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Johann Kropfgans

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Johann Kropfgans 1708- c.1770

Lutenist and composer.
Kropfgans was born October 14, 1708 in Breslau, Silesia (the city known today as Wroclaw, Poland). Both his father, Johann the elder and his grandfather, Johann Caspar, had been lutenists in their own right. He studied with Philipp le Sage de Richee and later became the favorite pupil of Weiss. In 1739 Kropfgans met and played for J.S. Bach. Johann Elias Bach, who served his cousin Sebastien as a secretary for a time, reports on a visit payed by “the two famous lutenists Mr. Weiss and Mr. Kropfgans” who were “heard several times at out house. At this time Kropfgans probably lived in Dresden where he is known to have been in the employ of one Count von Bruhl. Around 1750 Kropfgans worked in Leipzig, although nothing is known of his later life, not even his date of death. No doubt the decline of interest in lute music in the later 18th century accounts for this obscurity.

Kropfgans wrote a number of suites and sonatas for solo lute, as well as chamber music (such as the divertimenti and trio sonatas for violin, violoncello and lute, of which he wrote 32).

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