Lorenzo Weckbacher - Quartetti per il Cembalo Principale | Etcetera KTC1581

Lorenzo Weckbacher - Quartetti per il Cembalo Principale


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Label: Etcetera

Cat No: KTC1581

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 5th May 2017



Korneel Bernolet (harpsichord)


Weckbacher, Lorenzo

Harpsichord Quartets (7)


Korneel Bernolet (harpsichord)


The identity of the composer of the keyboard quartets on this disc remains, even after a great deal of research, an enigma. The name Lorenzo Weckbacher, with the further description ‘maître de chapelle da sa Majesté le Roi de Prusse’ adorns the first of the more than 370 pages of the manuscript (no. 64.182) that is kept in the library of the Royal Conservatoire in Antwerp. The collection contains seven keyboard quartets, a keyboard concerto, two Ouvertures and two orchestral concertos, all in the same handwriting and marked being composed by Lorenzo Weckbacher, a composer otherwise completely unknown. One of the Ouvertures — Ouverture pour le jour de la naissance du Roi de Prusse — seems to confirm the composer’s claim that he was the Kapellmeister of the King of Prussia, although this could not be confirmed after an examination of historical sources. The ouverture to L’Entrée de la bergère, an opera in two acts, does not provide any further proof. Even the most basic biographical information about Weckbacher is missing. No other works of his have been discovered elsewhere in the world, with the exception of two violin parts of a keyboard quartet, preserved in the Fürst zu Bentheim-Tecklenburgische Musikbibliothek in Rheda.

The origins of the collection are unclear as well: the manuscript entered in the library register in 1972 as an anonymous donation, although there are indications that the volume was already in the library’s possession between the two World Wars. Its splendidly decorated cover featuring the coat of arms of the aristocratic Manderscheid-Blankenheim family and references to the Peace of Westphalia (1648), also does not provide us with points of reference. At this moment, the mystery of the work’s composer remains unsolved; all possibilities remain open. Weckbacher may have been an obscure and forgotten composer, or the whole thing could be a falsification. This recording, and the concomitant publication of the works by Musikproduktion Höflich in Munich, are the result of a research project carried out in the library of the Antwerp Conservatoire. Researcher
Korneel Bernolet has studied and edited the scores, and prepared and realised the recording.
- Jan Dewilde

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