Jan Josef Rosler (1771 - 1830)


We have discovered the name of Jan Josef Rosler when doing a research into the Lobkowicz Band founded by Frantisek Maxmilian Lobkowitz. This man of an exceptional music education, horisons and artistic flaire wished an ensemble of the top quality to work in his Czech estates. He managed to gather famous virtuosos of his time and on his order were composed a number of exceptional works. Thanks to him a premiere of Beethoven's 3rd symphony Eroica took place in our country (castle Jezeri).
As one of the Lobkowicz Kapellmeisters is also mentioned Jan Josef Rosler. We don't know much about his life but the Prince Lobkowicz must have known him from Prague. Rosler was appointed there a director of the orchestra of the Prague opera between 1797-1799. In these times, he was known as a composer of pantomimes, arias, he presented several operas which later celebrated success also in Vienna. His work is still waiting for rediscovery but we can get an idea of what the music of his many operas sounded like by listening to “Assassino per vendetta”.
Rosler's songs and operas were given often in three language versions – German, Italian and Czech and Rosler could play well with witty themes and sell them theatrically. But he could set serious or even romantic themes excellently, too. He gained recognition not only as a composer of scenic music but also as a piano virtuoso. His qualities are proven also by the fact that his Piano Concerto in D major was over 100 years considered Beethoven's composition. Regrettably, out of his numerous works only some songs and string quartets were recorded.
Jan Rosler himself made a list of his compositions. It is a booklet of 117 pages containing a number of original compositions as well as transcriptions of many Mozart's works, for one or two harpsichords or pianos, the instruments which were a cult in Bohemia at the time. Also his ''Cantate on the Death of Mozart'' published by print and numerous scenic and spiritual works should certainly deserve an attention.

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