Franz Doppler

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Franz Doppler, 1853
Franz and Karl Doppler

Albert Franz Doppler (October 16, 1821 – July 27, 1883), was a flute virtuoso and a composer best known for his flute music. He also wrote one German and several Hungarian operas for Budapest, all produced with great success. His ballet music was popular during his lifetime.

Life[edit]

Doppler was born in Poland in Lemberg (Austrian Empire), now Lviv, Ukraine. From 1828 to 1831, he received flute lessons from his father, Joseph Doppler, who was an oboist, and made his debut as a flutist at the age of 13. He formed a flute duo with his brother Karl, four years younger, who mainly wrote songs and incidental music, and as a duo they caused quite a sensation throughout Europe. They toured and both became members of the orchestra of the German Theater, Budapest, in 1838 and both moved to the Hungarian National Theater in 1841. There, five of Franz's operas were staged with success. Franz and Karl continued to make regular tours of Europe and helped found the Hungarian Philharmonic Orchestra in 1853. At the age of 18 Franz was the first flutist at the opera in Budapest, and he went on to be the first flutist and stand-in conductor, and eventually chief conductor, of the Vienna Court Opera, as well as acquiring a position of Professor of Flute at the Vienna Conservatoire from 1864 until 1867. He died in Baden bei Wien, Austria.

Doppler composed chiefly for the flute, as well as opera (a style that is prominent even in his showpieces for flute), composing many pieces including concertos, showpieces, and many flute duets, to be played by him and his brother Karl. His music contains aspects of Russian and Hungarian music. His operas included Judith (his only German opera), and a Russian work entitled Benyovsky. He wrote seven operas and fifteen ballets in total (which were quite popular in their time) and was a brilliant orchestrator.

He is also known for the orchestral arrangements of six of Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies published under his name. He was a student of Liszt, and Liszt set Doppler the exercise of orchestrating six Rhapsodies. Every single bar of these orchestrations was revised by Liszt upon publication, but he graciously allowed Doppler's name to remain on the title page. (Liszt frequently bestowed such help to his students, which gave rise to the notion that he didn't or couldn't orchestrate his own works).

Doppler's transcriptions of some of the rhapsodies for flute are also quite well known.

Selected works[edit]

Stage works
  • Benyovszky vagy A kamcsatkai számuzött (Benyovsky, or the Changeling from Kamchatka), opera after August von Kotzebue, 1847
  • Ilka és a huszártoborzó (Ilka and the Hussar Recruitment), comic opera, 1849
  • Wanda, opera, 1853
  • Két huszár (The Two Hussars), opera, 1853
  • Salvator Rosa, melodrama, 1855
  • Erzsébet opera, (Overture and Act I. Act II by Ferenc Erkel, Act III by Karl Doppler), 1857
  • Judith opera, 1870
Other
  • Airs Valaques, Op. 10
  • Berceuse, Op. 15
  • Mazurka de salon, Op. 16
  • Nocturne, Op. 17
  • Andante et Rondo, Op. 25 (for two flutes and a piano) 1870
  • Fantaisie pastorale hongroise, Op. 26
  • Souvenir du Rigi, Op. 34

References[edit]

External links[edit]