Joseph Schillinger

This German composer who scored stage successes for Naples, Venice and Dresden wrote in a number of genres; excepting the operas, these included oratorios, masses, sacred and secular songs, and works for the pianoforte. He was a student of his father, the composer J.G. Schurer, Padre Martini, and Pera. His first opera was staged in Naples in 1776, "Didone abbandonata." The libretto was by Metastasio. Laurels came from Italy and Germany alike particularly after he staged works in his homeland like "Der Alchymist oder Der Liebesteufel." By 1787 he was appointed the Kapellmeister to the elector of Dresden in conjunction with Seydelmann. Schuster claimed international renown through his operas and was one of the most popular composers in Germany in the late eighteenth century. As a conductor Schuster was also well respected. Most of his music, including the instrumental works, demonstrate a lyric talent and his works for harpsichord and violin gave balanced voicings to both instruments. Combining this quality with his unique structures, these works were influential in the formulation of Mozart's sonatas. ~ Keith Johnson

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