Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739-1813)

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01A Forgotten Master20150928
01A Forgotten Master20150928

Donald Macleod explores how Vanhal became one of the most celebrated musicians of his age.

Donald Macleod introduces a musician and composer whose prodigious gifts took him from rural Bohemia to the very top of the musical world in 18th-century Vienna, where he was celebrated alongside Haydn and Mozart, his occasional quartet partners.

Vanhal's story has all the ingredients for a great musical drama: escape from bondage, early success dashed by sudden personal crisis, and a remarkable re-birth won through faith, talent and strength of character. This week, Donald Macleod explores how Vanhal became one of the most celebrated musicians of his age and reveals how his music, despite falling into relative obscurity, has lost none of its shine.

02Out of Bondage20150929

02Out of Bondage20150929

Tracing the young Vanhal's journey from common serf to the fashionable salons of Vienna.

02Out of Bondage20150929

Tracing the young Vanhal's journey from common serf to the fashionable salons of Vienna.

02Out of Bondage20150929

02Out of Bondage20150929

Donald Macleod traces the young composer's journey from common serf to the most fashionable salons of Vienna

Vanhal's story has all the ingredients for a great musical drama: escape from bondage, early success dashed by sudden personal crisis, and a remarkable re-birth won through faith, talent and strength of character. This week, Donald Macleod relates the colourful story of one of the 18th century's leading musical lights.

Vanhal's family were peasants; in effect, legal slaves on the vast Bohemian estates of Count Schaffgotsch. Music offered an escape and Vanhal took every opportunity to better his position - from choir boy, to church organist, and on to Vienna, where rich aristocrats vied to patronise the brilliant young composer.

02Out of Bondage20150929

Donald Macleod traces the young composer's journey from common serf to the most fashionable salons of Vienna

Vanhal's story has all the ingredients for a great musical drama: escape from bondage, early success dashed by sudden personal crisis, and a remarkable re-birth won through faith, talent and strength of character. This week, Donald Macleod relates the colourful story of one of the 18th century's leading musical lights.

Vanhal's family were peasants; in effect, legal slaves on the vast Bohemian estates of Count Schaffgotsch. Music offered an escape and Vanhal took every opportunity to better his position - from choir boy, to church organist, and on to Vienna, where rich aristocrats vied to patronise the brilliant young composer.

03Turning Point20150930
03Turning Point20150930
03Turning Point20150930

Vanhal secures an all-expenses paid trip to Italy but all was not as well as it seemed.

03Turning Point20150930

03Turning Point20150930
03Turning Point20150930

Vanhal secures an all-expenses paid trip to Italy but, after lingering there for two years, perhaps all is not as well as it seems.

Vanhal's story has all the ingredients for a great musical drama: escape from bondage, early success dashed by sudden personal crisis, and a remarkable re-birth won through faith, talent and strength of character. This week, Donald Macleod relates the colourful story of one of the 18th century's leading musical lights.

Having won the support of one of Vienna's wealthy aristocratic patrons, Vanhal heads off to complete his musical education abroad, with 2000 florins in his wallet and an letters of introduction to every major city in Italy. Back home, a plum job is waiting for him in the household of his benefactor. So why then does Vanhal seem reluctant to take up his dream appointment?

04Going It Alone20151001
04Going It Alone20151001

Donald Macleod discusses Vanhal's new career as an independent musician.

Finally recovering from his 'mental disturbance', Vanhal set out on a new career as an independent musician; but was his new peace of mind having a detrimental effect on his music.

Vanhal's story has all the ingredients for a great musical drama: escape from bondage, early success dashed by sudden personal crisis, and a remarkable re-birth won through faith, talent and strength of character. This week, Donald Macleod relates the colourful story of one of the 18th century's leading musical lights.

05Music For The Masses20151002
05Music For The Masses20151002

Donald Macleod focuses on Vanhal's adopting a new, overtly populist musical direction.

05Music For The Masses20151002

New times bring new musical fashions and Vanhal is forced to adapt to survive. Vienna's music critics and the aristocratic cognoscenti aren't impressed by his new, overtly populist direction. Nevertheless, business is booming.

Vanhal's story has all the ingredients for a great musical drama: escape from bondage, early success dashed by sudden personal crisis, and a remarkable re-birth won through faith, talent and strength of character. This week, Donald Macleod relates the colourful story of one of the 18th century's leading musical lights.