Johann Georg Pisendel

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Johann Georg Pisendel

Johann Georg Pisendel (born December 26, 1687 in Cadolzburg , † November 25, 1755 in Dresden ) was a German violinist and composer of the late Baroque .

life and work

Pisendel was born as the fifth child of a cantor family in Cadolzburg, which is part of the Brandenburg-Ansbach margrave . His father came from a family of dyers from Markneukirchen in Vogtland.

After the first musical lessons from his father, Johann Georg Pisendel came to the Ansbach court orchestra as a chapel boy in 1697 , where Francesco Antonio Pistocchi and Giuseppe Torelli were his teachers. Despite the reduction of the court orchestra from 1703, he was hired as a violinist a little later. In March 1709 he traveled to Leipzig via Weimar, where he met Bach .

In 1710 he led the Collegium musicum on behalf of Melchior Hoffmann . A trip undertaken in 1711 brought personal acquaintance with Georg Philipp Telemann in Eisenach and with Christoph Graupner in Darmstadt.

From January 1712 until his death, Pisendel was first violinist and from 1728 concertmaster of the Dresden court orchestra .

Of several trips, his trip to Italy (1716/1717) was the most significant. In Venice he spent a year with Vivaldi at the expense of his prince , with whom he soon became warm friends. Vivaldi dedicated four sonatas, five concertos and a symphony to him. These were probably made between 1717 and 1720 and have the dedication “fatte p. Mr. Pisendel ” ; the originals are in the Saxon State and University Library (SLUB) in Dresden.

After returning to Dresden, he continued to study composition with Johann David Heinichen . Pisendel left behind some violin sonatas and violin concertos. He was buried in the Johanniskirchhof in Dresden, his grave has not been preserved.

Pisendel was the most important German violin virtuoso of the late baroque. Thanks to his great violin skills, high character qualities and excellent pedagogical skills, he gained recognition and friendship from numerous important German musicians of his time, including Georg Philipp Telemann. The Dresden court orchestra owed its European fame to his work as concertmaster under the conductor Johann Adolph Hasse during the period of the “ Dresden Baroque ”. The important Vivaldi care that began in Dresden after 1717 is due to the work of Pisendel.

Pisendel's most important students included Johann Joachim Quantz , Joseph Riepel and Johann Friedrich Agricola . The latter was the author of the most extensive biography of Pisendel, which he had published anonymously by Johann Adam Hiller in 1767 .

Works (selection)

Pisendel's manuscripts are in the Dresden State Library. Pisendel's works were thematically cataloged in 1955 by the musicologist Hans Rudolf Jung . The directory numbers are quoted in the form "Jung", a Roman number for the genre of the work, slash and serial number as well as the year of composition.

Pisendel wrote among other things

  • 12 violin concertos in a, B, D, D, e, E, E, F, g, G, G, G
  • several trio sonatas
  • 4 one-movement concerti grossi (E, G, D, D) as arrangements of own compositions
  • "Imitation of the caractères de la danse"
  • several violin sonatas with basso continuo
  • Solo sonata for violin without bass in A minor (Jung IV / 2 1717).
  • Sinfonia in B
  • Gigue in a, printed in Telemann's "Der getreue Music-Meister" (Hamburg, 1728/1799)
  • Concerto for 2 oboes and bassoon in Eb


The compositional estate of Johann Georg Pisendel comprises 35 catalog numbers with music autographs as well as numerous copies with works by other composers. It is kept in the music department of the SLUB Dresden (signature: Mus.2421–…).

Part of this estate is the extensive sheet music collection, comprising around 1,800 pieces of music, which Pisendel has compiled in around 40 years. After his death it was stored in Schranck No: II of the Catholic Court Church and so survived the Prussian bombing of Dresden in 1760 during the Seven Years' War . This collection reflects the entire instrumental repertoire of the Dresden court orchestra during the time of August the Strong .


  • Moritz FürstenauPisendel, Johann Georg . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 26, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1888, pp. 182-184.
  • Hans Rudolf Jung: Johann Georg Pisendel. (1687-1755). Life and work. A contribution to the history of violin music in Bach's time. Jena 1956 (Jena, University, dissertation, 1956).
  • Kai Köpp: Johann Georg Pisendel (1687–1755) and the beginnings of modern orchestral conducting. Schneider, Tutzing 2005, ISBN 3-7952-1140-9 (also: Freiburg (Breisgau), University, dissertation, 2002).
  • Jörg Krämer:  Pisendel, Johann Georg. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 20, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-428-00201-6 , p. 482 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Albrecht Loyalty: Johann Georg Pisendel. (1687-1755). Violinist - concertmaster - composer. Documentation of his life, his work and dealings and his work. Drawn from biographies, comments and publications from the last 250 years. Heimatverein, Cadolzburg 1987.

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. Calliope | Union catalog for archival and archive-like stocks and national documentation instrument for personal papers and autographs. Retrieved May 11, 2020 .