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Fleischmann, Aloys (Georg) [Ó Rónáin, Muiris]

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Fleischmann, Aloys (Georg) [Ó Rónáin, Muiris]

(b Munich, 13 April 1910; d Cork, 21 July 1992). Irish composer, conductor and musicologist of German birth. After completing the BMus (1931) and MA (1932) at University College, Cork, he studied composition and conducting at the Akademie für Tonkunst, Munich, and musicology at Munich University (1932–4). On returning to Cork in 1934, he was appointed professor of music at University College, where he remained until his retirement in 1980. Acutely aware of the obligation of his generation to create circumstances in which modern Irish music could flourish in a recently independent Ireland, his involvement in all aspects of musical life was deep and committed. He founded the Cork SO (1934), which he conducted for almost 60 years, and the Cork Music Teachers’ Association (1938), of which he remained chair for 50 years; he also co-founded the Cork Ballet Company (1948) with Joan Denise Moriarty. In 1954 he helped to found the Cork International Choral Festival, of which he was director until 1987, and in 1962 instituted public seminars in which works specially commissioned for the festival were discussed. He completed the DMus at the National University of Ireland in 1963, and received an honorary MusD from Dublin University in 1964. Other honours included membership in the Royal Irish Academy (1966), the Order of Merit of the German Federal Republic (1966) and the title of Freeman of the City of Cork (1978).

As one of the first group of composers to live and work in modern Ireland, the question of what it meant to be an Irish composer occupied Fleischmann greatly. He adopted the Irish pseudonym, Muiris Ó Rónáin, for a time feeling that his German surname was inconsistent with his nationalist aspirations. His early music, while outward looking, shows the clear influence of folk idioms. Terse modal diatonicism gradually gave way, however, to a freer chromatic style (from about 1960), but his sympathies remained with traditional forms of expression. His final years were largely occupied with Sources of Irish Traditional Music, a project he completed shortly before his death.


Ballets: The Golden Bell of Ko, 1947; An Cóitín Dearg [The Red Petticoat], 1951; Macha Ruadh [Red(-Haired) Macha], 1955; The Táin, 1981

Vocal-orch: Clare’s Dragoons (T. Davis), Bar, chorus, war pipes, orch, 1945; Song Cycle ‘The Fountain of Magic’ (F. O'Connor), S/T, orch, 1945; Bata na bPlanndála [The Planting Stick] (P. Ó Laoighre, D. Ó Drisceoil), dance suite, chorus, small orch, 1957; Amhrán na gCúigí [Song of the Provinces] (attrib. Alfrid), chorus, orch, 1963; Song of Colmcille (R. Farren), spkr, chorus, orch, 1964; Mass for Peace, unison chorus, orch, 1976; Festival Song (J. Montague), chorus, orch, 1978; Omós don Phiarsach [Homage to Pádraig Pearse] (P. Pearse), spkr, Mez, orch, 1979; Time's Offspring (Bishop Berkeley), spkr, chorus, orch, 1985; Clonmacnoise (O'Connor), chorus, orch, 1986

Other vocal: 3 hAmhráin [3 Songs] (M. Ó Murchú), S/T, pf, 1935, orchd 1937; Na Trí Captaení Loinge [The Three Sea Captains] (Ó Laoighre, Ó Drisceoil), dance suite, chorus, 1956; Mass, female vv, org, 1972; The Poet's Circuits (P. Colum), S, Irish hp, 1972; Song cycle ‘Tides’ (J. Montague), Mez/Bar, pf, 1973, orchd 1974; Poet in the Suburbs (T. Kinsella), chorus, 1974; Games (V. Popa, trans. A. Pennington), chorus, hp, perc, 1990

Inst: Suite, pf, 1933; Pf Qnt, 1938; Prelude and Dance, orch, 1940; The Humours of Carolan, suite, str, 1941–44; The Four Masters, ov., orch, 1944; Introduction and Funeral March, orch, 1960; Cornucopia, hn, pf, 1969, orchd 1971; Sinfonia votiva, orch, 1977



Principal publishers: Chester, An Gúm, OUP, Cumann Náisiúnta na gCór [Association of Irish Choirs]


ed.: Music in Ireland (Cork, 1952)

ed.: Sources of Irish Traditional Music, c1660–1855 (New York, 1999)


