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The reputation of Johann Wanhal (Vanhal) as one of the most important eighteenth-century symphony composers has been acknowledged both by contemporaries of his time and ours. His music demonstrates the basic changes in the musical styles and compositional concepts that occurred during his lifetime; it reveals his extraordinarily fine talent and his role as an innovator, a contributor, and an influencer of others. The biographical section of this volume presents an analysis of the information sources and a new interpretation of Wanhal's life and his position in the musical community. The thematic catalogue of Wanhal's symphonies includes incipits of all the movements and all the copies, both manuscript and printed, that the author has found. Further significant additions to our knowledge of both Wanhal, his contemporaries, and their modi operandi are provided by studies of the manuscript copies themselves. They include a record of the groups of copyists, along with summaries and samples of the individual copyists' hands, and the papers they used. The descriptions of the manuscripts are complemented by a study of the publishers and their confusing opus-number systems as well as pertinent information about the individual symphonies. For those interested in Wanhal himself the lists of his autographs and analysis of his handwriting should also be useful. From the Preface.
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