Fischer, Johann Kaspar Ferdinand

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Baroque composer and keyboard virtuoso; b. Germany, 1650?; d. Rastatt, March 27, 1746?. Reliable biographical details are unavailable, but it is known that by 1695 he was music director to Margrave Ludwig of Baden. It is also evident, from his music, that he had captured the spirit of the late baroque French instrumental style of J. B. lully and helped introduce it into Germany. Like much baroque music, Fischer's compositions were first published in great sets. Among them are Journal de Printemps (1695), charming orchestral or dance suites following the French order; Musikalisches Blumen-Büschlein (1696), keyboard suites; Vesperae (1701), Vesper psalms for eight voices and instrumental accompaniment; Ariadne Musica (1715), preludes and fugues in 20 keys together with ricercars for the church seasons (this became the model for J. S. bach's Well-Tempered Clavier ); Litaniae Laurentiae (1711), eight litanies and four Marian antiphons for voices and instruments; and Blumenstrauss (1732), organ preludes and fugues in as many church modes, together with a toccata and finale for each group.

Bibliography: Sämtliche Werke für Klavier und Orgel, ed. e. von werra (Leipzig 1906); Journal de Printemps, in Denkmäler Deutscher Tonkunst 10.1 (Leipzig 1902); Ariadne in Liber organi, ed. e. kaller (Mainz-New York 1931), v.7. k. nef, Geschichte der Sinfonie und Suite (Leipzig 1921). g. frotscher, Geschichte des Orgelspiels und der Orgelkomposition, 2 v. (2d ed. Berlin 1959). k. seitz, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949) 4:264269. j. r. milne, Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. e. blom, 9 v. (5th ed. London 1954) 3:143144. w. apel, Masters of the Keyboard (Cambridge, Mass.1947). m. f. bukofzer, Music in the Baroque Era (New York 1947). a. plotinsky, "The Keyboard Works of Johann Kaspar Ferdinand Fischer" (Ph.D. diss. City University of New York, 1978). d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1996) 270. n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Eighth Edition (New York 1992) 544. s. wollenberg, "Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 6, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 607609.

[d. beikman]