Fridzeri [Fritzeri, Frizeri, Frizer, Frixer, Frixer di Frizeri], Alessandro Mario Antonio
(b Verona, ?15 Jan 1741; d Antwerp, 16 Oct 1825). Italian composer, violinist and mandolinist. He lost his sight while still an infant. At the age of eight he started to play the mandolin, and soon learnt to play the flute, violin, horn, guitar, harpsichord and organ, despite only limited instruction. His childhood was spent in Vicenza, where, at the age of 20, he became the organist at the Madonna del Monte Berico. In 1765 he left for a European tour, during which he performed violin pieces by Tartini, Ferrari and Pugnani, and occasionally his own works; he also received praise for his improvisations. In 1766 he made his Paris debut, playing a concerto by Gaviniès at the Concert Spirituel. He then toured the north of France, Belgium and the Rhineland, eventually settling in Strasbourg for 18 months; there he composed two operas, which were evidently never performed. By 1771 he was back in Paris where he had two stage works produced and composed his first instrumental music. After a tour of the south of France he returned to Paris where he established a printing business and possibly dealt in music and instruments. His most successful opera, Les souliers mordorés, was performed in Paris in 1776 with great success, and in other countries for the next 20 years. He spent 12 years in Brittany in the service of the Count of Châteaugiron, returning to Paris occasionally to hear his own works. When the Revolution broke out the count emigrated and Fridzeri resumed his concert touring. He founded a philharmonic academy in Nantes before returning to Paris in 1794. There he composed Revolutionary hymns, became a member of the new Lycée des Arts and founded another philharmonic academy, which was first housed in the Palais Royal and subsequently in the storehouse of the Opéra. There, in 1800, the explosion of an ‘infernal machine’ destroyed Fridzeri's few belongings. Once again he started his travels, finally settling in Antwerp as a teacher and music merchant.
Though Fridzeri's stage works reflect French influence (in their use of vaudevilles, for example) and his instrumental pieces reveal a knowledge of German music, his style remained primarily Italian. His instrumental works until op.12 are all in three movements, following the Italian practice; thereafter they are in two fast movements, with the first in a free quasi-Romantic style. All of the instrumental works, and particularly the opera overtures, show a well-developed sense of form. His stage works, some of which show the influence of Grétry's comédies-larmoyantes, are characterized by full vocal ensembles, spontaneous melodies and abrupt modulations.
2 ops, 3 acts, Strasbourg, c1770, unperf.
Les deux miliciens, ou L'orpheline villageoise (comedy with ariettes, 1, L.G. d'Azemar), op.2, Paris, Italien, 24 Aug 1771, F-Pn; (Paris, 1771), excerpts pubd separately
Le billet du mariage (oc, 1, Desfontaines [F.G. Fouques]), perf. privately, Paris, 1771
Lucette (oc, 3, E.F. de Lantier), Paris, Italien, 18 Aug 1775
Les souliers mordorés, ou La cordonnière allemande (comédie lyrique, 2, A. de Ferrières), op.4, Paris, Italien, 11 Jan 1776, D-Rtt, F-Pn; (Paris, 1776), excerpts pubd separately
Les Thermopyles (op), unperf., 1 scene and 1 air in opp.8, 9
Sacred: Messe, op.32 and Miserere, op.34, mentioned in EitnerQ
Other vocal: Recueil d'airs, harp acc., 1er cahier, op.6 (Paris, n.d.); Recueil d'ariettes, scènes et duos périodiques, op.8 (Paris, n.d.); Recueil d'airs, pf acc., 2e cahier, op.9 (Paris, n.d.); Recueil d'airs, harp acc., 3e cahier, op.13 (Paris, n.d.); Hyme à l'Etre suprême, 1v (?Paris, n.d.); 13 Revolutionary pieces, c1795, ?unpubd; Une femme, romance (Antwerp, Paris, n.d.); L'homme n'est pas ce qu'il affiche (vaudeville of La Perruque blonde) (Paris, n.d.), hpd acc. by Dreux
Inst: 6 quartetti da camera, 2 vn, va, vc, op.1 (Paris, 1771); 6 sonates, mandolin, op.3 (Paris, 1771), lost; 2 concerti, vn principal, 2 vn obbl, va, b, fls, hns, op.5 (Paris, n.d.); 4 duos, 2 vn, op.7 (Paris, n.d.); 3 quatuors, 2 vn, va, vc, op.10, bk 2 (Paris, n.d.); Première symphonie concertante, 2 vn principal, 2 vn, 2 va, 2 fl, 2 hn, b, op.12 (Paris, c1796)
U.Manferrari: Dizionario universale delle opere melodrammatiche (Florence, 1954–5)
Friebert [Fribert, Friberth, Frieberth, Frübert], (Johann) Joseph
(b Gnadendorf, Lower Austria, bap. 5 Dec 1724; d Passau, 6 Aug 1799). Austrian composer, brother of Carl Friberth, with whom he is often confused. He probably received his early musical training from his father, a schoolmaster and organist. The Benedictines of Melk employed him as tenor at their abbey from the middle of 1743 until April 1745 with a salary of 30 florins. He left Melk to study with Giuseppe Bonno in Vienna, where he entered the service of Prince Joseph Friedrich von Sachen-Hildburghausen; in the 1750s he established himself as a successful tenor in the Viennese theatres, performing in the premières of Gluck's Le cinesi (1754, as Silango) and La danza (1755, as Tirsi).
