Friedrich Rochlitz

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Friedrich Rochlitz, watercolor by Veit Hanns Schnorr von Carolsfeld , 1820Signature Friedrich Rochlitz.JPG

Johann Friedrich Rochlitz (born February 12, 1769 in Leipzig ; † December 16, 1842 there ) was a German storyteller , playwright , composer and music writer .


Friedrich Rochlitz grave and relatives, Alter Johannisfriedhof Leipzig

Friedrich Rochlitz attended the Thomas School and studied theology and philosophy in Leipzig from 1789 to 1791 and then worked as a private tutor. In 1798 he founded the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung , of which he was editor until 1818. In connection with a planned marriage to the harpist Therese from the Winckel , he was awarded the title of "Ducal Saxon Weimar Court Counselor" on September 14, 1800 by Duke Carl August von Sachsen-Weimar . However, the marriage did not materialize. Rochlitz married his childhood sweetheart on February 23, 1810, the widowed Henriette Winkler b. Hansen (1770-1834). She was previously the wife of the Leipzig merchant Daniel Winkler and brought his precious art collection with her into the marriage, including a painting by Rembrandt van Rijn .

Rochlitz was known and friends with numerous personalities of his time, such as Goethe , Schiller and ETA Hoffmann . He was friends with composers such as Louis Spohr , for whom he wrote the libretto for the oratorio The Last Things , and with Carl Maria von Weber , who dedicated his 4th Piano Sonata op. 70 to Rochlitz in 1822. He also composed himself, but without talent. Robert Schumann wrote of his Introduction et Variations sur un Thème original in D minor, Op. 7 for piano (printed in 1836) : “I would not see in them a good will, a visible effort and at the same time a depressed being who would like something up , out, they would hardly be worth encouraging. Such compositions literally knock me down. "

During his stay in Vienna in 1822, he made the acquaintance of Beethoven and Franz Schubert , who set three poems by Rochlitz to music in 1827. The credibility of his extensive description of the encounter with Beethoven, which significantly shaped the image of Beethoven in the 19th century, is confirmed by an unpublished diary note from Rochlitz.

Rochlitz wrote numerous articles for the Allgemeine musical newspaper and the first biography about the composer and violinist Friedrich Ernst Fesca (1789–1826). The most important work by Rochlitz is his autobiographical story Days of Danger about the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig (1813). In his magazine Kunst und Altertum , Goethe called it “one of the most wondrous productions that have ever happened”.

In addition to numerous short stories, there were also some dramatic works and opera libretti. Worth mentioning are the German translation of Mozart's Don Giovanni (1801) and the translation of Paer's opera Leonora (1804), which was also frequently used for performances of the opera.

The Society for Art and Criticism Leipzig e. V. has been awarding the € 500 “Friedrich Rochlitz Prize” for art criticism for several years. They awarded it for the ninth time in 2015.

Works (selection)

  • Drawings by people based on history and experience , 2 volumes, Hamburg 1794.
  • Characters of Interesting People , 4 volumes, Züllichau 1799–1803.
  • Small novels and short stories , 3 volumes, Frankfurt 1807.
  • New stories , 2 volumes, Leipzig 1816.
  • For quiet hours , 2 volumes, Leipzig 1828.
  • For Friends of Tonkunst , 4 volumes, Leipzig 1824–1832; 3rd edition 1868.
  • Selection of the best from Rochlitz's complete works , 6 volumes, Züllichau 1821–1822.
  • Goethe's correspondence with Friedrich Rochlitz , ed. by Woldemar von Biedermann , Leipzig 1887 (digitized version)
  • Days of danger. A diary of the Leipzig battle, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-943889-45-1 .


  • Adolf Bernhard Marx , Friedrich Rochlitz. A biographical sketch. In: Yearbooks of the German National Association for Music and its Science , Volume 2 (1840), pp. 370–372 ( digitized version )
  • Johann Peter Lyser , Friedrich Rochlitz. Dispersed thoughts. In: Wiener Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung , vol. 5, no. 136/137 from 13./15. November 1845, pp. 541f.
  • Woldemar von Biedermann:  Rochlitz, Johann Friedrich . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 30, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1890, pp. 85-91.
  • Joseph Müller-Blattau , Friedrich Rochlitz and the history of music. In: Hans Albrecht in memoriam (1962), pp. 192–199
  • Hans Ehinger , Friedrich Rochlitz as a music writer, Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel 1929
  • Martha Bruckner-Bigenwald, The Beginnings of the Leipziger Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, Hilversum: Knuf 1965 ( digitized version )
  • Patrick Kast, Friedrich Rochlitz's view of music '. Basis for Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's success in Leipzig. In: Mendelssohn Studies , Volume 12 (2001), pp. 187-204
  • Ulrich Konrad , Friedrich Rochlitz and the creation of the Mozart picture around 1800. In: Hermann Jung (Ed.), Mozart - Aspects of the 19th Century , Mannheim 1995 (= Mannheimer Hochschulschriften , Volume 1), pp. 1–22
  • Anselm Hartinger, Mozart, Bach and the eloquent witness Friedrich Rochlitz. Report on the Leipzig motet performance in the presence of Mozart. In: Bach Archive Leipzig (Ed.), Bach Magazine , Issue 7 (2006), pp. 14-19
  • Marcus Erb-Szymanski, Friedrich Rochlitz as Mozart's promoter. About the beginnings of musical canon formation and hagiography. In: Music Theory. Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft , Volume 21 (2006), pp. 13-26
  • Klaus Martin Kopitz , Beethoven and his reviewers. A look behind the scenes of the Allgemeine Musical Zeitung. In: Beethoven and the Leipziger Musikverlag Breitkopf & Härtel , ed. by Nicole Kämpken and Michael Ladenburger, Bonn: Beethoven-Haus 2007, ISBN 978-3-88188-108-1 , pp. 149–167
  • Harald Strebel , The correspondence between Friedrich Rochlitz and the Mozart student Ignaz von Seyfried in the light of contemporary criticism and concert practice. In: Mozart Studies , Volume 10 (2010), pp. 225–279
  • Dirk Sangmeister, "Many a hermaphrodite may be stuck in this work". A study on the previous, printing and reception history of the “Journal for German Women” (1805–1806). In: ders., Seume and some of his contemporaries , Erfurt / Waltershausen: Ulenspiegel, 2010, pp. 176–269

Web links

Commons : Friedrich Rochlitz  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Johann Friedrich Rochlitz  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Robert Schumann: Collected writings on music and musicians , Vol. 2, pp. 43-44 (1854) Wikisource
  2. Klaus Martin Kopitz , Rainer Cadenbach (Ed.) U. a .: Beethoven from the point of view of his contemporaries in diaries, letters, poems and memories. Volume 2: Lachner - Zmeskall. Edited by the Beethoven Research Center at the Berlin University of the Arts. Henle, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-87328-120-2 , pp. 713-722.
  4. Price website , accessed December 9, 2015.