Sechter, Simon

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Sechter, Simon

Sechter, Simon, famous Austrian organist, pedagogue, and composer; b. Friedberg, Bohemia, Oct. 11, 1788; d. Vienna, Sept. 10, 1867. In 1804 he went to Vienna, where he studied with L. Kozeluh and Hartmann; then was a piano and singing teacher at the Inst. for the Blind (1810–25). He also was assist. (1824–25) and principal (from 1825) Hoforganist, and likewise served as prof. of thoroughbass and counterpoint at the Cons. (1851–63). He won his greatest renown as a teacher, numbering among his best-known pupils Henselt, Bruckner, Vieuxtemps, and Thalberg; Schubert took a lesson from him (Nov. 4, 1828) shortly before his untimely death. Although he was a master contrapuntist, his output is unknown outside his homeland. Among his more than 8, 000 works were 3 operas, Ezzeline, die unglückliche Gegangene aus Deli-Katesse (1843; not perf.), Ali Hitsch-Hatsch (1843; Vienna, Nov. 12, 1844), and Melusine (1851; not perf.), 2 oratorios, Die Offenbarung Johannes (1838–45) and Sodoms Untergang (1840), 35 masses, 2 Requiems, many other sacred works, choral pieces, orch. music, and chamber pieces.

Writings

Die Grundsätze der musikalischen Komposition: I, Die richtige Folge der Grundharmonien (Leipzig, 1853), II, Von den Gesetzen des Taktes in der Musik; Vom einstimmigen Satz; Die Kunst, zu einer gegebenen Melodie die Harmonie zu finden (Leipzig, 1853), and III, Vom drei- und zweistimmigen Satze; Rhythmische Entwürfe; Vom strengen Satze, mit Kurzen Andeutungen des freien Satzes; Vom doppelten Contrapunkte (Leipzig, 1854).

Bibliography

C. Pohl, S. S. (Vienna, 1868); J. Markus, S. S.: Biographisches Denkmal (Vienna, 1888); G. Capellen, 1st das System S. S.s ein geeigneter Ausgangspunkt für die theoretische Wagnerforschung? (Leipzig, 1902); E. Tittel, S. S. als Kirchenkomponist (diss., Univ. of Vienna, 1935).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire