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Franz Joseph Leonti Meyer von Schauensee
1720 - 1789
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F.J.L. Meyer von Schauensee
Franz Joseph Leonti Meyer von Schauensee (10/08/1720 - 02/01/1789)), a Swiss composer and organist of a convent at Lucern, in Switzerland, was born in that town in 1720. From the age of five years he took lessons in singing, and at six years old began to study the organ. At twelve he had made such progress in that art, that his master could confide in him for the organ performance of the convent, even on the days of festival. In 1731, he was sent to a convent of Benedictines in the neighbourhood of Saint Gall, to continue his studies. This convent having no organ, he applied himself to the harpsichord, and began also the violin and violoncello. In 1735 he returned home, and, after about three years study of counterpoint, composed a small dramatic piece, the performance of which was so applauded as to decide him to' consecrate his talents to composition; and that he might meet with less distraction in his new occupation, he became a monk in the convent of St. Urbain, of the Cistercian order. Soon, however, disgusted with this state of life, he returned to his family in about a year; almost immediately deciding to accept his grandfather's offer to send him to Milan, that he might perfect himself in the Italian language, and from thence proceed to Rome. At Milan, having the opportunity of hearing the best music, both sacred and theatrical, and becoming acquainted with several celebrated performers, he laid aside composition for a short time, and devoted himself to practice on the piano-forte, on which he made such progress as to be soon considered one of the best players in that city. He then took lessons on the violin of Galimberti, and soon became eminent on that instrument also, in the style of Corelli. Having passed a year at Milan in the above manner, he recommenced composition by writing some sonatas for the harpsichord, which were afterwards published. A few months after this time he entered as ensign in a Swiss regiment, in the service of the king of Sardinia, with which he made the campaign of 1742, and, after being promoted, was taken prisoner. In 1743, his regiment was in garrison in Sardinia: there he not only finished his opera of harpsichord sonatas, but composed, for the birthday of his colonel, an operetta, which was performed at Cagliari, and so pleased the viceroy, that he requested Schauensee to compose a Te Deum, to be sung on the occasion of a victory obtained over the Spaniards. The great success of this performance determined him immediately to compose a new opera; it was entitled "Applamiftstosi," and played in 1744 in presence of the viceroy, meeting with universal applause. His regiment was then ordered to quit Sardinia for Nice, when Schauensee being made prisoner, was allowed to return to his own country on his parole. He there composed much church and other music, and at length took orders as priest of the Roman Catholic church.
Source:John S. Sainsbury & Alexandre Choron, A dictionary of musicians: from the earliest ages to the present time
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
No details available.
Source:Robert Chase, Dies Irae: A Guide to Requiem Music, Scarecrow Press, Inc. 2003