Johann Georg Pisendel
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Johann Georg Pisendel (5 January 1688 [O.S. 26 December] – 25 November 1755) was a German Baroque musician, violinist and composer who, for many years, led the Court Orchestra in Dresden, then the finest instrumental ensemble in Europe.
Pisendel was born in Cadolzburg, a small town near Nuremberg, where his father Simon Pisendel was the cantor and organist. At the age of nine, Johann Georg became a choirboy at the court chapel of Ansbach. The Music Director there was the virtuoso singer Francesco Antonio Pistocchi and the Concert Master was the celebrated violinist and composer Giuseppe Torelli. It is thought that Pisendel studied the violin with Torelli. After his voice broke, Pisendel went on to play the violin in the Court Orchestra but, in 1709, he left Dresden for Leipzig to further his musical studies.
On the way to Leipzig, he met Johann Sebastian Bach at Weimar and, once in Leipzig, was introduced to Georg Philipp Telemann. Pisendel was an enthusiastic member of the student Collegium musicum founded by Telemann and they became close friends. In 1711, after a performance at Darmstadt, Pisendel was offered a place in the court orchestra there, but declined.
The following year he accepted a place in the Dresden Court Orchestra. He remained with the Dresden orchestra for the rest of his life, though he accompanied his new master, the Crown Prince, on a tour of Europe, visiting Antonio Vivaldi (some of whose solo violin works he had already performed) in Venice.
Pisendel's pupils included Franz Benda and Johann Gottlieb Graun, and he was also a close friend of Jan Dismas Zelenka, some of whose works he helped publish posthumously. See: List of music students by teacher: N to Q#Johann Georg Pisendel.
Pisendel's compositions are few in number but high in quality. All of his surviving works are instrumental. They include 10 violin concertos, 4 concertos for orchestra, 2 sonatas for violin, a Sinfonia and Trio.
However slight the number of his own compositions, the influence of Pisendel on music was great. The likes of Tomaso Albinoni, Antonio Vivaldi and Georg Philipp Telemann all dedicated violin concertos to him.
Pisendel was the foremost German violinist of his day and he was directly or indirectly responsible for the creation of much memorable music.
- Hans Rudolf Jung: Johann Georg Pisendel: Leben und Werk. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Violinmusik der Bach-Zeit. Univ. Diss, Jena 1956.
- Kai Köpp: Johann Georg Pisendel (1687–1755) und die Anfänge der neuzeitlichen Orchesterleitung. Schneider, Tutzing 2005, ISBN 3-7952-1140-9.
- Jörg Krämer (2001), "Pisendel, Johann Georg", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German) 20, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 482–483
- Albrecht Treuheit: Johann Georg Pisendel: (1687–1755); Geiger – Konzertmeister – Komponist; Dokumentation seines Lebens, seines Wirkens u. Umgangs u. seines Werkes; nachgezeichnet aus Biogr., Kommentaren u. Veröff. d. letzten 250 Jahre. Edelmann, Nürnberg 1987.
- Violin concertos from Dresden. Pisendel, Heinichen, Fasch, Handel, Telemann. Johannes Pramsohler. International Baroque Players. (Raumklang RK 3105)
- J.G. Pisendel: Dresden Concertos. Concerti con varii strumenti (Concertos for various instruments). Performed by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra with Gottfried von der Goltz and Petra Müllejans, solo violinists. Orchestra directed by Gottfried von der Goltz. (Carus 83301)
- Per Monsieur Pisendel. Violin sonatas by Vivaldi, Albinoni, & Pisendel. Performed by La Serenissima directed by Adrian Chandler (Avie 0018) Six violin sonatas dedicated to or composed by Pisendel himself.
- Media related to Johann Georg Pisendel at Wikimedia Commons
- Information about the Saxon court's instrumental music collection, partly based on Pisendel's private collection (Digitized manuscripts are published online)
- Free scores by Johann Georg Pisendel at the International Music Score Library Project