Freystädtler, Franz Jacob, 1761-1841
- Existence: September 13, 1761 - December 1, 1841
(b Salzburg, 13 Sept 1761; d Vienna, 1 Dec 1841). Austrian composer. He was the son of Johann Jacob Freystädtler (1723–87, composer, choirmaster and ‘Totensänger’ of St Sebastians-Kirche). After serving as a choirboy in the fürstliches Kapellhaus, Freystädtler studied the organ with Franz Ignaz Lipp, and in 1777 entered the Kapelle of St Peter, where he was organist until September 1782. He then went to Munich as a piano teacher; he ran up debts, as he had done in Salzburg, and was imprisoned. On 13 May 1786 he arrived in Vienna, where he studied counterpoint with Mozart. Until 1961 it was thought that his book of studies (A-Sm) was Mozart’s own material from his studies with his father Leopold. Mozart employed his pupil as a copyist, and Freystädtler copied the Piano Concerto in B K456 and replaced six pages of the autograph score of the String Quintet in G minor K516. During a lawsuit in 1786/7, in which Freystädtler was accused of having stolen a piano, Mozart came to his help by posting bond for him and presenting a written surety. In summer 1787 he was the eponymous hero of Mozart’s project for a burlesque Der Salzburgerlump in Wien (K509b), which includes the canon Lieber Freistädtler, lieber Gaulimauli (K509a). Freystädtler was still active as a piano teacher in 1834. He moved into a pensioners’ home in April 1837 and died there, destitute, in 1841. Nowak’s theory that Freystädtler was involved in completing the orchestration of the ‘Kyrie’ in Mozart’s Requiem is ruled out by recent studies of his manuscripts.
Freystädtler’s compositions include sonatas and sets of variations (and also a variation for Diabelli’s Vaterländischer Künstlerverein, 1824), programmatic piano fantasies, two piano concertos (a quattro), songs in the popular, simple style, and two cantatas. In 1793 he arranged Mozart’s last three string quartets for piano trio (with viola). An arrangement for piano quartet of the Piano and Wind Quintet K452 dating from 1786 and ascribed to him by Deutsch and Oldman in 1931, must be regarded as spurious.
Source: Michael Lorenz. ""Freystädtler, Franz Jakob."" In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.ezproxy.mnl.umkc.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/48829 (accessed February 16, 2011).