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Fesca, Frederic Ernest

FESCA, FREDERIC ERNEST (1789-1826), German violinist and composer of instrumental music, was born on the 15th of February 1789 at Magdeburg, where he received his early musical education. He completed his studies at Leipzig under Eberhard Müller, and at the early age of fifteen appeared before the public with several concerti for the violin, which were received with general applause, and resulted in his being appointed leading violinist of the Leipzig orchestra. This position he occupied till 1806, when he became concert-master to the duke of Oldenburg. In 1808 he was appointed solo-violinist by King Jerome of Westphalia at Cassel, and there he remained till the end of the French occupation (1814), when he went to Vienna, and soon afterwards to Carlsruhe, having been appointed concert-master to the grand-duke of Baden. His failing health prevented him from enjoying the numerous and well-deserved triumphs he owed to his art, and in 1826 he died of consumption at the early age of thirty-seven. As a virtuoso Fesca ranks amongst the best masters of the German school of violinists, the school subsequently of Spohr and of Joachim. Especially as leader of a quartet he is said to have been unrivalled with regard to classic dignity and simplicity of style. Amongst his compositions, his quartets for stringed instruments and other pieces of chamber music are the most remarkable. His two operas, Cantemira and Omar and Leila, were less successful, lacking dramatic power and originality. He also wrote some sacred compositions, and numerous songs and vocal quartets.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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