JOHANN DAVID HEINICHEN (1683 - 1729)
Johann David Heinichen was educated at the Thomasschule in Leipzig (where J.S. Bach was later to teach), serving also as assistant to the then cantor, Kuhnau, and proceeding thereafter to the University of Leipzig. After an initial career as a lawyer in Weissenfels, Heinichen returned to musical activity in Leipzig, followed by a period of work and study in Italy. In 1717 he was appointed Court Kapellmeister in Dresden, a position he retained until his death in 1729.
Heinichen wrote operas in the earlier part of his career and moved to Italy with the express purpose of studying the art of Italian opera at its source. His single opera for Dresden, Flavio Crispo, remained incomplete – abandoned, it seems, when the Italian opera company was disbanded.
Heinichen was extremely prolific as a composer. Of his instrumental music some two dozen concertos survive. These include a number of concertos for multiple instruments.
Vocal and Instrumental Music
In accordance with the demands of his employment, Heinichen wrote a number of serenades and other celebratory pieces for voices and instruments.
Heinichen’s church music follows the requirements of the Catholic liturgy, with settings of the Mass, canticles, and parts of the Holy Week liturgy.