in its entirety within the Works section of this portal.

• Biography

    - Adolescence and formative years: 1750 - 1777, Feldsberg and Vienna    

J. M. Sperger was born in the town of Feldsberg in then the Niederösterreich region, which today belongs to the Czech Republic and is known as Valtice. This city had featured at the time of Sperger's early childhood a substantial music activity within the flourishing court of Fürst Josef Wenzel von Liechenstein and the two monasteries - those of the Franciscans and the Barmherzigen Brüder.

The Feldsberg court have had a full orchestra at that time, and likewise the Barmherzigen Brüder monastery have also operated both the singing school and the orchestra within its walls. Thus it is likely that Sperger's first music experiences were gathered through the contact with some of these groups.

In regard to the general music education of young Sperger, we can however deduce somewhat more specific information, since by a coincidence the very first preserved work written by Sperger was a "Wegweiser auf die Orgel" (A guide for organ playing) dated 1766. From this information we can conclude that Sperger had written his first work at the age of 16 and it was about organ instruction and not the bass performance. This organ work was likely supervised by the monastery's singing school master Franz Anton Becker who was also the organist there. An instruction under Becker would make sense as it is likely that Sperger may have followed a typical period music education pattern of joining first the monastery choir and than branching to the other instruments and music fields.

What is important to note however, is that he had apparently started music education first with organ and composition and have developed his bass career later on. Further proof of Sperger's interest in composition can be found in his preserved harmony and counterpoint exercises in which the corrections written by Albrechtsberger can be found. This work is however already related to Sperger's Vienna years where he had apparently moved sometime during 1768-9 year. Further information on his early stay in Vienna we do not have, but it is likely that in that formative period he may have met Friedrich Pischelberger a known Viennese bassist and received a bass instruction from him. This contact is usually corroborated by the fact that in Sperger's inheritance we have works attributed to Pischelberger (Dittersdorf and Pichl concerti and Dittersdorf's Symphonia Concertante) although the true dating and the origin of these concerti may still be subject to scrutiny.

In any event, it is very likely that Sperger would have met Pischelberger and a number of other capable Viennese bassists from whom he could have mastered this instrument. The after-1769 years however Sperger may not have spent entirely in Vienna either, as he has apparently married sometime prior to 1778 to Anna Tarony of Linz, which may indicate that he has also been active in Linz area for some time. Furthermore, some of his early compositions dated before 1778 are also scattered in upper Austrian monasteries and that may imply his activity in the other centers outside of Vienna. Further research of this part of Sperger's life may still yield valuable materials.

     - Early maturity: 1777 - 1783, Preßburg

Sperger's first official post can be traced to his arrival in Preßburg (now Bratislava in Slovakia) and his employment contract with the orchestra of Archbishop of Preßburg, Joseph von Batthyany. It is important to note that Preßburg at that time was actually the capitol and the administrative center of Hungary and thus also a substantial cultural center. The Archbishop Batthyany was both the highest secular and the religious authority of that province - equal in rank to the Archbishop Coloredo of Salzburg where Mozarts were employed or Archbishop Patachich in Großwardein where Dittersdorf, Pichl and Pischelberger were employed during the 1765-69 period.

From this comparison we can see that all these musicians were in essence working at the same rank of employment and likewise, Sperger himself was at Preßburg surrounded with some of the best virtuosos of the Empire. He himself must have been already a very accomplished performer in order to attain this post, and it is thus no wonder that he would enjoy there one of the most prolific creative periods of his life both as a composer and a performer. The majority of his preserved works were actually composed in Preßburg and along them the first 6 of his bass concertos with 7th probably started there as well.

The routine of performances in Preßburg was very busy and there are numerous written accounts of these events that present us with musicians' schedules that are comparable to those of the top level orchestra itineraries today. There are even notes of concerts on the boats not unsimilar to these associated with Handel's "Water music", which indicate that the variety of festivities at Preßburg were always well supported with music. Moreover, Archbishop - in his magnanimous approach - was allowing and enjoying the company of general public at his summer concerts too. The result was a very high degree of appreciation for both his office and the art of his diligent musicians, from the populace and the period press.

At that time in Preßburg the director and the main composer for the orchestra was Anton Zimmermann. However, as the secondary composers were also mentioned Sperger and certain Schrottenbach, thus it can be assumed that Sperger was not only a bassist there, but to a degree the court composer as well! The solo works by Zimmermann associated with Sperger have emanated from this period, and the complete details of this association are unfortunately still not completely researched, as can be seen from the Sperger's concerti no. 5 and no. 14 attributions. Furthermore, his Sextet "Rondon" C IV/5 may have also been composed by Zimmermann.

