My lute contribution at the end of this year is a mini series of two pieces from Austria, (A) an “Aria Composee del’ Empereur Joseph” by Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor, and (B) the “Tombeau pur l’ Empereur Joseph” by Laufensteiner or Weichenberger.
Part B. “Tombeau pur l’ Empereur Joseph”. Joseph I of Habsburg, Holy Roman Emperor between 1690 and 1711, died on 17th April 1711. He was a great lover of baroque music. Among his musicians at the Royal Court Orchestra were several excellent lute players, such as the Austrian Johann Georg Weichenberger (1676 Graz– 1740 Vienna). However, this lute piece resembles me very much of the works of the other Austrian lute player of that time, Wolff Jacob Lauffensteiner (1676 Steyr – 1754 Munich). About 1709 he had obtained a position of a lutenist in Graz, the home city of Weichenberger. He may have hoped to be offered a position in at the Royal Court in Vienna too, however in 1712 – one year after the death of Joseph I - he was in the service of the Bavarian Court in Munich. This piece is from the baroque lute manuscript MS 120 of the Austrian State Archive which took over the “Family Harrach Collection”. This lute piece is also included in the lute manuscript MS A.371 that, similar to the manuscript MS A.13.268 (please see Part A), once belonged to the Benedictine monastery of Rajhrad (Stift Raigern).