Daniel Gottlieb Steibelt  
Daniel Gottlieb Steibelt
Daniel Gottlieb Steibelt (October 22, 1765 – October 2 [O.S. September 20] 1823) was a German pianist and composer who died in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Life and music

Daniel Steibelt was born in Berlin, and studied music with Johann Kirnberger before being forced by his father to join the Prussian army. Deserting, he began a nomadic career as a pianist before settling in 1790 in Paris. Here his dramatic opera entitled Romeo et Juliette, which was later highly regarded by Hector Berlioz, was produced at the Théâtre Feydeau in 1793. This is held by many to be his most original and artistically successful composition.

Steibelt began to share his time between Paris and London, where his piano-playing attracted great attention. In 1797 he played in a concert of J. P. Salamon. In 1798 he produced his Concerto No. 3 in E flat containing a Storm Rondo characterised by extensive tremolos, which became very popular. In the following year Steibelt started on a professional tour in Germany; and, after playing with some success in Hamburg, Dresden, Prague and Berlin, he arrived in May 1800 at Vienna, where he challenged Beethoven to a trial of skill at the house of Count von Fries. Accounts of the contest record it was a disaster for Steibelt; Beethoven reportedly carried the day by improvising at length on a theme taken from the cello part of a new Steibelt piece, placed upside down on the music rack.

Following this public humiliation Steibelt quit his tour. He went again to Paris, where he organised the first performance of Joseph Haydn's oratorio The Creation, which took place on 24 Dec 1800 at the Opera House. On his way to it, the First Consul Bonaparte narrowly escaped a bomb attack. Steibelt had just published one of his most accomplished sonatas, which he had dedicated to Bonaparte's wife, Josephine. After a second stay in England (Summer 1802-Autumn 1805), Steibelt came back to Paris. He celebrated Napoleon's triumph at Austerlitz with a Musical Interlude named La Fête de Mars, whose première was attended by Napoleon in person (4 Feb 1806).

In 1808 he was invited by Tsar Alexander I to Saint Petersburg, succeeding François-Adrien Boieldieu as director of the Royal Opera in 1811. He remained there for the rest of his life. In 1812, he composed The Destruction of Moscow, a grand fantasy for piano dedicated to the Russian nation.

He generally ceased performing in 1814, but returned to the platform for his Concerto No. 8, which was premiered on March 16, 1820, in Saint Petersburg, and is notable for its choral finale. This was four years before Beethoven's unconventional Symphony No. 9, and was the only piano concerto ever written (excluding Beethoven's Choral Fantasy) with a part for a chorus until Henri Herz's 6th concerto, Op 192 (1858) and Ferruccio Busoni's Piano Concerto (1904).

Besides his dramatic music, Steibelt left behind him an enormous number of compositions, mostly for the piano. His playing was said to be brilliant, though lacking the higher qualities which characterized that of such contemporaries as Cramer and Muzio Clementi. Despite this, his playing and compositional skills enabled him to build a career across Europe. Grove describes him as 'extraordinarily vain, arrogant, discourteous, recklessly extravagant and even dishonest.' Such harsh moral judgements are justified by some of the facts of Steibelt's life as they have come down to us. These and similar attacks on his character must be viewed with caution if a correct image of Steibelt's personality is to be reconstructed.

At his best Steibelt is an imaginative composer with strong individuality. His operas Cendrillon (1810) and Romeo et Juliette (1793), all his piano concerti, his chamber music, a selection of his numerous sonatas (e.g. Op. 45 in E flat - 1800 - and Op. 64 in G - 1809) and some piano pieces (caprices and preludes, studies Op. 78) are of a sufficient musical worth to be performed and enjoyed today.

Selected list of his works

1) Stage

Romeo et Juliette, 3 acts (1793)
Albert et Adelaide, 3 acts (1798)
Le retour de Zephyre, 1 act ballet (1802)
Le jugement de Berger, 3 acts ballet (1804)
La Belle Laitière, ou Blanche Reine de Castille (1805)
La Fête de Mars, intermezzo (1806)
La Princesse de Babylone, 3 acts opera (1812)
La Fête de l'Empereur, ballet (1809)
Der Blöde Ritter (1810)
Sargines, 3 acts, opera (1810)
Cendrillon, 3 acts opera (1810)
Le jugement de Midas (1823?)

2) Orchestral

Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra in C (1796)
Concerto No. 2 for Piano, Violin and Orchestra in E minor (1796)
Concerto No. 3 for Piano and Orchestra in E "L'orage" (1799)
Concerto No. 4 for Piano and Orchestra in E♭ (1800)
Concerto No. 5 for Piano and Orchestra in E♭ "À la chasse" Op. 64 (1802)
Concerto No. 6 for Piano and Orchestra in G minor "Le voyage au mont Saint-Bernard" (1816)
Concerto No. 7 for Piano and Orchestra in E minor "Grand concerto militaire dans le genre grec", with 2 orchestras, (1816)
Concerto No. 8 for Piano and Orchestra in E♭ "with bacchanalian rondo, acc. chorus" (1820), not published.
Harp Concerto (1807)
Ouverture en Symphonie (1796)
Marches and Waltzes

3) Chamber

3 String Quartets, Op. 17 (1790)
3 Quintets for Piano and Strings, Op. 28
3 String Quartets, Op. 49 (1800)
3 Violin Sonatas, Op. 69
1 Quartet for Piano and Strings
26 trios for piano and strings
6 trios for harp and strings
115 duos for piano and violin
6 duos for Piano and Harp (or for two pianos)
6 sonatas for harp
36 bacchanals and 12 divertissements for Piano, tambourine and triangle ad lib.
77 sonatas for piano solo
45 rondos
32 fantasias
21 divertissements
12 caprices or preludes
20 pots-pourris
2 series of serenades
25 series of variations
16 sonatas for piano 4 hands
Descriptive pieces (Triumph, sieges, marches funebres...)
Waltzes, danses.
Studies, Op. 78

4) Methode de Pianoforte (1805)

5) Songs

6 romances (1798)
Air d'Estelle (1798)
30 songs, Op. 10 (1794)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Daniel Gottlieb Steibelt - Harp Concerto (1807)
Harp Concerto (1807)

Mov.I: No tempo indication 00:00
Mov.II: Adagio 16:42
Mov.III: Rondo: Allegretto 19:48

Harp: Masumi Nagasawa, pedal harp

Orchestra: Kölner Akademie

Conductor: Michael Alexander Willens

Daniel Steibelt - Adagio
Dr. Alan Huckleberry, piano
Steibelt - Piano Works
Played by Anna Petrova-Forster.
Daniel Steibelt : Rondo à la Turque (C major)
Daniel Steibelt : Rondo in F major, Op. 33 No. 2
Daniel Steibelt : Étude in C major, Op. 78 No. 1
Daniel Steibelt - Etude op.78 No.22, Anna Petrova-Forster, piano
Daniel Steibelt: Rondo, "Élégant"
Spencer Ravas Alaee - Spring, 2010
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