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Gottlieb Muffat (1690 - 1770)

Gottlieb (Liebgott) Muffat, the youngest son of the composer and Kapellmeister Georg Muffat (1753–1704) and his wife Anna Elisabetha (ca. 1646–1721), was baptised in St Stephen’s Cathedral, Passau on 25 April 1690. Although several of Georg Muffat’s children followed in their father’s footsteps as musicians (three were court musicians), Gottlieb may be considered the true ‘fortunate heir of paternal genius’. The first concrete reference to him is in a document dating from spring 1705. Here it is reported that the emperor had heard Gottlieb play the harpsichord five years earlier, when he would have been around ten years old, and consoled him and his father that if he pursued his studies, he would be taken into imperial service. We also learn that this prodigious child had been instructed so well by his father in both playing and the rudiments of composition that he could soon develop into a ‘perfect’ organist. Following his father’s death and his relocation to Vienna, Gottlieb continued his musical education under Johann Joseph Fux (ca. 1660–1741). He was accepted as an organ scholar at the Viennese imperial court in 1706. In 1714 he received his first official post at the court of the dowager empress Amalia Wilhelmina. Three years later he was appointed organist proper at the court of Karl VI and received a pay rise in 1723, making him one of the better paid instrumentalists with an annual salary of 900 Fl (with an additional 600 Fl for his services at the court of the dowager empress).




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