The other interesting association that also warrants further research is a presence of Joseph Kämpfer, yet another prominent solo bassists during that time and at the same orchestra. We do know for sure that Zimmermann had written solo concerto for Kämpfer, and yet we know almost nothing of a relation between Kämpfer and Sperger there? It is possible that much of Sperger's bass technique may have come from Kämpfer, since he was an older and more experience player - and was by coincidence also a virtuoso violoncellist and a multifaceted musician!

The sudden and premature death of Anton Zimmermann in 1781 had marked an unfortunate decline of the Preßburg orchestra afterwards. In that same year Kämpfer had left the group to start a touring career and by the 1783 the orchestra had been reduced to the size of string quintet plus four winds - due to rather universal pressure from Joseph II on all courtly entertainment do be downsized or completely eliminated. Smaller was better and by the 1783 the orchestra was completely dissolved.

This decline of the orchestra was very clear to young Sperger and we know from the records of his mailings that he was patiently sending the copies of his symphonies as gifts to the variety of noble patrons - which only supports the idea that he was eagerly looking for a new employment opportunity. The coincidence is that several of his works have been sent to the prince Esterhazy in Eisenstadt at that time too, which is a lesser known fact that should also be followed further.

For some time it was believed that Sperger was actually employed by the Esterhazy, yet after the careful scrutiny it was proved otherwise. Nevertheless, the relation of Sperger to the Esterházy establishment had certainly existed. The Archbishop Batthyany and prince Esterhazy have maintained very close ties and have frequently visited one another. Consequently Haydn had often been a guest at Preßburg too. Sperger's shipments of gift-compositions to Esterhazy only underline the fact that Haydn must have been aware of Sperger's compositional talents - moreover it is likely that Haydn may have even performed some of these works for the Esterhazy since they were already donated in good faith. The Sperger collection in Schwerin moreover contains some copies of Haydn's works which points again that some connection between these two musicians must have existed.

So although by 1783 Sperger was to stay without a job, that has not occurred as fortunately some orchestras have continued to prosper, and furthermore his talents have not been unnoticed by the other nobles either. By May of the same year he was already able to join the Graf Ludwig von Erdödy's orchestra in Kohfidisch, due probably to the kind help of Graf's relative Ursula von Erdödy who was a nun at Preßburg Ursuline monastery and evidently successful in helping Sperger relocate.

      - Mid maturity: Kohfidisch bei Eberau, 1783-1786.

After the arrival at Kohfidisch Sperger has apparently continued to compose and perform, yet in a far lesser capacity than during his Preßburg period. Kohfidish itself was somewhat isolated from the main Imperial centers but has offered Sperger a completely different set of opportunities since he had joined a local masonic loge there.

It should be noted that the members of the same loge were also Graf Ludwig, his brother Ladislaus and yet another prominent composer of Viennese classicism Ignaz Pleyel! The relationship of Sperger to Pleyel is one another curiosity that future studies should address in greater detail. Particularly since Pleyel's education under Vanhal in Vienna and Haydn in Eisenstadt was directly supported by Graf Ladislaus Erdödy, Ludwig's brother. Thus it is likely that all of these patrons and musicians have been closely associated. What possible relation of Sperger to Vanhal himself may have existed at that time is also very much of interest, particularly since the famous Vanhal's bass concerto exists only in a single period copy that has come to us from Sperger's own collection in Schwerin.

The Kohfidisch period presents us also with somewhat ambiguous issue of who was actually the orchestra's main patron? Was it only Graf Ludwig with his seat in Kohfidisch or was the orchestra also shared with Graf Ladislaus who was then the governor of Varaždin city-region (now in Croatia)? There are some indications that the orchestra may have served the needs of both patrons and would have thus moved from one location to the other according to the need. (Seifert 1995 - p. 200)

The Kohfidisch period of Sperger's activity had ended abruptly (again) with an unfortunate death of Graf Ladislaus in 1786. The possible financial difficulties of the other brother Ludwig may have had to do with the closure of the orchestra afterwards. What is interesting for the relationship of Sperger to Varaždin is the sales ad of Graf Ladislaus music inventory listed in Wiener Zeitung from 1786, which offers a general listing of his entire music library and the instrumentarium, but unfortunately not the individual works listings. Of particular interest is that the listing includes also "1 Violon", which actually may have been an instrument Sperger have used during visits to Varaždin. (Seifert 1995 - p. 198)

In general, we have very little information available that can help us understand what instrument exactly did Sperger use and play during these years. It was common at that time for the orchestras to own their basses, so it is likely that Sperger was performing on the extant instrument in the possession of Batthyany and Erdödy establishments too. It would however, be logical to expect that Sperger would own at least one bass for his own solo and chamber use and yet we unfortunately do not have any record pointing to this possibility, at least until the time of his relocation to the Ludwisglust area.

