Sigismund Neukomm (1778-1858)

portrait-neukomm

Neukomm was born in Salzburg. He studied composition with Michael Haydn. There were further studies in Vienna with Joseph Haydn. He held a number of positions including music director at St. Petersburg’s German theatre. He traveled widely throughout Europe and even visited Brazil, South America, where he popularized the works of Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Mozart. Neukomm’s compositional output is large. He wrote several operas, masses, oratorios, songs, works for piano solo as well as chamber music works.

portrait-neukomm

During his lifetime, he and his music were widely respected and he was regarded as being in the front rank of those composers from the Classical era after Haydn and Mozart. Despite the fame he achieved during the first half of the 19th century, his name and works fell into obscurity because he outlived the classical era by 50 years. This is a fate which might well have happened to Mozart had he lived so long. Certainly had Neukomm died before 1815, his reputation would have remained intact.

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Selected Works

Chamber music

  • String Quintet (2 Violas) “L’amante abandonnée”
  • String Quintet (2 Violas) “Une Fête de Village en Suisse”
  • Quintet for Clarinet (or Oboe) & Strings in B flat Major, Op.8 “Schöne Minka”
  • Nocturne for violin and piano, Op.18

Piano music

  • À la mémoire de notre ami Fr. Chopin
  • Adagio in E-flat major ‘Les adieux’
  • Elégie harmonique sur la mort de Dussek
  • Fantasia in E minor ‘Les adieux’
  • 37 Morceaux
  • O amor Brazileiro, Op.45
  • Piano Sonata in C minor, Op.16

Recordings

Neukomm: String Quintets  Neukomm: Quintet Septet Octet NonetClarinet Quintets  Michael Haydn/von Neukomm: Chamber Music