From 1763 until his retirement in 1795 he was music director for the prince-bishops of Passau, where his stage works were performed at the Jesuit College and then, during and after its construction from 1774 to 1783, at the court theatre. His Das Serail was given at least as early as 1765 and found its way into the repertory of several troupes. Einstein claimed that a version of the text published in 1779 was the model for J.A. Schachtner's text for Mozart's Zaide. Under Friebert's leadership Passau experienced a strong Viennese influence, notably through his introduction of Mozart's operas (Don Giovanni and Figaro, both in 1789 in German translation, and Zauberflöte in 1793). Friebert's text and vocal parts added to Haydn's Die Sieben letzten Worte (in its instrumental version) were heard by the composer while en route to London (1794), inspiring him to make his own vocal-orchestral version (hXX:2) the following year based upon Friebert's text as revised by Gottfried van Swieten.
Too little of Friebert's music has been uncovered to permit a fair assessment of him as a composer. Upon hearing Friebert's arrangement of Die Sieben letzten Worte in Passau, Haydn told his pupil Neukomm that ‘the vocal parts, I think, I could have written better’, but later he referred to Friebert as ‘a very skilled cathedral director’ (letter of 10 August 1799).
Sple: Das Serail, oder Die unvermuthete Zusammenkunft in der Sclaverey zwischen Vater, Tochter und Sohn (Der Renegat) (2, F.J. Sebastiani), ?Passau, 1765, lib (Bolzano, 1779), facs. in NMA. II: 5/x (1963), Kritischer Bericht, 75–91; Die Würkung der Natur (Schiffner and ?others), Rechnitz-Rohenez [now Burgenland], Batthyány Castle, 1774; Die beste Wahl, oder Das von den Göttern bestimmte Loos (Das Loos der Götter) (J. Nuth and others), Nuremberg, 19 Feb 1778; Adelstan und Röschen (Trauerspiel mit Gesänge, ? B.D.A. Cremeri, after J.F. Schink), Salzburg, 4 Jan 1782
It. ops, first perf. in Passau, 1764–74 (all music lost): Il componimento; Il natale di Giove (P. Metastasio); Dafne vendicata; La Galatea; La Zenobia (Metastasio); Angelica e Medoro
Orats, first perf. in Passau, from 1764: Giuseppe riconosciuto (?Metastasio); Pietro poenitente; Aggar [Agar]; Caino ed Abelle
Other works: Jagdsymphonie, Symphonia pastoralis (1774), ed. K. Schultz-Hauser (Berlin and New York, 1965); Missa pastoritia (1773), A-KR; vocal arr. of J. Haydn: Die Sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze, c1792, Ee, D-Pg, H-Bn; arr. of J.A. Hiller: Die kleine Aehrenleserin (children's operetta, C.F. Weisse), A-SEI, Wn (anon. attrib.)
D.Bartha: ‘A “Sieben Worte” változatainak keletkezése az Esterházy-gyüjtemény kéziratainak tükrében’ [The origin of the Seven last Words as revealed by the Haydn collection in Budapest], ZT, viii (Budapest, 1960), 107–46 [with Ger. summary]
K.M.Pisarowitz: ‘Joseph (Friebert) und seine Brüder’, Acta mozartiana, xvii (1970), 74–8
G.Schäffer: Des fürstbischöfliche und königliche Theater zu Passau (1783–1883) (Passau, 1973)
H.Unverricht: ‘Joseph Haydns Die Sieben Worte Christi am Kreuze in der Bearbeitung des Passauer Hofkapellmeisters Joseph Friebert’, KJb, lxv (1982), 83–94
I.Fuchs and L.Vobruba: ‘Studien zur Biographie von Karl Friberth’, SMw, xxxiv (1983), 21–59
R.N.Freeman: The Practice of Music at Melk Abbey Based upon the Documents, 1681–1826 (Vienna, 1989)