      - Vienna and the time of solo tours: 1786 - 1789.

After a departure from Kohfidisch, Sperger has returned to Vienna and has probably faced some difficult times there since we find that soon after his arrival he withdraws the funds from the pension account he has maintained at the Tonkünstler Societat in Vienna. We can speculate that at that time he was probably employed as one of the Viennese copyists too, since many of his preserved copies bear characteristics of certain Viennese copyist schools.

These Viennese years also bear witness to many of Sperger's music donations to the variety of Viennese and Bohemian nobles, which again indicates that he was apparently seeking a steady job and a monetary help again. There are records of his short stays in the homes of these nobles, where he would play with local musicians and usually leave some of his compositions as a gift in return.

His promotional efforts however were not completely in vain as by January of 1788 he was able to procure an important audience with the crown prince of Prussia, Frederic Wilhelm II. During that audience Sperger was able to perform bass solos for the prince and his playing must have left very good impression, as he was allowed to play at the court six more times during his stay. Moreover, it seems that Sperger had left excellent impressions on the other Berlin nobles, as there are records of his performances in the number of other noble households there.

These efforts have resulted in the recommendations of two nobles and the prince's own capellmeister Johann Friderich Reichardt to the Herzog Friedrich Franz I of Mecklenburg Schwerin, where Sperger will eventually obtain his final last position (see letters). After these recommendations were mailed, soon after Sperger was invited to play at the Herzog's Schwerin residence, and his performances have again left very good impression. Yet in spite of good presentation, the job offer had not materialized then, since the bass section have already had two full time bassists employed there.

Thus Sperger had left Schwerin and continued to concertize and disseminate his compositions to the patrons he was able to visit on the way back to Vienna. After coming back, he again undertook yet another series of tours, this time in southern direction all the way to Italy, where he was a guest of a noble house in Parma. During the same trip he visited briefly Triest where he performed one of his duo sonatas.

Fortunately, after his return to Vienna he was finally greeted with a good news as the job invitation to join Herzog Friedrich's orchestra in Schwerin was actually awaiting him when he arrived. By some coincidence one the Herzog's bassist has just passed away and Sperger was offered his orchestra job.

     - Final settlement: Court of the Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Ludwigslust, 1789 - 1812.

It may help if we present here some explanation on where exactly in regard to the names of the abovementioned localities had Sperger received his final post: Mecklenburg is a northern German state, Schwerin is the city within that state and Ludwigslust was Herzog's hunting lodge near Schwerin where he decided to build a new palace and relocate the entire court from Schwerin, at approximately the time when Sperger had received this position. Ludwigslust had later evolved in a small town that exists to this date and the Ludwigslust palace in which Sperger had performed is now a known tourist landmark.

As you may suspect, the entire Sperger's library has relocated from Vienna to Ludwigslust with him too, and have remained there after his death. Later was his music returned from the Ludwigslust orchestra archive to Schwerin, where it remains to this day within the Mecklenburgische Landesbibliothek holdings.

A record of Sperger's personal belongings that have come with him to Ludwigslust is preserved (!) but unfortunately again we can not find any double bass on the list. Reported were only the bedding and few boxes registered at the tools office when he moved with his wife to Herzog's realm. It is likely that his personal library was in one of those boxes.

After his arrival Sperger had immediately faced the abovementioned court relocation troubles, and his family was housed in various temporary lodgings until he was able to receive a permanent housing some time later. Thus it may not a be a surprise that Sperger had continued to send his plea letters and composition gifts even after his employment at Ludwigslust. Fortunately for him however, it seems that his position at Ludwigslust was far more safer than some of those southern positions he was aspiring to, and particularly Koblenz orchestra which was soon to face the Napoleon's armies.

Also by 1792 it appears that he has finally received his bass that he ordered from Vienna and which was paid by Herzog. This was to be the instrument for his solo performances, and yet beyond the purchase bill we do not have any other specifics on the instrument and its maker. It can only be assumed that all his solo works after 1792 were performed on that instrument. Further research may show if and how Sperger's solos may have differed from the pre-purchase style as the style difference could than be related directly to the use of this instrument. There is also a record of Herzog's payment for unidentified Sperger's bass from 1800, but again it is not certain if that relates to he 1792 instrument or perhaps it is a bill for a completely new order? In both cases the present day provenance of any instrument Sperger may have used could not not be determined.

