Friberth, Karl


German singer and composer, born at Wullersdorf, Austria, where his father was a school-teacher, from whom he received his first musical instruction. He later studied at Vienna under the Court composers, Bonno and Gassmann, and in 1759 joined the chapel of Prince Esterhazy at Eisenstadt as a tenor singer. He was heard frequently at various Italian courts and at concerts. In 1768 he married Maria Magdalena Spangler, a well-known singer. In 1776 he became the chapelmaster of the Jesuits and Minorites Church at Vienna, and died in that city at an advanced age. Friberth wrote nine masses; five motets; a Stabat Mater; a requiem; and offertories. While in the service of Prince Esterhazy, he formed the acquaintance of Joseph Haydn, became his intimate friend and sang in many of that composer's operas. For his services to music, Friberth was made a knight of the Golden Spur by Pope Pius VI. To this order both Mozart and Gluck belonged. Friberth wrote chiefly church-music and also some opera librettos.