Joseph Sonnleithner, librettist of Beethoven's "Fidelio"
|Born||Joseph Ferdinand Sonnleithner
|Known for||Joseph Haydn's friend|
Joseph Ferdinand Sonnleithner (3 March 1766, in Vienna - 25 December 1835, in Vienna) was an Austrian librettist, theater director archivist and lawyer. He was the son of Christoph Sonnleithner, brother of Ignaz von Sonnleithner and uncle of Franz Grillparzer and Leopold von Sonnleithner. He was a personal friend and attorney of Ludwig van Beethoven, and he who wrote numerous librettos, among them, Beethoven's stage opera Fidelio, Faniska by Luigi Cherubini and Agnes Sorel by Adalbert Gyrowetz.
Joseph Sonnleithner work for the Viennese court in 1787, first at Joseph II's private office and later in the chancellery. From 1796 to 1796 he published the Wiener Theater-Almanach and in 1802 he became partner in the Kunst und Industrie-Comptoir Publishing House. For a short period from February to August 1804 Sonnleithner was artistic director of the Theater an der Wien, and from 1804 to 1814 he was secretary of the court theaters in Vienna. He was also a leading figure in the Viennese musical life in the first decades of the nineteenth century and consequently one of the founders of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, becoming then its first secretary in 1812.[n 1]
Sonnleithner was one of the earliest collectors of folk songs and information on their composers in Austria, a project which, although never fulfilled, served as the basis of a new musical encyclopedia. A close friendship united him with his nephew, Grillparzer and Franz Schubert. For his treasured collection of oil paintings from the Baroque period on, which is now kept in the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, he also commissioned a special portrait of Schubert from the artist Anton Depauly.[n 2]
- E. Mandyczewski (not yet published) (in German). "Sonnleithner ". In Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB). 34. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. pp. 640. (full text online)
- Anna Schirlbauer: Joseph Sonnleithners Sammlung in der Portraitgalerie der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien. Neue Erkenntnisse über ihren Begründer, ihre Bilder und Maler. Mit Abschnitten über die Maler Mähler, Kupelwieser und Depauly und Details über die Entstehung der Sammlung. In: Wiener Geschichtsblätter 62 (2007), H. 1, S. 29-64.
- A. Brandtner: "Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Vol. 12, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-7001-3580-7, p. 426. ". In:
- There are memorial plaques in the entrance hall of the Gesellschaft der Musikverein and at this house's ditch #14.
* Jones, David Wyn (1998). The Life of Beethoven. Cambridge University Press. pp. 78–79. ISBN 0-521-56878-1.
- "A very deserving and funny man." A quote from Joseph Haydn to Johann Peter Salomon on 15 May 1799, and, "also a joker like his brother." from Franz von Hartmann's family chronicle.
- x Rudolf, Michael Stern, Hanny Bleeker White (2001). A musical life: writings and letters. Pendragon Press. p. 275. ISBN 1-57647-038-5.
- Clive, H. P. (2001). Beethoven and his world: a biographical dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 342. ISBN 0-19-816672-9.
- Jones, David Wyn (1998). The Life of Beethoven. Cambridge University Press. pp. 78–79. ISBN 0-521-56878-1.
- This article is based on the translation of the corresponding article on the German Wikipedia. A list of contributors can be found there at the History section.