The Ludwigslust period marks also a slow decline in Sperger's general composition activity. Not only was he composing far less when compared to his prime days in Preßburg or Vienna, but he appeared more content to fulfill some side duties at the court, such as piano tuning, bassoon teaching or organ playing for which he was paid some extra income from Herzog. He obviously enjoyed playing organ and composing small pieces for church services at Ludwigslust, and all the evidence shows that he was quite prudent with his finances as there are no records of him being in debts, as opposed to his other colleagues who all seem to have had quite a few of them.

The money that he was collecting from these side duties he apparently used well for the solo tours, which he was organizing in the early years of his Ludwigslust residence. Some details of the places and concerts he visited are shown at the Chronology List, and yet after 1801 he seem to have stopped touring out of Ludwisglust. Moreover and fortunately for the bass history, he does not show any lapse of interest in the solo bass music. If anything, his solo performance activity even increases and can be witnessed in regular intervals in the diary of Ludwigslust concertmaster until just several months before his death. Sperger's last concerto performance at the Ludwigslust court has occurred on January 2nd 1812. Sperger had died on May 13th 1812. and was honored with a performance Mozart's Requiem by his colleagues.

     - Conclusion

Due to the fact that the majority of data presented here is taken from the Sperger's biography in Meier's book the direct quotations are omitted. In the future and as the research in this field continues the possible places where the new findings may contradict Meier will be clearly marked. So far, however Meier's contribution is still the benchmark for Sperger research.

The bass parts in Symphonies are not covered here, although since many of them were dedicated as a gifts to a nobility it is likely that these were intended for general bassists and do not contain concertato bass writing. It would however be interesting to investigate these works further, as in some of them Sperger could have left traces of his bass concertato style.

Sperger will be remembered as one of the worlds foremost bass virtuosos who had performed for the greatest nobles of his time and likewise enjoyed the company and respect of the very best period musicians. His legacy is fortunately for us almost completely preserved and through the time we will be able to present to public his entire work, including the numerous solo bass pieces that are still unknown. It is likely that his star will shine even brighter when his complete opus is finally uncovered.

The big task of revitalizing and presenting Sperger's legacy is already been undertaken by the Internationale Sperger-Gesellschaft and his name is now also proudly displayed at the helm of Johann Matthias Sperger Kresimusikschule at Ludwigslust.

 


• Name Authority [Explanation]:

  - Sperger, Johann Matthias - LC name authority
  - Sperger, Johannes Matthias - DNB name authority


• Name Variants [Explanation]:

    Sperger, Giovanne
    Sperger, Giovanni  - most frequently used in compositions
    Sperger, Giovannj
    Sperger, Jean
    Sperger, Joann       - used by Tonkünstler Societat
    Sperger, Joannes   - used on baptismal Certificate [Meier KM p. 185]
    Sperger, Johannes - used by Sperger officially

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• Activities [Explanation]:

  - double bassist
  - composer
  - copyist
  - organist
  - bassonnist
  - bassonn teacher
  - piano tuner

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• Chronology:

- Born: March 23, 1750. Feldsberg

    1750 - 1767, Feldsberg
    1768 - 1777, Vienna
    1777 - 1783, Preßburg
    1783 - 1786, Kohfidisch bei Eberau
    1786 - 1789, Vienna & various trips
  - Brno: 
- Prague:
- Berlin:

- Ludwigslust:
- Triesdorf bei Ausbach:
- Dischingen:
- Passau:
- Vienna:
- Parma:
- Triest:
Dec.
Dec.
Jan.
Mar.
Apr.
May
May
May
June
Apr.
?
8, 
17, 
26, 
2, 
12, 
8, 
15, 
20, 

1,  
1787
1787
1788 - Feb. 18, 1788
1788
1788
1788
1788
1788
1788
1789
1789
    1789 - 1812, Ludwigslust  (starting Aug. 1789)
  - Lübeck:
- Leipzig:
Jan.
Nov.
14, 
26, 
1792
1801

- Died: May 13, 1812. Ludwigslust

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• Music Samples:

Sound Samples (MP3) Performer Event Date
Concerto 18, 1st Movement Pecevski Recital Apr 27, 2004

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• Video Samples:

Video Link -- Composition Link Performer Event Date
Sonata -- C I/8 Ivan Zavgorodniy Recording
May   5, 2010
Aria : Se lene del tuo fuoco -- HIII/2 Edicson Ruiz Concert
Oct.   3, 2009
Sonata -- C I/7 Frank Wittich Recital Mar. 15, 2008

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Sperger Society:

    > Internationale Sperger-Gesellschaft / Germany, München.

