Multimedia Art Productions

Johann Christian Weyrauch (Composer, Lute, Organ, Copyist, Notary, Bach's Pupil)

Born: January 13, 1694 Knauthain, near Leipzig, Saxony, Germany Died: April 1, 1771 - Leipzig, Saxony, Germany

Johann Christian Weyrauch was a German composer, lutenist and organist. He probably learnt to play the lute at an early age; his father, Johann Weyrauch, was Kantor and schoolmaster in the village of Knauthain, near Leipzig, where his lutenist contemporary Adam Falckenhagen was raised. In 1717 he entered the University of Leipzig (enrollment for the winter semester 1717), where he studied law. For some years he aspired to musical career, applying several times for posts as organist, without apparant success. For example, in 1729 he was unsuccessful with his application for position as organist at the Neukirche (New Church) in Leipzig. From 1730 he seems to have made his living as a lawyer (notary public) in Leipzig and died there in 1771. On January 14,1730, J.S. Bach provided testimonial to Johann Christian Weyrauch. The certificate, which was issued for a ultimately unsuccessful application of J.C. Weyrauch for the Kantor office at St. Jacobi in Chemnitz, only refers to an examination and certifies skills on various instruments, in singing and in composition. In the previous year, J.C. Weyrauch had unsuccessfully applied for organist service at the Leipzig New Church, but was defeated by Carl Gotthelf Gerlach recommended by J.S. Bach. A further testament to their close friendship is the fact that J.S. Bach acted as a godfather to Weyrauch's son, Johann Sabastian, on April 18, 1743 the other godfather being the lute and violin maker J.C. Hoffmann. J.C. Weyrauch was apparently a gifted performer and composer; his lute pieces were known to be difficult, but none has survived. He arranged two of J.S. Bach's works for the lute (BWV 997 and BWV 1000); the tabulature copies in his hand are now in the Musikbibliothek der Stadt Leipzig.








Adam Falckenhagen


Adam Falckenhagen (26 April 1697 – 6 October 1754) was a German lutenist and composer of the Baroque period.
He was born in Groß-Dölzig, near Leipzig in Saxony, but spent the later part of his life in Bayreuth. He wrote tuneful music which is still played today on
lute and guitar. Much of this music survives in the Bavarian State Library, Munich.
He received his first musical instruction in the village of Knauthain, the native home of Johann Christian Weyrauch. Weyrauch was a pupil of
Johann Sebastian Bach and transcriber of works by Bach for the lute. In 1713 Falckenhagen is mentioned as "gifted in literature and music," and in 1715 as "Musician and footman of the young Lord of Dieskau." The Dieskaus were a family for whom J.S. Bach later wrote the Bauernkantate in Merseburg. Falckenhagen stayed in Merseburg with the Dieskaus from about 1715, until in 1719 he succeeded Johann Graf in the position of Saxe Court lutenist. Falckenhagen attended Leipzig University from 1719 to 1720. It has been suggested that Falckenhagen also studied with Johann Graf, a pupil of Sylvius Leopold Weiss (1686-1750), and later with Weiss himself.
Like many of his contemporaries, Falckenhagen travelled from court to court most of his life (Weissenfels, 1720–1727; Jena and Weimar (1729-1732)), eventually settling in Bayreuth, where he won the favour of
Wilhelmine of Prussia, Margravine of Bayreuth, in 1734. Wilhelmine was a lutenist and sister of Frederick the Great; she invited him to be the court lutenist at Bayreuth. Falckenhagen held this position until his death in 1754.
Falckenhagen's music is representative of the final flowering of 18th-century lute music in Germany.