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Riegel (later changed to Rigel), Henri (Heinrich) Joseph

Riegel (later changed to Rigel), Henri (Heinrich) Joseph

Riegel (later changed to Rigel), Henri (Heinrich) Joseph , French composer, father of Henri-Jean Rigel; b. Wertheim, Franconia, Feb. 9, 1741; d. Paris, May 2, 1799. He was of German extraction. He studied with F.X. Richter in Mannheim and with Jom-melli in Stuttgart. In 1767 he went to Paris, and from 1783 to 1788 he belonged to a group of composers associated with the Concert Spirituel. On the title page of several of his works publ, in Paris his name appears as Rigel, and this gallicized form was adopted by his son Henri-Jean, who was born in Paris. Riegel was one of the earliest composers to write ensemble music with piano, publ, as “symphonies” for 2 Violins, Cello, 2 Horns, and Piano. He was a fairly voluminous composer. He wrote several short operas in the manner of the German Singspiel, all of which were produced in Paris unless otherwise given: Le Savetier et le financier (Marly, 1778), L’Automate (1781), Rosanie (1780), Blanche et Vermeille (1781), Lucas et Babet (1787), Les Amours du Gros-Caillou (1786), and Alix de Beaucaire (Montansier, 1791). His other works include 6 syms., keyboard concertos, 6 string quartets, several Sonates de clavecin en quattuor, a number of piano sonatas, some with violin obbligato, and 3 Sonates en symphonies for Piano. During the revolutionary period in France, he composed various pieces celebrating the events.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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