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Bibliography:


• Treatises:

Meier no. Original Title Ms. location Ms. no.
K I/1 Wegweiser auf / die Orgel, vor mich / Johannes Matthias / Sperger. 1766. D-SWl 5121
K I/2 Gradus ad Parnassum. / oder / Ausführung zur Regelmesigen  / Composition D-SWl 5130

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• Period Bibliographic Sources:


  - Articles:
     > Cited in chronological order to follow composers life.

[A report of Music Academy event in Brno from February 25, 1782] Brünner Zeitung. March 9 (1782): p. ?

[Concert announcement for the Jan. 14, 1792 performance] Lübeckischen Anzeiger Jan. 11 (1792): p. ?
Lübeckischen Anzeiger Jan. 14 (1792): p. ? (reprint)
        (it is possible that the actual concert programs from these concerts were preserved in Lübecker Stadtarchiv under "Folio 1880 - Konzertprogramme von 1792 auf" ; cited in Meier KM p. 134.)      

"Darstellung des Musikzustandes im Mecklenburgischen überhaupt, und in Scwerin in's besondere." Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung Jg. 2 No. 49 (1799/1800): c.843-848. c. 847. PDF text

[A report of Sperger's concert in Leipzig on Nov. 26, 1801]
Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung Jg. 4 (1801/1802): c. 251.

"Ueber Tonkunst und Tonkünstler in Ludwigslust." Berlinische Musikalische Zeitung Jg. 1, nr. 49 (1805): p.192. PDF text

[Obituary] Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung June (1812): p. 432

[Obituary] Musikalishe Zeitung Jg. 1. (1812): p. 54.

Nicolai (?) "Das Spiel auf dem Contrabass." Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung Nr. 16, (1816): c. 257-265. c. 264. PDF text

Hanslick, Edouard. "Wiener Virtuosenconcerten im vorigen Jahrhundert." Jahrbuch für Landeskunde von Nieder-Oesterreich Jg. 1 (1868): 256, 258. PDF text


  - Encyclopedic entries:

Eitner, Robert. Biographisch-bibliographisches Quellen-Lexikon der Musiker und Musikgelehrten der christlichen Zeitrechnung bis zur mitte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Haertel, 1900-04. v.9, 223-224. PDF text

Fétis, Francois-Joseph. Biographie universelle des musiciens et bibliographie générale de la musique. Edition: 2. éd. entièrement refondue et augmentée de plus de moitié. Paris: 1873-75. v.8, p. 80. PDF text

Gerber, Ernst Ludwig. Historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler (1790-1792). Leipzig: Breitkopf, 1790. v.2, c.543. PDF Text

Gerber, Ernst Ludwig. Neues historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler (1812-1814). Leipzig: Kühnel, A. 1800-1814. v.4, c.233. PDF text


  - Citations in Books:

Geschichte des Faschings. Preßburg, 1779. p.197


  - Concert Programs

Programm der Tonkünstler-Sozietät 1778 : "20 December 1778"
   cited in Meier KM, p. 131



  - Letters [Explanation]:

• Author
• Recipient
Date Document no. Location
• Carl Graf von Brühl
• Herzog Friedrich Franz I von Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Feb. 21, 1788 Kabinettsakten I
Vol. 535 /
Contraviolonist Sperger
Nr. 1
D-SWa
• Mansow ?
• Herzog Friedrich Franz I von Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Feb. 26, 1788 Kabinettsakten I
Vol. 535 /
Contraviolonist Sperger
Nr. 3
D-SWa
• Johann Friedrich Reichardt
• Herzog Friedrich Franz I von Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Mar. 15, 1788 Kabinettsakten I
Vol. 535 /
Contraviolonist Sperger
Nr. 2
D-SWa
• J. M. Sperger
• Herzog Friedrich Franz I von Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Nov. 25, 1788 Kabinettsakten I
Vol. 535 /
Contraviolonist Sperger
Nr. 4
D-SWa
• J. M. Sperger
• Kurfürst Clemens Wenzeslaus von Kurtrier
Aug. 23, 1791 ? D-KBa
• J. M. Sperger
• Herzog Friedrich Franz I von Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Jan. 25, 1803 ? D-F
• J. M. Sperger
• (unknown)
Mar. 17, 1809 Behälter 10, S D-SWl

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• Modern Bibliography:


  - Articles (in chronological order - starting with the latest):

Šašina, Radoslav. "Warum „Wiener Stimmung” des Kontrabasses?" Sperger Forum IV (2010): 21-26. Translated by Prof. Ladislav Kupkovic [ISG]

Šašina, Radoslav. "Why Double Bass with Viennese Tuning?" Sperger Forum IV (2010): p. 27. Translated by Professor Beata Havelska [ISG]

Trumpf, Klaus. "Johann Matthias Sperger - ein verschenkter komponist / Sein bedeutensten Konzert Nr.15 D-Dur." Sperger Forum IV (2010): 28-30. [ISG]

Trumpf, Klaus. "Johann Matthias Sperger - an Unlucky Composer / His important Concerto No. 15 in D major." Sperger Forum IV (2010): p. 31. [ISG]

Wulf-Nixdorf, Marion. "Musiker bitten um Kirchbau : Kantor i.R. Dieter Ueltzen gibt Werke des Hofmusikers Sperger neu heraus." Mecklenburgische & Pommersche Kirchenzeitung Bd. 64. 48 (2009): p. 8.