M. Dawney: ‘Aloys Fleischmann in Conversation’, Composer, no.54 (1975–6), 29–31; continued as ‘Aloys Fleischmann in Conversation – Concluded’, no.57 (1976), 37–8

S. de Barra: ‘Fleischmann the Composer’, New Music News [Dublin] (1992), Sept, 6–7

T. Ó Canainn: ‘Aloys Fleischmann in Conversation’, Cork Review (1992), 13–18

S. de Barra: ‘Aloys Fleischmann's Ballet Music’, in R. Fleischmann (ed), Joan Denise Moriarty: Founder of Irish National Ballet (Cork, 1998)


Fleischmann, (Johann) Friedrich (Anton)

(b Marktheidenfeld, nr Würzburg, 18 July 1766; d Meiningen, 30 Nov 1798). German administrator and composer. When he was 11 his father Johann Friedrich Fleischmann, a school headmaster and amateur composer, sent him to the Mannheim Gymnasium, where he studied with G.J. Vogler and Ignaz Holzbauer. After finishing courses in philosophy and law at Würzburg University, he became private secretary and tutor to the Regierungspräsident von Welden’s son at Regensburg (1786). From 1789 he was cabinet secretary to Duke Georg I of Saxe-Meiningen, where he exerted a great influence on the court’s music.

Although Fleischmann had composed music for a Singspiel Hanns und seine Frau Mama by 1785, his extant compositions belong to his Meiningen period. His principal work, the Singspiel Die Geisterinsel (after Shakespeare’s Tempest), was composed before the better-known settings of Reichardt and Zumsteeg, and produced at Weimar in 1798; the librettist Gotter had intended his work for Mozart. Fleischmann’s setting of the Wiegenlied ‘Schlafe, mein Prinzchen’ (from Gotter’s Singspiel Esther, 1795), published in 1796, is remarkably similar to the well-known setting of the same year by Bernhard Flies (formerly attributed to Mozart) and may have served as its model. A variant of Fleischmann’s setting was used by Wenzel Matiegka under the title ‘Mädchen, o schlumm’re noch nicht’ for variations in the last movement of his Notturno op.21, which Schubert later arranged as a guitar quartet.

Fleischmann also wrote an essay ‘Wie muss ein Tonstück beschaffen seyn’ (published posthumously in AMZ, i, 1798–9, cols.209, 225) that, by prescribing three-part structures for instrumental movements, has been considered an early description of Classical form. However, his description more closely applies to pre-Classical monothematic three-part forms, and aesthetically it is likewise still largely in the tradition of the older doctrine of the Affections.


printed works published in Offenbach unless otherwise stated

Vocal: Hanns und seine Frau Mama (Spl, C.A.G. von Sekendorff), ?not perf., lost, text in Neue Beyträge zum deutschen Theater aus Franken (n.p., 1785), according to Grove5; Die Geisterinsel (Spl, 3, F.W. Gotter and F.H. von Einsiedel, after Shakespeare), Weimar, 1798, D-Bhm, ov., op.7 (c1807); Wiegenlied (Gotter), 1v, gui/kbd (1796); Einige Lieder (Fürstin von Neuwied) (Leipzig, 1798); Die Wollust, 1v, kbd (Leipzig, n.d.), doubtful; 3 lieder in Göttingen Musenalmanach; song in Romanze und Oden mit … Guitarre (Brunswick, c1800)

Orch: Conc., hpd/pf, op.1 (1794); Conc., hpd/pf, op.3 (1796); 1797: Zur Feyer des Friedens, pf conc., op.4 (1797); Sinfonie, op.5 (1800); Sinfonie, op.6 (c1806) [minuet by A. André]; double conc., kbd, vn, mentioned in GerberNL

Chbr: Air avec des variations, kbd (Vienna, 1787), lost; Sonate, hpd 4 hands, op.2 (1795); several Mozart ops arr. 8 wind insts, mentioned in GerberNL




T. Fleischmann: Biography, AMZ, i (1798–9), 417–22

M. Friedlaender: ‘Mozart’s Wiegenlied’, VMw, viii (1892), 275–85

E.F. Schmid: Musik am Hofe der Fürsten von Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (1720–1750) (Würzburg, 1953), 25, 62

E. Goretzki and D. Krickeberg: ‘Das Wiegenlied “von Mozart”’, Mitteilungen der Internationalen Stiftung Mozarteum, xxxvi/1–4 (1988), 114–18


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