Ferdinand Fränzl

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Portrait of Ferdinand Fraenzl (Ignaz Joseph)

Ferdinand Ignaz Joseph Fränzl (born May 24, 1767 in Schwetzingen ; † October 27, 1833 in Mannheim ) was a German violinist , composer , conductor , opera director , concert master and music director .

Ferdinand Fränzl was a representative of the third generation of the so-called Mannheim School and in 1811 co-founder of the Musical Academy . In 1825 he was awarded the title of Royal Bavarian Capellmeister .


Ferdinand Fränzl was born in 1767 in Schwetzingen, the summer residence of Elector Karl Theodor von der Pfalz . His parents were Ignaz Fränzl (1736-1811) and Antonia Sibilla de la Motte . Violin lessons from his father began at the age of five, and two years later, at only seven, he made his debut as a soloist at a court concert in Mannheim in front of the elector.

In 1782 he was employed as a violinist by the Electoral Court Music in Mannheim and in 1785 went on a concert tour through Germany with his father, where he also visited the Munich court. He spent a longer stay in Strasbourg to take lessons in composition and counterpoint from Franz Xaver Richter and Ignaz Pleyel . The two, as different as they were, made a good pair of teachers for the young Fränzl. Richter, probably already a teacher of Ferdinand Fränzl's father, was an old-school conservative counterpointist who was widely recognized for his sacred music . Pleyel was a Haydn student and was already a successful, renowned and modern composer of chamber music and symphonies . Fränzl finally added an international touch to his musical training in Paris in 1787 and in Bologna in 1788 .

In 1789 he was appointed concertmaster of the Munich court orchestra , successor to the Mannheim court orchestra. In 1790 he went to Italy , studied composition with Padre Stanislao Mattei in Bologna and gave concerts in Rome , Naples and Palermo . Returned to Germany in 1792, he took over the position of concert master at the Frankfurt National Theater . In addition, from 1794/95 he directed the Bernardschen private band in Offenbach am Main , as well as the lovers' concerts there. In 1799 he went on extensive concert tours to London , Hamburg and Vienna , then in 1803 through Poland to Russia , where he stayed until 1806.

In 1806 he succeeded Carl Cannabich as music director of the Munich court orchestra. His successful official position was interrupted by art trips to France, Holland, Germany and Italy. In 1811 Fränzl was one of the founders of the Musical Academy . In 1824 he resigned the management of the opera in Munich and only kept the management of the court orchestra. In December 1825 to the royal . Bavarian Kapellmeister appointed, he settled in 1827 retired and went to Geneva , where he spent his last years. His successor as Hofkapellmeister in Munich was the Swiss Joseph Hartmann Stuntz . Fränzl returned to Mannheim in 1831 and died on October 27, 1833.

Ferdinand Fränzl was married to Johanna Ewald from Offenbach am Main, the marriage remained childless.

Works (selection)

Ferdinand Fränzl composed a. a. 8 concerts ( Op. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12 and 16 ), a concert-performing symphony for 2 violins ( Op. 4 ), 4 concertinos ( Op. 13, 20, 24 and 32 ), variations, Duos etc. He also wrote 9 quartets and 6 trios for string instruments , several overtures and a symphony for orchestra , as well as 2 collections of French, German and Italian romances and songs .

Of his operas , the following should be mentioned: Die Luftbugeln (Strasbourg 1788), Adolph and Clara (1800), Carlo Fioras (Munich 1810), Hadrian Barbarossa (Munich 1815) and Der Faßbinder (Munich 1825).


The German violinist and composer Louis Spohr , certainly a competent judge in musical matters, met Ferdinand Fränzl during a concert tour to Russia. Despite a few weak attempts to politely praise, Spohr's impression of Fränzl was mostly negative.

“According to the judgment of contemporaries, he played with taste, great purity and excellent mastery of technique; in particular, it is said to have shone with its lovely performance of the cantilena. In contrast, his style and tone are described as small, his bowing as not flawless. "

- ADB 7 (1878)


  • Louis Spohr : Louis Spohr's Autobiography. Longman, Green etc., London 1865, p. 43
  • Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski : The violin and its masters. Breitkopf and Härtel, Leipzig 1869, p. 187 ( digitized version )
  • Robert Eitner : Biographical-bibliographical source lexicon of musicians and music scholars of the Christian era up to the middle of the nineteenth century. Vol. 4, Flixius groves . Breitkopf and Härtel, Leipzig 1900–1904, pp. 43–44 ( digitized version )
  • Hugo Riemann : Handbook of Music History. The music of the 18th and 19th centuries. Second edition reviewed by Alfred Einstein. Vol. II. V Vol. Breitkopf and Härtel, Leipzig 1922
  • Friedrich Blume (Ed.): Music in the past and present . General encyclopedia of music. Unabridged electronic edition of the first edition. Bärenreiter Verlag, Kassel 1949–1987
  • Nicolas Slonimsky : Nicolas, ed.Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. 5th Completely Revised Edition, New York 1958
  • Alfried Wieczorek , Hansjörg Probst , Wieland Koenig (eds.): Lust for life and piety - Elector Carl Theodor (1724–1799) between the Baroque and the Enlightenment. Vol. 2.2 vols. Regensburg 1999, ISBN 3-7917-1678-6
  • Roland Würtz: The virtuoso Ferdinand Fränzl (1767–1833). In: Society for Music History in Baden-Württemberg e. V. (GMG) (eds) Music in Baden-Württemberg. Yearbook 2017/18. Music in Baden-Württemberg. Yearbook. JB Metzler, Stuttgart 2018 ( digitized version )

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Bernard Privatkapelle, Musik in Baden-Württemberg, yearbook 2017/18: Volume 24 - anniversary volume, published by the Society for Music History in Baden-Württemberg, J. B. Metzler Verlag 2018, ISBN 978-3-476-04681-9 in the Google Book Search Retrieved June 28, 2020
  2. a b c Fraenzl, Ferdinand, In: Deutsche Biographie Retrieved June 28, 2020
  3. Fränzl, Ferdinand, In: weber-vergleichausgabe.de Accessed June 28, 2020
  4. See: English-language Wikipedia → Ferdinand Fränzl