Trumpf, Klaus. "Sperger´s Last Will and Testament Found." Sperger Forum 4/5 (2006): 43. Translated from German by Vincent Osborn. [ISG]

Trumpf, Klaus. "Das Testament Spergers gefunden." Sperger Forum 4/5 (2006): 41-44.

Heißner, Reinhard. "Das Testament von Johannes Mathias Sperger." Sperger Forum 4/5 (2006): 41. [ISG]

Focht, Josef. "Sperger's Position as Double Bassist of the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Court Orchestra." (2nd part) Sperger Forum 4/5 (2006): 35-36. Translated from German by James Lambert [ISG]

Focht, Josef. "Die Position Spergers als Kontrabassist der Mecklenburg-Schweriner Hofkapelle." (Teil II) Sperger Forum 4/5 (2006): 33-34. [ISG]

Seifert, Herbert. "Die besondere Rolle des Kontrabasses in ungarischen Adelskapellen der 2. Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts". Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 46. 1-2 (Budapest 2005): 99-105. p. 102. [SMASH] [Article abstract]

Focht, Josef. "Sperger's Position as Double Bassist of the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Court Orchestra." (1st part) Sperger Forum 2/3 (2004): 35-36. [ISG]

Focht, Josef. "Die Position Spergers als Kontrabassist der Mecklenburg-Schweriner Hofkapelle." Sperger Forum 2/3 (2004): 34-35. [ISG]

Jelinek, Miloslav. "Johann Matthias Sperger (1750-1812). Sonatas for Contrabass and Piano." Sperger Forum 2/3 (2004): 31-33. [ISG]

Jelinek, Miloslav. "Johann Matthias Sperger (1750-1812). Sonaten für Kontrabass und Klavier." Sperger Forum 2/3 (2004): 27-30. [ISG]

Wagner, Sabine. "Internationaler Sperger-Wettbewerb erinnert an Kontrabass-Superstar : Gedenktafel ehrt den berühmten Hofkapellmeister." Schweriner Volkszeitung Bd. 59, 118 (22/23.5.), (2004): p.11

Wagner, Sabine. "Internationaler Sperger-Wettbewerb erinnert an Kontrabass-Superstar : Gedenktafel ehrt den berühmten Hofkapellmeister" Norddeutsche neueste Nachrichten Bd. 52. (2004): p.118

Saunders, Colin. "Die Sinfonie Murray A48 - eine Komposition von Sperger." Rosetti-Forum Bd. 3. (2002): p. 72 [IRG]

Ueltzen, Dieter. "Johann Matthias Sperger in der Hofkapelle Ludwgslust." Sperger Forum 1 (2002): 21-22. [ISG]

Gajdoš, Miloslav. "Der schöpferische Nachlaß von Johann Matthias Sperger." Sperger Forum 1 (2002): p.20 [ISG]

Trumpf, Klaus. "Sperger, Johann Matthias." In: Lexicon der Deutschen Muikkultur, Böhmen, Mähren, Sudetenschlesien Sudetendeutsches Musikinstitut, 2001.

also reprinted in:     Sperger Forum 1 (2002): 5-7. [ISG],
English translation: Sperger Forum 1 (2002): 8-10. (Vincent Osborn trans.)[ISG]

Focht, Josef. "Kontrabaß-Musik in der Mecklenburg-Schweriner Hofkapelle :Die Nachlässe von Johann Sperger (1750-1812) und Gustav Làska (1847-1928) in der Musikaliensammlung der Landesbibliothek Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Schwerin". Studien zur lokalen und territorialen Musikgeschichte Mecklenburgs und Pommerns, 2 Vol. 2 (2002): 91-106.

Jedeck, Raimund. "Ein "RIESE" am Kontrabass : Johannes Sperger und die Musikaliensammlung der Landesbibliothek MV." Heimatkurier 1 (2001): p. 2

Ueltzen, Dieter. "Johann Matthias Sperger." Wege zur Stadt : (125 Jahre Stadt Ludwigslust) Bd. 1. (2001): 195-197.

