Danzi, Franz

Danzi: Franz,1763–1826, German composer.

I listened very carefully as she exclaimed, “A German composer I do not know!”

I was a little bit surprised, since the woman speaking has a Master’s in Music and also plays a darned mean oboe. She’s been in orchestras for years and even taught Music Appreciation.

It made me interested in who Danzi was. (That’s when I’m suddenly grateful for the Internet, instead of needing to pull out my encyclopedia.)

In no time at all, there he was—with an artist’s drawing of a very small man wearing glasses—the personification of studious.

He composed a lot of music—a list of at least two hundred pieces.

So I asked myself, why don’t we know more about him?

Why do some people get recognition in their time and great placement in the history books, and others, second or third position in notoriety for their lifespan, and total rejection from history?

Then I looked at the dates of his birth and death: 1763—1826.

I immediately understood.

If you don’t know a lot about music, you might still be unaware of why there was a lapse in popularity for Mr. Danzi. (Or shall we be overly familiar and call him Franz?)

Franz had one big problem.

His lifespan nearly paralleled that of Ludwig von Beethoven.

So when Franz was writing one of his favorite pieces—like Symphonie Concertante in Eb Major for Wind Quartet and Orchestra, Beethoven was stumbling around the Germanic kingdom stunning audiences with his symphonies and antics.

Overshadowed.

You can be set aside because you do good work and somebody does it louder, or you can even be considered less malicious because a more malevolent fellow is in your era. For instance, there may be other infamous assassins, but John Wilkes Booth takes the balcony.

It was a good thing for me to read.

Talent isn’t always brought to the forefront.

It isn’t always appreciated.

Talent is often suffocated by other effort that sets off more fireworks or, as in the case of Herr Beethoven, pulls it off “deaf-ly.”

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