Georg Muffat

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Georg Muffat (born June 1, 1653 in Megève ( Savoy ), † February 23, 1704 in Passau ) was a Franco-German composer and organist of the Baroque .


Georg Muffat was born to André Muffat and Marguerite Orsy. The ancestors on the paternal side came from the Scottish town of Moffat , and on the maternal side probably from France. Muffat called himself a German. Muffat received his groundbreaking musical training from 1663 to 1669 in Paris; a student body with Jean-Baptiste Lully cannot be proven. He lived in Alsace for several years, first as a student at the Jesuit College in Schlettstadt (today Sélestat ) and from 1671 in Molsheim , where he was appointed organist of the Strasbourg Cathedral Chapter, which was active here in exile. From 1674 he studied law in Ingolstadt and then settled in Vienna.

Memorial plaque for Georgius Muffat on the residence building in Salzburg

Since he could not find a permanent job, he went to Prague in 1677 and from there to Salzburg in 1678, where he received a position as cathedral organist and valet with Archbishop Max Gandolph Graf von Kuenburg alongside Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber . The latter made it possible for him to stay longer in Italy in 1680 to study the organ with Bernardo Pasquini , who was in the tradition of Girolamo Frescobaldi . Muffat met Arcangelo Corelli in Rome , whose work he greatly admired. It was under this impression that he composed his first Concerti grossi, which were performed in the “house of Herr Corelli”. A short time after his return he published the Armonico Tributo with compositions which, according to the preface, could be performed either as concerti grossi or without middle voices as trio sonatas .

After the death of his employer, Muffat moved to the court of Bishop Johann Philipp von Lamberg in Passau as Kapellmeister and court master of the noble boys in 1690 . Muffat's nine sons became musicians, the best-known among them is Gottlieb Muffat .

Like Johann Jakob Froberger before him and Georg Friedrich Handel after him, Muffat was a musical cosmopolitan who played an important role in the exchange of European musical traditions. He was the only composer who was personally closely connected to both Lully and Corelli, both symbolic figures of French opera and Italian instrumental music.

Muffat wrote music in both Italian and French styles. Since very few musicians of his time were familiar with both styles, he added explanations of the respective performance practice to his works. These are also useful today when interpreting works from this period.


Instrumental music

  • Sonata Violino Solo for violin and basso continuo . Prague 1677.
  • Armonico Tributo, cioé Sonate di Camera comodissime a pocchi, ò a molti Stromenti for strings and basso continuo. Salzburg 1682.
  • Florilegium primum. 7 suites for multiple instruments. Augsburg 1695.
  • Florilegium Secundum. 8 suites for multiple instruments. Passau 1698.
    • Fasciculus I: Nobilis juventus : I Ouverture , II Entrée d'Espagnols, III Air pour des Hollandois, IV Gigue pour des Anglois, V Gavotte pour des Italiens, VI Menuet I pour des Francois, VII Minuet II
    • Fasciculus II: Laeta poesis : Ouverture, II Les Poetes, III Jeunes Espagnols, IV Autre pour les mêmes, V Les Cuisiniers, VI Les Hachis, VII Les Marmitons
    • Fasciculus III: Illustres primitiae : I Ouverture; II Gaillarde, III Courante , IV Sarabande , V Gavotte, VI Passacaille , VII Bourée , VIII Menuet, IX Gique
    • Fasciculus IV: Splendidae nuptiae : I Ouverture, II Les Paisans, III Canaries, IV Les Cavalliers, V Menuet I, VI Rigaudon pour des Jeunes Paisannes Poitevines, VII Menuet II
  • Exquisite instrumental music mixed with seriousness and lust. First gathering. 12 concerti grossi with thematic material from Armonico Tributo . Passau 1701.
  • Apparatus Musico Organisticus : 12 toccatas and three variations for organ. 1690. ( Toccata prima ? / I )Audio file / audio sample
  • Partitas for harpsichord, preserved as manuscripts.

Vocal music

Church works

  • 3 masses , Salve Regina , of which only the 24-part Missa was preserved in labore requies .


  • Marina Armena. Academy Theater, Salzburg 1679.
  • Queen Marianne or the slandered innocence. September 1680 ibid.
  • Le fatali felicità di Plutone. Salzburg 1687. For the inauguration of JE Graf von Thun as Prince Archbishop.


  • Regulae Concentuum Partiturae. Figured bass treatise. 1699.
  • Necessary notes on the music. Leipzig 1763, lost.


Web links

Commons : Georg Muffat  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Notes and individual references

  1. Article Muffat in The Music Past and Present.
  2. Recording: Georg Muffat: Missa in labore requies. Antonio Bertali , Johann Heinrich Schmelzer , Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber : Church sonatas. Miriam Feuersinger , Stephanie Petitlaurent (soprano), Alex Potter, William Purefoy (altus), Hans Jörg Mammel , Manuel Warwitz (tenor), Markus Flaig , Lisandro Abadie (bass), Cappella Murensis, Trompetenconsort Innsbruck, Les Cornets Noirs, Johannes Strobl ( Management). Recorded in the Muri monastery church . Audite, 2016.
  3. Information on the Audite Musikproduktion website , accessed on July 13, 2016.