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Franz Ignaz Beck


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Franz Ignaz Back (or Ignaz Beck) (February 20, 1734–December 31, 1809) was a German composer.

In his homeland he received his first studies probably from his father, and afterwards was probably a student of Johann Stamitz.

After a duel, which ended with what he mistakenly believed to be the death of his opponent, he fled the country. Through Venice and possibly Naples he arrived in France, where he was recorded as being in Marseille for a time as the conductor of the theater orchestra.

In Bordeaux in 1806 he eventually found employment as conductor of the opera orchestra. This position was his last before his death in 1809.

He belongs to the representatives of the Mannheim school, which on the one hand was experimental and on the other hand prepared the way for the classical composers of the succeeding next two centuries. One finds that they are affected as much by the compositions of this school as by those of the Italian and French music of the time.

As was indeed not uncommon with the Mannheim school - indeed, Georg Matthias Monn wrote a symphony in B major (as did Joseph Haydn, but the key is otherwise unusual in orchestral music in the 18th century) - keys such as E major and others remote from C major can be found in Beck’s music, as can dramatic effects of various kinds.

His compositions include a setting of the Stabat Mater, several symphonies and opera overtures, and other works. Recordings of Beck’s symphonies can be found on several music labels

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