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Georg Matthias Monn

April 9, 1717 - October 3, 1750
born in Vienna, Austria, composed during the Baroque period
The composer who introduced the Mannheim galant style to Vienna, Georg Matthias Monn enjoyed a high reputation in Austria during his lifetime, although his music was not widely circulated beyond German-speaking territories and was generally ignored during the first 250 years following his death.

His baptismal name was actually Johann Georg Mann; he seems to have called himself Georg Matthias to avoid confusion with his younger brother, Johann Christoph, also a composer. "Monn" conforms to the Lower Austrian pronunciation of the family name. J.G. Monn was a child chorister, and in his early twenties he took a job as organist at the new Karlskirche in Vienna. He may also have played the organ at Melk Abbey, although this has been disputed, and it's possible, though not certain, that he was an early teacher of Albrechtsberger.

He did, with Wagenseil, rise to become one of the leading Viennese composers of the mid eighteenth century. His music was performed at the court of Emperor Joseph II, but none of it -- and there seems to be quite a bit of it -- was published during his lifetime. He is noted in the music history books as the first to compose a four-movement symphony with a third-movement minuet, which would become the standard pattern in the works of Haydn and Mozart. He did this exactly once, though, and otherwise held to the traditional three-movement pattern.

The Monn music that is being revived today tends to involve the orchestra; the sinfonia and the concerto represent him in the catalogs. At the same time, this music's textures tend to be thin, more akin to chamber music than orchestral scores. These works, especially the keyboard concertos, are cheerful and highly engaging, with a striking harmonic restlessness that looks ahead to the style of C.P.E. Bach. What limits its popularity, though, is its very conservative structural nature; the concertos favor the old Baroque ritornello format, the chamber music and solo keyboard works are multi-movement partitas, and he was always fond of canonic textures, especially in minor-mode movements. Another limitation is its formulaic thematic cells. Monn tended to write little motifs rather than full-fledged melodies; this facilitated the music's development, but limited its memorability. Some of Monn's scores attracted the attention of an unlikely later composer: Arnold Schoenberg. The father of dodecaphony expanded the continuo part of one of Monn's cello concertos, and later transformed one of the keyboard concertos into a cello concerto for Pablo Casals. ~ James Reel, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

EXELENT, AND BEAUTIFUL.
Dat's soooooo Irie,Monn!!!
I've loved classical music all my life but never heard of his guy, very nice! Thanx for bring this one to our attention, in his bio.
Ran b
wow ! More.
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the the best day of your life. However if you do not post this comment on at least 3 different songs you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually works

Wow! Beautiful... c a n ' t wait to hear more by this composer...
Soul Food!
wcmster
Really nice. I'm surprised he is not played more often.
rgardner5700
Absolutely beautiful music.
ango26
so eloquent
linedeckerfa m
Beautiful music.
Very nice. Very nice indeed.
Deeply moving. Many textures with one uniting theme. Hauntingly beautiful!
An enjoyable discovery. Rather than restricting the cello to a contrabasso function, Monn recognizes that it has the potential to be a warm and brilliant voice.
What a delight to listen to; I was not previously aware of his compositions . . . I certainly intend to research more of his works....
It is truly amazing to hear this composer's expression of reality. I greatly enjoyed minute of this piece.

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