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Jan Vaclav Hugo Vorisek

born: 1791-05-11
died: 1825-11-19
birthplace: Vamberk
diedplace: Viden

Czech composer, organist and pianist. Son of a schoolmaster and organist from Vamberk, East Bohemia. Father gave him good initial musical education; young Jan Vaclav occasionally substituted the church organist in his age of seven. He studied at a grammar school in Prague, later he went on at the Prague University. At the same time, he took piano and composition lessons from the famous Prague composer V.J.Tomasek. In 1813 he moved to Vienna to study law at the university as well as music under J.N.Hummel. In Vienna he personally met L.V.Beethoven (1814) and many other important personalities of European musical life; among others Franz Schubert, with whom they became good friends. He finished his law studies only in 1821 and for a short time made his living as a clerk; at the same time he composed, conducted and taught piano. In 1824 he was appointed the first court organist in Vienna. At that time, however, he suffered from tuberculosis; his treatment in Graz did not help and he died in his age of 34. Vorisek composed mostly piano works; he started in the classical style but soon romantic elements predominated. By his melodical invention and lyrical parts, he is regarded as a direct predecessor of Bedrich Smetana. His only orchestral work, Symphony in D, was compared to first symphonies of Beethoven. Vorisek's works were a source of inspiration for many romantic composers, including Franz Schubert.

  • Symphony in D Major op. 23 , 1821
  • Sonata in B-Flat Minor op. 20
  • piano composition cycles (Twelve Rhapsodies op.1, Impromptus op.7)
  • Piano Fantasy op. 12
  • More individual piano compositions (Variations for piano and cello op.9, Le désir op. 3, Le plaisir op. 4)
  • Organ Mass B-Flat Major
  • Violin Sonata in G Major, op. 5


Mala encyklopedie hudby (book dr. Jar. Smolka; &kolektiv, Supraphon 1983)
Kniha o hudbe (book by V.Holzknecht a kol., Orbis 1964)
LP cover annotation (Symphony in D Major, Czech Philharomnic Orchestra, cond. Karl Ancerl, Czech Lon Play Record 1950)


Symphony in D Major (MP3) (III.Scherzo, Czech Philharomnic Orchestra, cond. Karl Ancerl, Czech Lon Play Record 1950)


Last update 2012-07-04