Fesca, Friedrich Ernst


German composer and violinist, who was born at Magdeburg and studied counterpoint under Pitterlin, conductor of the Magdeburg Theatre, and later under August S. Muller. He was from 1806 a member of the Duke of Oldenburg's band and also soloviolinist at Cassel from 1806 to 1812. He played at the Gewandhaus concerts at Leipsic and went from there to Vienna. Was leader to the Duke of Baden at Carlsruhe from 1815 to 1826. His first seven quartets and two symphonies were written in that city. He wrote an opera, Omar et Leila, which was given at Carlsruhe in 1823, and another opera, entitled Cantemira. Fesca also wrote numerous quartets; quintets for strings; symphonies; part-songs; potpourris for French horn; andante and rondo for horn; the Ninth Psalm for solo voices, chorus and orchestra; and overtures for orchestra. His later works are among his best. His De Profundus, arranged in four parts by Strauss, was sung at the composer's funeral. There has been considerable dispute in regard to Fesca's rank as a composer and it is generally agreed that he was at his best in sacred music. In it he displayed unusual power, and was an earnest student of classic models. Says one writer: " Fesca's music and that of his son is most agreeable, never rising to grandeur, or sinking to frivolity, and it is always tuneful."