Ignaz Joseph Pleyel
Ignaz Joseph Pleyel
Pleyel evidently had a close relationship with Haydn, who considered him to be a superb student. Among Pleyel's apprentice work from this time was a puppet opera Die Fee Urgele, (1776) performed in the marionette theater at the palace of Eszterháza and in Vienna. Pleyel apparently also wrote at least part of the overture of Haydn's opera Das abgebrannte Haus, from about the same time. Pleyel's first professional position may have been as Kapellmeister for Count Erdődy, although this is not known for certain. Among his early publications was a set of six string quartets, his Opus 1. In the early 1780s, Pleyel visited Italy, where he composed an opera (Ifigenia in Aulide) and works commissioned by the King of Naples. Attracted to the benefits associated with an organist position, Pleyel moved to Strasbourg, France in 1783 to work alongside Franz Xaver Richter the maître de chapelle at the Strasbourg Cathedral. The Cathedral was extremely appealing to Pleyel as it possessed a full orchestra, a choir, and a large budget devoted to performances.
After establishing himself in France, Pleyel voluntarily called himself by the French version of his name, Ignace. While he was the assistant maître de chapelle at Strasbourg Cathedral, he wrote more works than during any other period in his musical career (1783–1793). At the cathedral, he would organize concerts that featured his symphonies concertantes and liturgical music. After Richter's death in 1789, Pleyel assumed the function of full maître de chapelle. In 1788 Pleyel married Françoise-Gabrielle Lefebvre, the daughter of a Strasbourg carpet weaver.
The couple had four children, the oldest being their son Camille. Maria Pleyel, née Moke (1811–1875), the wife of Camille, was one of the most accomplished pianists of her time. Pleyel moved to Paris in 1795. In 1797 he set up a business as a music publisher ("Maison Pleyel"), which among other works produced a complete edition of Haydn's string quartets (1801), as well as the first miniature scores for study (the Bibliothèque Musicale, "musical library"). The publishing business lasted for 39 years and published about 4000 works during this time, including compositions by Adolphe Adam, Luigi Boccherini, Ludwig van Beethoven, Muzio Clementi, Johann Baptist Cramer, Johann Ladislaus Dussek, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Georges Onslow. Pleyel visited Vienna on business in 1805, meeting his now elderly mentor Haydn for a final time and hearing Beethoven play. In 1807, Pleyel became a manufacturer of pianos. Pleyel was prolific, composing 41 symphonies, 70 string quartets and several string quintets and operas.
Many of these works date from the Strasbourg period; Pleyel's production tailed off after he had become a businessman. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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