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Anton Diabelli

A Classical Guitar Player and Master Musician of Note

"Anton Diabelli - Austrian music publisher and composer best known for his waltz..."

He is one of the interesting guitarist/musicians of the 19th century (see his entry on the Guitar Time Line). He played both guitar and piano and died one of the richest musicians of his time due to an interest, then ownership of a publishing house. Indeed, he was as astute a businessman as he was a musician. 

If Mozart, his fellow Austrian, had been more adept he might have been as prosperous and perhaps lived as long. Born in the small town of Mattsee near Salzberg, he almost took up the priesthood but a calling for music was too strong and won out in the end. To this day his hometown honours his name in the summer months with a music festival called the "Diabelli Sommer", great testament to his world-renown musical skills.

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Actually, he received his first musical training as a singer in monasteries and cathedrals. This stood him in good stead for his time with Michael Hayden, brother of the famous Joseph. It was the guitar that was his main focus of interest. This enabled him to link up with the most famous, and technically proficient, Mauro Giuliani from whom he learned a great deal. He was able to earn a good living in Vienna around this time playing and teaching both guitar and piano.

What actually "made" Diabelli in the monetary sense was his association with Peter Cappi in a music publishing house. He went on to buy his partner out some six years later, and so secured his future. Relieved of the daily monetary money worries of most of his contemporaries he was able to move in "high" musical circles and have access to many of the best musicians of the day. Indeed, he was highly respected by them and published many of their works. These musicians included no less than Beethoven, Joseph Hayden, Schubert, Czerny and Strauss.

When he retired from the publishing game in 1853 at the age of 72 and sold all his copyrights he had over 25000 works from which to draw a pension. It was a... "hell of a pension!" Although he wrote many works including works for guitar, piano, the voice and others he is most remembered for Beethoven's 33 variations on a theme of his. Maybe it was just as well he was aligned with the "meteor" of music as his named was enshrined in musical history for evermore beyond his own renown.

Here's a little Minuet and Trio for guitar...

Although perhaps not the greatest classical guitar player/composer of all time, Diabelli still holds an important place in our hearts and affections and indeed has our deepest respect for his abilities and his contributions to the world of classical guitar.

For music written by Anton Diabelli click here...

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