Seifert, Herbert. "Dittersdorfs Kontrabaßkonzerte – der Beginn einer Gattung?" Sympozja 40: Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf: Beiträge zu seinem Leben und Werk / Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf z zycia i twórczosci muzycznej. Ed. Piotr Tarlinski, Hubert Unverricht. Opole, 2000. 109-117. p. 109.

Wagner, Sabine. "Zwei Komponisten werden neu entdeckt : zum 250. Geburtstag von Rosetti und Sperger gab es im Sommer eine Reihe von Wiedererstaufführungen ihrer Werke." Musikverein Mecklenburg-Vorpommern : c.f. cantus firmus 3/4 (2000): 15-16.

"Paganini des Kontrabasses : zum 250. Geburtstag Johann Matthias Spergers." Delüx Magazin Bd. 5, nr. 2. (2000): p. 49

Wagner, Sabine. "Zwei große Komponisten werden neu entdeckt : Rosetti und Sperger wirkten am Hof zu Ludwigslust ; zu ihrem 250. Geburtstag gibt es Wiedererstaufführungen ihrer Werke." Delüx Magazin Bd. 5. nr. 2. (2000): p. 48

Jedeck, Raimund. "Ein "RIESE" am Kontrabass : Johannes Sperger und die Musikaliensammlung der Landesbibliothek MV." Mecklenburg-Magazin 52. (2000): p. 22

Ueltzen, Dieter. "Johann Matthias Sperger." Ludwigsluster Stadtanzeiger Bd. 72. (2000): p. 8.

"Paganini des Kontrabasses : Veranstaltungen zum 250. Geburtstag von Johann M. Sperger." Markt Bd. 8, Nr. 12. (2000): p. 16.

Böhme, Steffen. "Paganini des Kontrabasses : Johann Matthias Sperger musizierte in Ludwigslust." Ostsee-Zeitung Bd. 48, 23.3, 70. (2000): p. 23.

Seifert, Herbert. "Musik und Musiker der Grafen Erdödy in Kroatien im 18. Jahrhundert". Studien zur Musikwissenschaft 44 (Tutzing 1995): 191-208. p. 199. [SzM]

Trumpf, Klaus. "Johann Matthias Sperger : ein Kontrabassist und Komponist des 18. Jahrhunderts." Musik und Gesellschaft Bd. 26. 10. (1976): 605-609.

Lüpke, Gerd. "Hofmusikus Johann Mathias Sperger : ein bedeutender Musiker der Ludwigsluster Hofkapelle." Unser Mecklenburg 301 (1968): p. 5.

"Johann Mathias Sperger - Virtuose auf Kontrabaß." Unser Mecklenburg. 160 (1962): p. 4

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  - Encyclopedic Entries:

Trumpf, Klaus. "Sperger, Johann Matthias." Lexicon der Deutschen Muikkultur, Böhmen, Mähren, Sudetenschlesien. Sudetendeutsches Musikinstitut, Verlag Langen Müller, 2001.

Schmidt - Theyer. "Sperger, Johann Mathias." Deutsche biographische Enzyklopädie. München : Saur, 1998. Bd. 7, p. 397.

"Sperger, Johannes Matthias." Das große Lexikon der Musik. Freiburg : Herder, 1982. Bd. 7, p. 401.

"Sperger, Johann Matthias." Riemann-Musik-Lexikon. Mainz : Schott, 1975, Bd. 2, p. 686.

Federhofer-Königs, Renate. "Sperger, Johann Matthias" Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Kassel : Bärenreiter, 1965. Bd. 12, c. 1031-1033.

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  - Citations and Articles in Books:

"Berühmte Musiker der Hofkapelle (3) : Johann Matthias Sperger (1750-1812)." Ludwigslust : Förderverein der Stadtkirche Ludwigslust - Die Ludwigsluster Stadtkirche und ihre Friese-Orgel, 2003. p. 12.

"Studien zur lokalen und territorialen Musikgeschichte Mecklenburgs und Pommerns." Ed. Ekkehard Ochs. Greifswald : Landesmusikrat Mecklenburg-Vorpommern , 2002. p.?

Alexander, Walpurga. "Zum Einfluss des Konzertanten in Sinfonien Johannes Matthias Spergers." Musik in Mecklenburg. Olms : Hildesheim, 2000. 463-488.

Brun, Paul. A New History of the Double Bass. Villeneuve d'Ascq: Paul Brun Productions, 2000. 103-4. [PBP]

Focht, Josef. "Sperger, Johann." Der Wiener Kontrabass Tutzing : Hans Schneider, 1999. p.133-142, 196-7.

