Benda, Georg Anton (actually, Jirí Antonín)

views updated

Benda, Georg Anton (actually, Jiří Antonín)

Benda, Georg Anton (actually, Jiří Antonín), important Bohemian composer, brother of Franz (Františele) and father of Friedrich Ludwig Benda; b. Alt-Benatek (baptized), June 30, 1722; d. Köstritz, Nov. 6, 1795. He studied at the Jesuit college in Jicin (1739–42), and then was a chamber musician in Berlin (1742–49). In 1750 he was appointed Kapellmeister to Duke Friedrich III of Saxe-Gotha. In 1765 he received a ducal stipend to go to Italy for half a year of study; he then resumed his activities at the court of Duke Friedrich III, becoming Kapellmeister again in 1770. He was in hamburg and Vienna (1778–79), and then resigned his post; eventually he went to Köstritz. His works were distinguished for their dramatic use of rapidly alternating moods (“Affekte”), which became a characteristic trait of the North German school of composition and exercised considerable influence on the development of opera and ballad forms in Germany; his effective use of melodrama (spoken recitative accompanied by orch.) was an important innovation.

Works

DRAMATIC: Opera: Ariadneauf Naxos (Gotha, Jan. 27, 1775); Medea (Leipzig, May 1, 1775); Philon und Theone, also known as Almansor und Nadine (Gotha, Sept. 20, 1779). Singspiels: Der Dorfjahrmarkt (1775); Romeo und Julia (1776); Der Holzhauer (1778). OTHER: Cantatas; piano concertos; syms.; sonatas; sacred music.

Bibliography

R. Hodermann, G.A. B. (Coburg, 1895); F. Brückner, G.A. B. (Rostock, 1904); V. Helfert, G. B. und J.J. Rousseau (Munich, 1908); Z. Pilková, Dramaticka tvorba Jifiho Bendy (Prague, 1960); F. Lorenz, Die Musikerfamilie B.[Vol.] 17. G.A. B. (Berlin, 1971).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

About this article

Benda, Georg Anton (actually, Jirí Antonín)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article