Meier, Adolf. "Johannes Sperger (1750-1812) - die führende Persönlichkeit der Wiener Kontrabaßschule im Zeitalter der Wiener Klassik." Sperger-Kolloquium anlässlich Seines 175. Todestages (1987, Blankenburg, Harz) : Bericht über das Sperger-Kolloquium anläßlich seines 175. Todestages am 13. Mai 1987. Michaelstein/Blankenburg : Kultur- und Forschungsstätte Michaelstein, 1988. 7-20.

Siegmund-Schultze, Walther. "Würdigung Johannes Spergers im Festkonzert am 13. Mai 1987." Sperger-Kolloquium anlässlich Seines 175. Todestages (1987, Blankenburg, Harz) : Bericht über das Sperger-Kolloquium anläßlich seines 175. Todestages am 13. Mai 1987. Michaelstein/Blankenburg : Kultur- und Forschungsstätte Michaelstein, 1988. p. 46.

Planyavsky, Alfred. "Johann Sperger (1750-1812)" Geschichtedes Kontrabasses. Tutzing : Hans Schneider, 1984. 344-354.

Trumpf, Klaus. "Johann Matthias Sperger : bedeutender Kontrabassist und Komponist des 18. Jahrhunderts." Die Saiteninstrumente in der ersten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts und unsere heutigen Besetzungsmöglichkeiten. Magdeburg : Rat d. Bezirkes, Abt. Kultur. 1978, 103-119.

Planyavsky, Alfred. "Johann Sperger (1750-1812)" Geschichte des Kontrabasses. Tutzing : Hans Schneider, 1970. 169-174.

Meier, Adolf. "Die Biographie des Komponisten und Kontrabassisten Johannes Sperger (1750-1812)" Konzertante Musik für Kontrabaß in der Wiener Klassik.
       1st edition. München : Emil Katzbichler, 1969, p. 159-191.
       2nd edition. München : Emil Katzbichler, 1979. p. 185-227.

Federhofer, Helmut. "Musiktheoretische Schriften aus Johannes Matthias Sperger Besitz" Sbornik prací Filosofické fakulty brneské University. [Festschrift Jan Racek]. roc. 14, Rada umenovedná (F), c. 9. Brno : 1965. p. 71-77.

Meyer, Clemens. Geschichte der Mecklenburg - Schweriner Hofkapelle. Schwerin : 1913. p. 157, p. 162.

Kade, Otto. "Sperger, Johann (Matthias)." Die Musikalien-Sammlung des Grossherzoglich Mecklenburg - Schweriner Fürstenhauses aus den letzten zwei Jahrhunderten. Band II, Schwerin : Sandmeyerschen Hofbuckdruckerei, 1893. 240-244. PDF text

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  - Books:

Bericht über das Sperger-Kolloquium anläßlich seines 175. Todestages am 13. Mai 1987 . Studien zur Aufführungspraxis und Interpretation der Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts ; 36 . Michaelstein/Blankenburg : Kultur- und Forschungsstätte Michaelstein, 1988.

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- Doctoral Dissertations:

Beckendorf, Andrea Lynn. Johann Sperger : the career of a double bass virtuoso and historical context for a performance edition of his terzetto for horn, viola and double bass (CII/21). D.M.A. Thesis, University of Iowa, 2001.

Foley, Mark. Critical and modern double bass performing editions of a violone concerto by J.M. Sperger (M. B13, no. 11). D. Mus. Thesis, Indiana University, 2008.

Kioulaphides, Victor. Two mixed quartets of J.M. Sperger : the Schwerin manuscripts (CIII/24, CIII/25). D.M.A. Thesis, Manhattan School of Music, 1992.

- Master Theses:

Mills, Joseph E. Johann Matthias Sperger's Concerto no. 14 for contrabass and orchestra : as an example of literature for the solo contrabass from the Viennese classic period (M. B16). Master Thesis, Ball State University, 1991.

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• Thematic Catalogs:

Meier, Adolf. Thematisches Werkverzeichnis der Kompositionen von Johannes Sperger (1750-1812). Michaelstein/Blankenburg : Kultur- und Forschungsstätte Michaelstein, 1990.

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• Sperger Links:


  - Online Biographies:

    > Südmähren: "Johannes Matthias Sperger"   
    > Internationale Sperger Gesellschaft : "J.M. Sperger"
    > Landkreis Ludwigslust : "Über Johann Matthias Sperger"
    > Naxos Records : "Johann Matthias Sperger"


  - J. M. Sperger School, Ludwigslust, Germany

    > Landkreis Ludwigslust : "Kreismusikschule Johann Matthias Sperger"

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Posted:         April 25, 2004

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